After more than two years of fundraising, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program (WASP) hosted its grand opening of a new facility on Whistler Mountain Friday, called the Jeff Harbers Adaptive Sports Centre.
The building houses all of WASP's on-mountain programming, with a two-storey building at Olympic Station on Whistler Mountain — including WASP's growing collection of sit skis, mono skis, adaptive snowboards, harnesses and gear for visually and hearing impaired skiers.
Currently WASP has about 180 volunteer instructors and over 600 participants each year. This year WASP will provide programming for over 1,700 individuals in alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, trail riding, hand cycling, rowing, gymnastics, swimming, triathlon, paddling sports and biking.
The facility was named for Jeff Harbers, a former Microsoft executive who was a huge supporter of adaptive sports in Whistler and a founding member of the American Friends of Whistler. Harbers died in a plane crash in 2006.
Supporters of the centre include the Harbers family, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, the American Friends of Whistler, Teck, Whistler Blackcomb, Scotiabank, Telus, Actioncom, Borden Ladner and Gervais, the Abercrombie Foundation, Weyerhaeuser, TR Fire Protection, Glacier Creek Contracting, Goldman Sachs Gives, the Delta Whistler Village Suites, the Pan Pacific/Dubh Linn Gate, Fraserwood, Coast Mountain Excavation, Snow Mountain Projects, Bunbury and Associates, Kat Sullivan Design, Alpine West, Coast Mountain Mechanical, GHL, Glotman Simpson, Precision Painting, Tire Stewardship of BC and Andrew Terret Architecture. The Rotary Club of Whistler provided the original adaptive skiing facility, which WASP has used the past 10 years.