Thanks to instructors from the Brian Head Ski Resort, along with Jeff Boliba from Burton Snowboards, about 100 students received 30 minutes of instruction on how to enjoy one of winter’s most popular sports. They also heard from Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark, who spoke in a video presentation of why she loves “shredding the mountainsides.”
“We’ve been working with Pete (Aikens) and Brian Head for about a year on this,” said Three Peaks principal Paula Burgoyne. “Pete has a couple of daughters here at the school, and we’re always trying to get our students excited about fitness. Any program that gets kids moving is a good thing.”
Aikens, who is director of the ski school at Brian Head, brought in Boliba, VP of Global Resorts for Burton Snowboards.
“I’ve probably done these types of programs in dozens of countries,” Boliba said, returning to Utah where he has taught at resorts along the Wasatch Front. “Snowboarding is a great way to help them learn balance, develop core strength, and start a sport that they can enjoy for a lifetime.”
He said snowboarding is enjoying a bit of resurgence in popularity in the last few years.
“A lot of the boarders who began enjoying this sport years ago—the early enthusiasts—got busy with their careers and families, but now a new generation seems to have discovered the sport,” Boliba said. “We love going out and helping these young children start to learn the skills that are involved in snowboarding—including what they need to do to prepare for a day on the mountain.”
The multipurpose room at Three Peaks was divided into four sections, each with a different mini-lesson. Two stations were for learning different balances on a board, and another for ways to “grab” the board when riders make their moves. At a fourth station, students actually “rode” across the floor on a board as a classmate pulled them. There were laughs and lots of smiles, and some pretty good techniques for a group of beginners.
“We’re constantly striving to improve our outreach programs from Brian Head,” Aikens said. “This is a great sport that anyone can learn, and it’s fun to see it back.”