NCNS has been incredibly fortunate to be friends with the amazing people at Burton Snowboards. They have a great initiative called the CHILL program – each year they take a group of Aboriginal kids to the snow to experience snowboarding. Chill is focused on taking kids who may not have had the privilege of being able to experience snowboarding ever before. The CHILL program provides Aboriginal young people with a long weekend at the snow, and it’s the complete, full experience – great equipment, great accommodation, awesome instructors, lift passes for all the runs at Thredbo.
So in early September, 14 Aboriginal young people and 4 NCNS Aboriginal Youth Mentors and our Aboriginal Team Leader Bron, got to go TO THE SNOW!!!
The young people were offered the opportunity to attend based on two criteria – participation and respect. Respect being the number one rule of our culture. Learning to snowboard was easy for some and harder for others. But Ash and Lucas from Burton had everyone snowboarding by the end of the first day. The NCNS Aboriginal Youth mentors worked with the young people on the slopes, encouraging them to keep going when it all felt too hard.
The students loved hanging with Ash and Lucas because they were allowed to try new things, and a few trick moves, and were so much fun to be around.
On the final day, the group went way up the mountain – this hill was bigger than what they were used to, and they just went with it. We were so proud of their courage and their willingness to try. They didn’t give up and when they fell, they just got straight back up and kept trying. To see the kids thrive on the experience – finding resilience and strength in their new abilities, learning to keep trying, and finding the rewards of not giving up.
They were respectful, didn’t leave anyone behind, they looked out for one another, and they all made new friendships, tried different things, and didn’t complain once. Thanks to Burton and the Chill program. And well done Kooly Snowboard crew! 😊