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Details announced for Bike Swap, first Toonie

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This year the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association's annual bike swap will take place after the first official Toonie Ride (formerly Loonie Race) on April 30.

The swap was moved because of the difficulty staging the event on the last day of operations for the Creekside Gondola, which was moved up a week this year to April 19. Rather than compete with the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, WORCA postponed the swap to Saturday, May 5.

The venue and times are still being confirmed but it will likely be in the Creekside area once again. The particulars are the same - $2 per item on display, and 10 per cent off items $999 or less or 15 per cent off items over $1,000, with all proceeds going towards WORCA Youth Programs. Depending on cash sales, sellers may have to wait for a few days after the swap to receive their money - WORCA spent most of its cash reserves on trail projects last year and the group doesn't have enough in the bank to cover all the credit card sales until they can be processed. More information at www.worca.com.

The first Toonie race is a ride through whatever trails are open in Lost Lake Park. WORCA is sponsoring the first event, with registration from 5:30 p.m. and the race start at 6 p.m. Apres is at the Squamish-Lil'wat Cultural Centre.

Tickets available for Reel Ice Show

Every second season the Whistler Skating Club hosts another themed gala evening where all of their skaters get to perform in groups and their solo routines. The club also brings in guest skaters, and this year is no exception with national level skater Gary Wong taking to the ice.

The theme for this year's show is Hollywood, and there are three performances open to parents, friends and the public. The first show is on Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m. and there are two shows on Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children aged three to nine.

Tickets will be available at the door.

To help cover costs, the Whistler Skating Club is also holding a raffle, with prizes that include a 2009-2010 Whistler Blackcomb Season Pass, a Vermont Castings Barbecue, a "Mom's Day Off" gift basket, a "Dad's Gift Pack" and more. Tickets are three for $5 or $2 each and are available at Double Diamond Law, Mountain Law, Squamish Athletic Club, Whistler Physiotherapy, Whistler Real Estate Company, and through WSC members. The draw date is May 11.


A touch of rugby

For years Whistler has fielded a rugby team that takes part in summer tournament and exhibition games against teams from the Lower Mainland. But this summer - with enough support - Mark Baldwin is hoping to establish a fun touch league as well. The rules are similar to rugby, as players run forward with the ball and pass it backwards to their teammates until a player is touched by an opposing player. The player then stops, touches the ball to his/her foot and resumes play until someone drops a ball, bumps a ball forward while catching it, passes the ball forward, runs out of bounds or runs out of field. It's a great workout, and something actual rugby players do to get into competitive condition.

If you're interested in joining a touch league, contact Mark Baldwin at mdb_nz@hotmail.com. Dates and times will be announced in the coming weeks.

Province invests $5 million on amateur sports

This week, the province of B.C. announced $5 million in funding for amateur sports programs across the province, which can be accessed by 65 provincial sport organizations through Sport B.C.

The money is used to develop and support amateur sport at the community levels, in whatever makes the most sense in terms of recruiting athletes to the sport and getting programs off the ground.

For example, funding over the last five years has helped Gymnastics B.C. to increase enrollment by more than 25 per cent across the province.

Over the past year Sport B.C. has been working with the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport and other stakeholders to realign sports and recreation sectors to increase participation.

Calling all climbers

It may still be winter in the valley, but the weather is always fine for climbing at the Whistler Core.

On April 20, The Core is bringing back its Hardcore Bouldering Competition, which last year was a huge success with 50 adults competing in different categories and almost the same number of kids taking part in a fun competition earlier in the day.

The competition runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with athletes scoring themselves on a series of challenging routes. No ropes or harnesses are required.

The cost is $25 for members and $40 for non-members, and everybody has a chance to win draw prizes donated by local businesses. Everybody also gets a T-shirt.

The Fun Kids Comp is from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is open to everyone as well as the kids enrolled The Core's youth programs. The cost is $5, which also includes T-shirts and draw prizes. Registration is available at The Core.

WORCA looking for a 20 th anniversary logo

The Whistler Off Road Cycling Association turned 20 a month ago, and WORCA is celebrating the anniversary through the season. One component of the celebration is an anniversary bike jersey.

WORCA is currently holding a contest to design the jersey. Designs must be one colour, and should be visible on black, grey and red shirts. The design will likely be printed in black, grey, white and possibly red.

The design must fit the dimensions indicated on the PDF information sheet posted onine at www.worca.com. You don't have to incorporate the WORCA logo, but it should mention WORCA and the fact it's the 20 th anniversary. Designs should be submitted as PDFs, but other formats can be accepted as well.

The prize for the best design, as selected by the board of directors, is a free shirt, a WORCA membership and $75.

Designs should be submitted to tracy_howlett@hotmail.com by May 4, 2009. The winning design will be selected at the May 6 board meeting, and the winners will be announced that week. The shirts will be available in early June.

Youth soccer gets underway

The Whistler Youth Soccer Club is already hosting indoor practices, and outdoor practices for the Pemberton Youth Soccer Club get underway on April 14. The first games in the Green River League begin on Saturday, May 2.

Spaces have opened up in both clubs since the fall session, and teams are looking for players. To register for Whistler visit www.whistlersoccer.com. For Pemberton, contact league administrator Bettina Falloon at 604-894-6130.

Registration is also underway for the Vancouver Whitecaps "Play like a Pro" camp on April 18-19. Early registration is recommended as the camp is expected to sell out early. Whistler players can register at their homepage, and Pemberton players can register at www.hometeamsonline.com/pembertonsoccer. Registration for summer sports camps is open as well.

And as always, the league is looking for qualified referees to help out. The clubs are offering a "Small Side Referee Course" on April 25 that covers the basics. Referees get paid for games. Contact Bettina Falloon or Angela Mellor at 604-938-0209 to register.

Coaches are also in demand. For parents looking to get involved the clubs are hosting a level one coaching course in Pemberton on April 18. The Community Coach Children's course is specifically tailored to coaches working with kids aged 6-10. Details at www.whistlersoccer.com.

Just do it...

Registration is open for several local biking and running events.

The Mind Over Mountain adventure race is Squamish takes place on May 23, with a 50 km course as well as a and 30 km beginner route. The race includes trail running, navigation, mountain biking, and a rappel stage. More information and registration at www.mindovermountain.com.

The Whistler Kids of Steel Triathlon and Adult Try-a-Tri is available through the Whistler Triathlon Club, www.whistlertriclub.ca. Both events take place on Saturday, May 23, with a pool swim, road cycle and run on the valley trail.

Registration for the annual Whistler Valley Trail Run, taking place on Sunday, May 24, is at www.whistlervalleytrailrun.ca. Both 5 km and 10 km courses are available.

Registration for the 25 km Comfortably Numb Trail Run, taking place Saturday, June 27, also opened recently. More details and registration is available at www.comfortablynumb.ca.

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