NWT Snowboard Association
The 2021-22 season was not without its complications and challenges, but the NWT Snowboard Association board and riders persevered and we had yet another great season. A lot was accomplished, and the sport still managed to grow during these odd times.
We have two sanctioned clubs in the NWT. Ragged Riders (Yellowknife club) and Slide
Zone Shredderz (Fort Smith club) ran regular weekly programs, including youth lessons. Not
only do our clubs have to run our snowboarding programs, but they are also responsible to
manage the facilities. The core of both clubs are run by extremely dedicated volunteers. 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. There is a huge level of safety, security, training and overall responsibility involved in these tasks.
Some highlights from both clubs are as follows:
- Slide Zone Shredderz
- 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
- Kept the contract going with a Hill Operations Manager to hire staff, schedule volunteers, coordinate programming and just be an all-around saviour to their operation. Without this 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. That was a success story after all the Covid isolations and event cancellations that plague this season.
The spirit of snowboarding is strong and growing in the NWT. Some of the NT Snowboard highlights are:
- We made some major strides this year in creating our high-performance team. The Arctic and Canada Winter Games Trials were included in the Territorials competition that was hosted in Fort Smith. However, this year we made the decision to try a different method of selecting the team. We held skill clinics in the mornings, and then competitions in the afternoons. This format allowed the kids to work on the specific riding skill before competing. The coaches were also able to assess the kids level of coachability, and better determine who would be the right fit for the high performance team and essentially on Team NT.
- The NT team that was selected through Territorials traveled south to participate in the Gathering. It was a huge eye opener for many kids, and really allowed the team to test their riding ability on a technical mountain course. There were many lessons learned from this first trip, but we are excited to continue to provide this opportunity to northern youth. We learned many lessons and are ready to adjust and make this trip happen again in the future.
- Liam Gill (Fresh off the Olympics) was available to include a tour of the NWT snowboard hills and offer clinic style riding with the youth. This was a very special moment for snowboarding in the NWT. Liam was a rockstar, and I’m sure there are a few kids that now have that spark of inspiration burning inside of them. Also, professional footage was taken at each snowboard hill in the NWT while Liam was there. Woot Woot 🙂
- Continued dirt work being done in both Yellowknife and Fort Simpson.
- Highest number of members we’ve ever had (226)
None of the success we have realized 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. Again, we have also received significant
sponsorship support in both Yellowknife, Fort Simpson, 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.