Snowsports Industries America (SIA) announced a new platform, Generation Snow, to address the desire to increase participation in Winter snow sports. To launch this new initiative, SIA has partnered with the Share Winter Foundation; a national grantmaking organization working to improve the lives, health and fitness of youth through winter sports.
According to SIA’s 2019 Participation Report to be released this week, 24.6 million people participated in winter sports during the winter of 2018/19. While this is a slight increase of 1.2% year-over-year, as a whole, winter participation has seen only modest growth during the last 10 years. In effort to help rally the industry around this issue, SIA has made participation a major initiative for 2019 and beyond.
For instance, SIA has committed to helping add 100,000 new winter sports participants by 2028. In 2019, the Share Winter Foundation funded more than 38,000 youth in learn to ski, snowboard and nordic programs in 21 states, 60 ski areas and 159 schools. Share Winter works closely with carefully selected grantees to build efficient, effective, sustainable winter sports programs and pipelines to ongoing winter sports participation. Grants are distributed to youth (ages 5 – 18) learn to ski, snowboard and nordic programs that are carefully vetted, meet Share Winter’s competitive grant criteria and show the most promise for developing pathways for ongoing winter sports participation, said SIA. They place a high value on programs that provide opportunities to underserved communities and/or groups that are underrepresented in the winter sports community.
And thanks to SIA and NSAA, each donating $40,000, Share Winter anticipates reaching an additional 2,500 – 3,000 youth this year alone. However, the collective goal is much grander than that. SIA is challenging the winter industry to not just match, but to exceed their $40,000 donation in effort to reach the goal of 100,000 new youth on snow more quickly.
“Participation is a key initiative for SIA. Ensuring the growth of new participants into winter sports is critical to the future success of our industry,” says Nick Sargent, SIA president. “SIA is excited to partner with Share Winter not only for the positive growth they are generating in winter sports, but also for the pipeline they are helping to create for greater diversity in our sports. I challenge our industry to get involved and help us to reach our goal of 100,000 new youth on snow.”
“This partnership demonstrates the industry’s commitment to growing winter sports and offering opportunities to the next generation of skiers and riders, including creating a more diverse and inclusive snow sports community,” says Constance Beverley, Share Winter CEO.
SIA’s Generation Snow Platform Is Built on The Following Actions:
Share Winter Donation and Industry Match
SIA is challenging the industry to match their $40,000 donation to Share Winter to reach a goal of $100,000 in 2020.
Winter Gear Locker
Access to proper gear can be a significant barrier to participation. To address this issue, SIA is inviting any manufacturer to donate unused equipment to Share Winter, which will be distributed to deserving grassroots programs and young first-time snow sports enthusiasts as-needed.
Innovation and New Ideas
By looking at best practices, alternative methods, and non-traditional solutions from around the globe, SIA wants to broaden the definition of participation to include on and off hill opportunities, as well as elevate new and innovative ways to grow participation in all winter sports and help bring those to the forefront.
SIA is part of the launch of an industry-wide partnership with Share Winter amongst the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI), and the National Ski Patrol (NSP). With these snow industry partners, we’re facilitating collaboration across the winter industry by establishing participation as a priority for all key winter stakeholders. The on-going dialogue will focus on our collective partnership with Share Winter, focusing on introducing a new generation to winter sports and grow participation.
For more information, please visit https://snowsports.org/participation/