What is Ski for Life?
Ski for Life is a Community Project now in its fourth year that teaches great 14 year-old kids who would never have otherwise had the opportunity, how to ski. A group of 15 boys, accompanied by 15 hosts head to Mt Ruapehu during August for three days of skiing and living on the mountain.
Surprised by their success in mastering skiing, the students discover themselves newly. The completely foreign alpine environment is at the same time stunningly beautiful, harsh and unforgiving.
The generosity of the project and the passion for the mountains that the hosts share all come together to have the students see themselves in a different light. In short, the project is about having people see just how awesome they are – hosts, students, supporters and sponsors included.
How is Ski for Life funded?
The project sees 15 adult members and friends of Ruapehu Ski Club each “adopt”, pay for and teach a 14 year-old student to ski over the three days. RSC donates the students’ food and accommodation.
SnowCentre New Market generously donated gloves, helmets and goggles - which are now in their fourth year of use, and each year provides rental ski equipment and their van for the trip. Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, the company operating Whakapapa ski area, provides enthusiastic support and some RSC members sponsor individual students.
How did Ski for Life come about?
The concept was built on the opportunity created within the ski industry of the enormous and unused infrastructure being all but unused in the midweek. For four years local Ponsonby School has worked closely with the project in an extended pilot.
What is the long-term goal?
Ultimately, the vision for the project is to expand across multiple clubs on Ruapehu, then across many mountains and maybe one day to provide a framework to be duplicated internationally.
Keen to get involved or know more?
Keen skiers and boarders (club members or not), who have some interest in finding out more about participating in this project should contacting the Ruapehu Ski Club office.
Donations of good ski clothing and equipment along with donations would be gratefully received and will be used to give more great students the chance to see how awesome they already are.