Exciting news from ILSA (the INdigenous Life Sport Academy, formerly, the First Nations Snowboard Team), via https://www.lifesportcanada.org/post/10-000-and-new-permanent-location-for-new-site-skatepark?fbclid=IwAR308WOm8oQRlRn7CjTecQG6P1wawZWLq3BTjjyZlIafh0wkyFesgb_d170
ILSA provides year-round programming, free access to training/certification programs and the opportunity to learn a lifelong sport, in a safe place, with other indigenous sport leaders
Building upon 16 years of success as the First Nations Snowboard Team, our membership and our communities have driven the next evolution of our non-profit. We are no longer a competitive team, instead, we are focused on unstructured sports and activities that benefit the mental health and physical well being our members. These are sports that don’t require a team or practice date so we can minimize barriers to participation and introduce our members to activities that help them cope with their daily lives and our shared inter-generational trauma.
$10,000 and new permanent location for New site skatepark
The latest crop of #ILSAcrew skaters got a big surprise last week 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.
ILSA is currently running a stunning online auction featuring a curated collection of custom skateboards created by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists across Turtle Island, plus some great items from our large family of passionate supporters and companies. 100% of proceeds will go to support Indigenous and in-care youth across the country.
The fundraiser runs until June 21, intersecting Summer Solstice, Indigenous Peoples Day, and Go Skateboarding Day.
Check out the live auction now, (at its relaunched website at 32 Auctions), place your bids and tell your friends!
ILSA QUICK FACTS
- Operating Since 2003
- Formerly the First Nations Snowboard Team
- Inducted into BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2018
- Over 300+ active Indigenous youth each year
- Creating role models for social change
- Holistic Model
- Indigenous Operated
- 3 Generations of active members
3 Parts to our Nonprofit: Clinics, Skateboard Donation Program and Free instructor and guide training
Current Activities: Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, Alpine Hiking and Skiing
Potential Future Programs: Golf, Surfing, Horseback Archery and more…
Follow them at https://www.instagram.com/ilsacrew/ and lift them up at the online auction which is live until June 21!