Hailey Laing finds her way down the banked slalom course at Murray Ridge on February 6 during the competition part of a RBC Riders event which introduces young snowboarders to coaching and competition.

Murray Ridge attracts young riders

Fifteen young snowboarders braved cold wind and blowing snow on Sunday, February 6 to better themselves.

M.R PROMO from Josh White on Vimeo.

Fifteen young snowboarders braved cold wind and blowing snow on Sunday, February 6 to better themselves. The group were participating in an RBC Riders event at Murray Ridge, a sponsored day to introduce younger snowboarders to competitive snowboarding. Participants sign up for the day and spend the morning being coached by experienced snowboard coaches and then get to take part in a fun but competitive race in the afternoon. The event labels itself “A fun, secure, multi-skilled entry level snowboarding event for youth.” “The most important thing is to spark a bit of a passion for competition,” said Levi Froese, one of the coaches at Saturday’s event. ” The whole program is aimed towards giving kids that first step.” Froese is an 11 year veteran coach, who also competed when he was younger. Participants in the RBC events must be between the ages of 8 and 16 years old, with anywhere from 0 to 3 years of riding experience. Two first time participants in the program seemed positive about what they were getting out of the experience. Zachary Morris, a 16 year old from Prince George, said “It’s a pretty good system, the coaches teach you a lot -it’s a really good introduction to the sport.” Another first-timer was 11 year old Dawson Ellery of Prince George who said, “We’re getting pretty good coaching and experience.” Some of the riders had been to more than one RBC Rider event and were continuing to improve their skills. Meryeta O’Dine is a 13 year old snowboarder who had been to two previous RBC Rider days, one at Powder King, and one at Big White. “It’s really fun meeting new people and challenging (yourself),” said O’Dine, who place in both previous events and said she learned how to carve properly, improve her jumping and how to maintain control at higher speeds from the coaching she received. The afternoon competition at Murray Ridge had a few additional challenges with a return to colder temperatures, wind and blowing snow. But the snow quality was good and the banked slalom course was something a little different for most of the participants. The day of racing and coaching cost parents $10 for Canadian Snowboard Association members and $30 for non-members. Final Results: Girls ages 8-10 First: Hailey Laing Girls ages 13-14 First: Meryeta O’Dine Second: Dana Bichon Girls ages 15-16 First: Hillary Hamblin Boys ages 11-12 First: Evan Bichon Second: Dawson Ellery Third; Jaxyn MacPheat Boys ages 13-14 First: Brandon Markert Second: Tor Green Third: Joe Reise Fourth: Jared Hancock Boys ages 15-16 First: Austin Stedeford Second: River Reise Third: Josh Bleakley Fourth: Zachary Morris