The Golden Kicking Horse Alpine Team (GKHAT) is getting set for another season on the slopes and president Mark Baxendale is encouraged with how the program has developed in recent years. This year GKHAT will have a program for kids under 14, a first for the team.
“We currently have 14 kids signed up for that program, which is great because we’re retaining kids in the sport and developing them into athletes. There is a progression plan in place,” Baxendale said.
GKHAT, which has 80 kids signed up for this winter, only began identifying themselves as a race team 18 months ago. Prior to that the club focused mostly on non-competitive learning, but starting last year they began to attend races and focus on the competitive side of skiing as well.
This year they are planning to attend races in Revelstoke, Lake Louise, and Panorama, with their home race at Kicking Horse scheduled for Feb. 23. Last year the club took 26 kids to Panorama and Revelstoke for races.
Of course, as is the case with most non-profit organizations, fundraising is very important for GKHAT and helps keep registration costs to a minimum. Fees cover just the basic costs of running the program, making fundraising essential in order to cover the price of travel and equipment.
The ski club is currently conducting an online auction in order to raise funds for this season. Items up for auction include weekend packages in Kimberley, Revelstoke, Jasper and Banff as well as heli-skiing, white water rafting and Calgary Flames tickets. The auction began on Nov. 7 and will continue until Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. Those who are interested in placing a bid can find more information at the team’s website, www.GKHAT.ca.