NWT Snowboard Association
The 2020-21 season was not without its complications and challenges, but the NWT Snowboard board and riders persevered and we had one of our greatest seasons yet. A lot was accomplished, and the sport still managed to grow during these odd times.
We now have two sanctioned clubs in the NWT. The Ragged Riders (Yellowknife) and Slide Zone Shredderz (Fort Smith). Each club ran regular weekly programs, including youth lessons, and not only do our clubs have to run our snowboarding programs but they are also responsible in managing the facilities. It is not uncommon in the territorial sport community for organizations to manage their own facilities, but it is currently essential for snowboarding to be offered in the NWT. This adds a tremendous burden onto our clubs and can not be achieved without a core group of extremely dedicated volunteers. There is a huge level of safety, security, training and overall responsibility involved in these tasks.
Here are some highlights from both clubs this past season;
- Slide Zone Shredderz
- Officially branded themselves as ‘The Slide Zone Shredderz’
- Increased their board membership by 3 new people
- Initiated a coupon fundraiser program
- Successfully hosted their annual Big Fun Event and Territorials all in one weekend.
A huge congrats to the team down there for their unbreakable dedication and love for the sport.
- Ragged Riders
- Hired a Hill Operations Manager to hire staff, schedule volunteers, coordinate programming and just be an all-around saviour to their operation. Without this new position, the club would not have been able to provide the same level of detail as previous seasons. It has become too big for a volunteer board to tackle everything alone;
- They were able to host two competitions this season, and still hold their ‘Sendy Wednesday’ events
- Ragged Riders hosted the first ever Slush Cup event in the NWT. It could not have been a better event, and will be a staple in the annual events offered.
The spirit of snowboarding is strong and growing in the NWT. Some of the NWT Snowboard highlights are:
- NT Snowboard received a significant amount of federal funding through MACA to support sport operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding allowed us to charter a flight from YK to Fort Smith to fly a large number of kids and parents to the 2021 Territorials. Among other things, we were able to purchase snowboard racks, benches and picnic tables to allow riders to enjoy the outdoors and assist with physical distancing measures at the facilities.
- Fort Simpson is the newest town interested in joining our beautiful snowboard community. Liidlii Kue First Nation was able to secure funding to purchase a large number of snowboards and gear and invited NWT Snowboard to host not one, but two clinics last season. The kids were super stoked on this new winter activity, and we have been working with the new Recreation Coordinator (Stephen Meek) to find ways to support them in growing this sport. The village has already started looking at ways to improve their hill to provide better terrain.
None of the success we’ve had these past few seasons would have been possible without the huge commitment from our executive director Andrew Goodwin, and our core group of volunteers including all the people that spent countless hours at the facilities. Snowboarding in the NWT simply would not exist without so many dedicated people. This includes our board members at the club and NWT Snowboard level. On top of all of that we have received significant sponsorship support in both Yellowknife and Fort Smith. I can’t thank our volunteers and sponsors enough for their contribution to the sport.
Thank you to the NWT Snowboard community for all your hard work, dedication and passion to provide an awesome program to NWT snowboarders and to truly make a positive difference in these young people’s lives. I can’t wait to see what this momentum will bring in the upcoming season!