Why we need to talk about Diversity in Snowsports

Diversity in Snowsports is written by Scherrie Donaldson

“I love snowboarding, why haven’t we done this before?” asked my four-year-old after his very first snowboarding lesson a couple years ago. The truth is, I had no real answer for him, except that snow sports were not introduced to me when I was growing up and really never thought of it as something that was for me. 

His innocent question and my children’s immediate enthusiasm for these sports sparked a soul-searching quest for the underlying reasons that snow -sports had not been on my radar. The eye-opening truth is, I had subconsciously come to the conclusion that skiing and snowboarding were luxury sports for people who did not look like me. You see, all of the images I have seen of professional skiers, snowboarders and even advertisements for ski resorts and gear featured only white people. 

After becoming a parent, I pledged that I would diligently expose my own children to everything which would give them a variety of academic and leisure activities to choose from when they come of age. This would hopefully provide them the edge needed to help in bridging the disparity they have been predisposed to just because of their race. 

Why we need to talk about Diversity in Snowsports

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that they have easily picked up and seem to truly enjoy, so we have taken family ski trips a couple times a year. My three boys look forward to getting out on the mountains and working on their techniques oblivious to being in the minority whereas, as adults we feel that we stick out like sore thumbs. 

Okemo 2018

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Our experiences on the mountains, especially in Vermont, have been extremely pleasant. Fellow skiers and snowboarders are pretty helpful on and off the slopes but we are still aware of the fact that people who look like us are few and far between and when we spot another person of color there is always an obligatory acknowledgement which often leads to a conversation about where we are each from. These types of meetings definitely make us feel more at ease and are even sometimes initiated by people of other races praising us for exploring these sports.

I have teamed up with a fellow influencer, Tomika Bryant of Life in Pumps, in an effort to encourage more families of color to get out on the slopes. We hope that being the “first ones in the pool” will inspire others to feel that they belong on the mountains and motivate them to try a new sport!

Follow Scherrie @ThirtyMommy and with hashtag #diversityontheslopes

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Why we need to talk about Diversity in Snowsports

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