New programs starting this month

Staff writer
January 11, 2013 01:00 AM

Coast youth are enjoying a new beginner and intermediate downhill ski program at Cypress Mountain through the SC Spirit of Excellence program.

Sunshine Coast Spirit of Excellence has a host of new programs for youth set to start this month.

New students are being accepted for their popular beginner and intermediate downhill skiing program, which takes place Sundays at Cypress Mountain on Jan. 13 and 20. Parents drop off their kids at Elphinstone Secondary School in the morning and they are shuttled up to Cypress Mountain. Students enjoy four hours of instruction with ex-Olympic gymnast and freestyle skiing teacher Jesse Gemmell from Roberts Creek and Gibsons' Birgit Breuer who studied downhill skiing at the Olympic Centre in Munich.

"Spirit of Excellence will also continue to organize our run raisers for local elementary schools," said Breuer. "We have hired athletes to head weekly before school running clubs at Cedar Grove, Roberts Creek and Langdale elementary schools to raise funds for the respective parent advisory committees and to boost students' cardio levels. IGA Gibsons has generously offered post-run bananas as a recovery snack before students tackle their academic work."

In January and February Spirit of Excellence will run two fun pilot events in partnership with the YMCA. Kids aged five to 10 will compete in teams in the first ever mini-mudder event on Jan. 19 from 1 to 3 p.m. -rain or shine! Boys and girls will be split into equal teams racing an age appropriate course on forest trails while mastering mental challenges as well as skills such as balance, flexibility or team work in the beautiful YMCA forest and park setting. Hot chocolate will be served upon completion of the team challenge. Family and friends are encouraged to come out and cheer for their mini mudders.

Older kids aged 10 to 16 will get challenged in the premier Y Games here on the Coast on Feb. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. The Y Games borrow elements of the Hunger Games and The Amazing Race. Archery, short trail runs, high ropes and mental adventure team challenges will be some of the stations in an exciting race with a twist. School teams challenges are a possibility

The fee for the mini mudder or the Y Games is $15. Registration for all programs above is now open at

Breuer said by the end of January, Spirit of Excellence will introduce a school-to-pool program called Aquamania -fun cardio water games for elementary kids on Fridays at the Gibsons Aquatic Centre, volleyball learn-to-play classes for grades 2 and up, all year volleyball train and play for grades 4 and up, clinics and camps, and a badminton program in Sechelt and Roberts Creek.

"We are very excited to add high quality arts programs for kids and youth with established artists, such as stone sculpting, sport photography, recording studio intro, graffiti design, choreography, glass blowing, knife making and many more," she said. "Local athletes and artists will be sharing their spirit of excellence through a great variety of sports and hip art programs, as well as big live events with our local youth."

To learn more about all the programs and upcoming events see or check them out on Facebook at

- Submitted

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