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One area where Kemp sees room for improvement is in school groups. Following a lawsuit by a high school snowboarder who was injured in the terrain park, school group participation declined for several years but is now on its way back up.
“That was definitely an area of concern for us, and why we are taking active measures to make sure we get the youth out there and participating,” she said. “We don’t leave it up to them to decide whether or not to get involved, we’re actually putting it right in front of them to learn to ski and ride at Whistler-Blackcomb. The more kids we can get to try it, the more that they are going to become lifelong skiers and snowboarders.”
According to Natalie Laplante, who recently released a study of ski and snowboard trends for the 2006-07 season, the Canadian Ski Council has been working on a report regarding minorities that is due out in the new year.
The study was compiled using data from the 2001 census, and is now being updated with the latest census numbers. If anything, she says the latest figures underline the shift towards foreign-born citizens and their growing importance to the well-being of the ski industry.
“I know operators are keen to see the study in the New Year, which will include an evaluation on how some of our programs to engage these communities are working,” she said.