The latest crop of #ILSAcrew skaters got a big surprise yesterday when Lucas and Steve from Arena Snowparks pulled up to the New site hockey rink at the Lil'wat Nation with $10,000 in new skatepark upgrades.
We cleared out the well-loved and worn features to make way for two mini quarter pipes, a new wedge, two manual pads, and a variety of new rails including a rainbow rail. This beginner-friendly set-up was designed and funded by our friends at Arena and Lil’wat Health & Healing.
Leadership from the Lil’wat Nation joined ILSA Directors Court Larabee and Tim Russell, Skateboard Manager Michael Barton, and ILSA Crew Leaders Deklan Stewart and Stacey Mathews for a walk-through of the major improvements. We also had the opportunity to tour a nearby location and announce the construction of a permanent skatepark in 2022 thanks to the support of New Line Skateparks and our amazing community!
The standout moment from the morning’s clinic—alongside the abundance of great reveals and epic mountain backdrop—was the sea of smiling faces beaming through every participants’ face mask. The ability to create a safe space to learn, grow, connect, and prosper, especially during the challenges of COVID, can be genuinely life-changing for the kids that come through our programs, as well as our coaches. Students are provided with new or lightly used equipment so they can continue to nurture their mental health and development using the skills they learn with the ILSA crew.
Currently running until the end of June, ILSA offers skateboard clinics to Indigenous and in-care youth ages 5-30, and we expect to serve about 40 folks from the Mount Currie area. We also provide hiking, downhill mountain biking, and rock climbing clinics in the summer months, and will return to our ski and snowboard program at Whistler Blackcomb this winter. In 2020, we clocked over 11,000 hours of activities, trained 12 new instructors, and produced six Indigenous and coaching events.
These programs have supported thousands of youth thanks to great people like you. As a non-profit organization, we rely on donations to keep things running (and skating, and shredding, and cruising) smoothly.