Get Out & Play has successful winter |

Get Out & Play has successful winter

Young skiers and snowboarders in the Youth Sports Alliance s Get Out & Play program pose for a picture by the First Time lift at Park City Mountain.

Switchback Sports, Rossignol and the Christian Center of Park City teamed up to provide 127 scholarship kids with skis, snowboards and winter clothing for the alpine session of the Youth Sports Alliance’s Get Out & Play program. A record-setting 700 local youth participated in the January session of Get Out & Play — 590 local youths headed to the slopes at Deer Valley, Park City Mountain and Utah Olympic Park, while an additional 108 cross-country skiers skied at White Pine Touring. Others learned to climb at The Mine Bouldering Gym or skated at the Park City Ice Arena, bringing the total for the year to 890 participants.

Rossignol donated more than 100 sets of skis and snowboards to Get Out & Play, while Switchback Sports took the lead in prepping and distributing the gear to scholarship recipients to use during their lessons. Sports Authority, Utah Ski & Golf, JANS and Ski Butlers helped fill in the gaps to provide gear for Get Out & Play’s 127 scholarship recipients.

Patrick Fannon, owner of Switchback Sports, said, "Giving these kids a chance to experience skiing and snowboarding is an opportunity of a lifetime. I was able to see the joy on the kids’ and parents’ faces when they picked up their equipment. It was meaningful for my whole to team to have the opportunity and ability to facilitate such a special and unique gift for these kids."

In mid-December, a gear-up night was held at McPolin Elementary School to help provide scholarship students with ski pants and jackets to use all winter as well as during their ski or snowboard program. Collection bins had been placed at all Park City’s elementary schools in which community members donated ski jackets, snow pants, mittens and goggles. Despite the generosity of the community, clothing donations ran short. The Christian Center pitched in by providing ski jackets and pants to help make sure that every scholarship student was properly attired to hit the slopes.

Rob Harter, Executive Director of the Christian Center, noted, "We are happy to support YSA’s ‘Get Out & Play Program’ by providing the necessary ski clothing including hats, gloves, pants, etc. so that the youth who are a part of this program have what they need to have a great experience on the mountain. We are excited about what YSA is doing in general and this program in particular because it is such a fun-filled recreational opportunity for the students of our community."

The Get Out & Play sports program is a unique community partnership, giving elementary students the opportunity to try a variety of sports in a safe, supervised setting regardless of financial need. Led by the YSA, this program is a cooperative effort between local venues including Deer Valley, The Mine Bouldering Gym, the Park City Ice Arena, Park City Mountain, Utah Olympic Park and White Pine Nordic Center, and coaches for many local competitive sports teams including Figure Skating Club of Park City, Fly Freestyle, Park City Ice Miners, Park City Nordic Ski Club, the Park City Speed Skating Club, Team Park City United, Team Utah and Young Riders, along with more than 100 parent volunteers who all worked to together to provide local elementary school children the chance to learn new skills at reduced prices.

The Youth Sports Alliance supports winter sport activities for youth in Summit and Wasatch counties, promoting good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles through participation, education and competition. The Alliance raises funds for its nine affiliated sports teams, provides scholarships for Junior athletes through the Stein Eriksen YSA Opportunity Endowment and organized the Get Out & Play after school ‘learn-to’ program. YSA member teams include: Figure Skating Club of Park City, Park City Ice Miners, Park City Ski Team, Park City Speed Skating Club, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United, Utah Olympic Sports Clubs (Fly Freestyle, Park City Nordic Ski Club, G-Force Bobsled & Skeleton), Wasatch Freestyle Foundation and Wasatch Luge Club.

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