SPOTLIGHT: Let it snow(board)

Images provided by DSU
Images provided by DSU

DSU Ski and Snowboard Club takes members to higher altitudes

By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter

While rain flows abundantly in the Metro Vancouver area, the ambitions of winter athletes haven’t washed away at Douglas. Michael Sam, the current President of the DSU Ski and Snowboard Club, wants fellow students to know that there is a place for snow-loving students like himself.

“Living in an area of the world that has access to multiple mountains, why would there not be a club at Douglas where people can join and meet others who want to [enjoy the snow]?” Sam said.

The snow-centric group prides itself for providing students a rare opportunity amongst fellow passionate individuals. Sam, alongside his leadership team of four, regularly plans trips up to nearby mountains, including Seymour Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Whistler Blackcomb Mountain.

For a handful of years, the DSU Ski and Snowboard Club was inactive, but finally the club has seen leaders take position and a spiked interest during the current semester. Ashly Hill, founder and former president of the club saw that her initial passion for skiing and snowboarding created an avalanche of interest.

“When I originally decided to begin the club (in 2011), it was primarily due to wanting to start something that was non-existent at Douglas College,” Hill said.

“All the local universities such as SFU and UBC had existing ski and snowboard clubs and I knew it would become popular very fast. [Looking back], it was not as difficult to start as I had expected. The club was first established by myself and co-founder, Agatha Jiew.”

During the months without snow, Sam plans to host club events to continue building the community of snow-lovers whether on a mountain or off. Hill, a continuing supporter of the club, noted that being part of such a club opens opportunities to a province-wide community. In addition, students are entitled to big savings with a student pass for several local mountains. Currently, the club doesn’t have a set schedule for meetings, but intends to notify members of activities throughout the winter season through Facebook.

On November 26, the club is expected to make their way to Seymour for their first trip of the season. Sam is confident that current and potential members’ skill levels will improve by the end of the day, and hopes that some new members will develop a passion for the snowy mountains.

“I am a part of the club because I have a passion for going up to the mountains […] where there is beautiful scenery, which is exhilarating,” Sam said.

“I continue to stay because I want to share my passion with others to experience them [as well]. This club has helped to develop my leadership experience. To someone thinking about joining the club, you’ll learn about upcoming trips and events as well as meet new, friendly faces that you’ll develop great connections with.”