MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Fall 2018

FALL 2018 ML BLUE 25 Sending it for Sarah is an annual all-girls ski and snowboard day at Blue Mountain created to honour the legacy of Barrie, Ontario–born freestyle skier Sarah Burke. The brainchild of Melissa Kurtin, Communications Coordinator at Blue Mountain Resort, the event was inspired by some of her own experiences in competitive wakeboarding and snowboarding. “The event focuses on the freestyle part of skiing and snowboarding where the intimidation factor can be huge,” says Kurtin. But Sending It For Sarah is anything but intimidating, as it is geared to women at all skill levels and is set in a positive, reassuring environment. The event is a fundraiser for the Sarah Burke Foundation, an organization that supports young athletes and causes in memory of Burke, a Halfpipe world champion and X Game gold medallist who died at 29 in 2012 following a training accident at Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort. Rory Bushfield, President of the Foundation and Sarah’s husband, said the event “gets the word out about the awesome message she put out across the world.” Burke pushed for gender equality in freestyle skiing and was at times the sole female competitor in international Halfpipe and Slopestyle events. She put herself out there—going big, taking risks and pushing the boundaries of her sport. Sending It For Sarah hopes to support women in pushing their own personal boundaries on the slopes. The event’s first year in 2016 attracted 20 like-minded girls and women ranging in age from 3 to 55 and raised $3,600 for the Foundation. The organizers of this year’s event hope to reach a $10,000 fundraising goal and surpass a 100-participant turnout. The Sarah Burke Foundation recognizes the importance of the event to the work they do. “We could not continue our work without the support of the community that Sarah helped to build,” Bushfield added. “It is because of events like Sending It For Sarah that we are able to continue providing inspiration and support to deserving athletes in her name.” Why an all-girls day? If you’re a parent, a coach, or spend any amount of time with children or youth, you know first-hand the different approach girls and boys take to learning and mastering sports. And different learning styles require distinct coaching techniques. A day on the hill with your newest gal-pals and a crew of female coaches creates a laidback atmosphere that nurtures skill development and self-assurance. Sarah’s father, Gord Burke, has attended the event every year. He has mentioned how much his daughter would have loved it and often looks up at the ski hill expecting to see her. Although Sarah is no longer with us, events such as this, and the message behind them, keep her spirit alive and well. —Laura Raimondi The event will be held on February 2 at Blue Mountain Resort. Register or volunteer at sendingitforsarah.com . UP FRONT SENDING IT FOR SARAH RETURNS TO BLUE A day on the hill with your newest gal-pals and a crew of female coaches creates a laidback atmosphere that nurtures skill development and self-assurance. TOP AND ABOVE TRAVIS TEDFORD

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