Tim Nixon and Dave Ouellette intend to expose even more people to winter action sports this year with a bigger and better BP Snow Park Project.
“Ninety-five percent of people who came out last year were first-timers,” Ouellette said of the project, which is returning to Lambton College grounds for a second season.
“People were coming out to learn things like stopping and edging before they went out to the actual slopes. It’s really beneficial.”
The outdoor, straight-line cable system allows participants, snow permitting, to try snowboarding and snowtubing at various levels of difficulty — a first-of-its-kind concept in Ontario.
Instructors can walk alongside beginners, while rails and jumps will be set up for advanced riders, travelling up to 34 km/hr. The system is located at the college’s east-end soccer field, near the RBC Centre.
They’ve partnered with Lambton College, the Students’ Association, local Carpenter’s Union and Sarnia Snowfest.
College students can access to free riding and lessons, with a focus on providing winter gear to those in need, said Nixon.
“The college has a large international population and they came out in huge numbers last year, and loved it,” said Nixon. “But we noticed most of them were coming near the end of the season, when it was milder. They didn’t have hats, mitts — it was the first winter for a lot of them, so we’re looking to get some gear on site so they can enjoy it all winter long.”
Community sponsors are being sought to offset the cost of purchasing a size run of coats, snow pants and gloves.
With enough sponsorships, they’re also hoping to provide free Saturdays in the month of February.
“We’re hoping to open the first weekend of February, and get at least six weeks in, but it always depends on the weather,” said Nixon, noting that lights are set up for night riding.
They’re using the same cable system that introduced wakeboarding and wakeskating to Sarnia bay, where Boarder Pass originated in 2010 — the brainchild of Nixon and co-owner Chris Smith, who have since launched sites in Hamilton and Niagara, introducing 10,000 people to the sport.
For more, including sponsorship opportunities, email [email protected]