Hitting the slopes hit the spot

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A group photo of students in Banff on the ski and board trip, posing in front of their charter buses and a tree-covered mountain. 
All aboard for ski and board!  Solstice Morrell, executive assistant for the U of R Ski and Board Club

Freezing temperatures were fared well and nobody got hurt, so future trips are already in the works

by campbell stevenson, contributor

The University of Regina Ski and Board Club delivered on their promise to provide an “opportunity of a lifetime.” 

Reading Week couldn’t have arrived any sooner. For many, it was a well needed break from the constant pressure of university life. For 92 students, this time off meant spending a few days experiencing one of Canada’s most treasured ski resorts. Those who reserved their spots on the ski trip to Banff, Alberta didn’t know what to expect. 

Thrilled to have been able to cross skiing off his bucket list, campus friendly face Zuhruf Zarooq enjoyed his time in Banff. “This was the first ski trip I’ve been to. I would have never learned to ski if it wasn’t for the Ski and Board Club,” said Zarooq. “It was fabulous. The accommodations were good, I would probably go to the next one.”  

The university’s Ski and Board club is proud of their accomplishment, and everyone is savouring the success of the trip. “It was great. It took us a lot of effort to organize it, and it took a lot of time. We were able to do everything to the best of our extent,” said club president, Damond Wagner. 

The trip to the Sunshine Ski Resort was off to a rocky start the morning following their arrival, as extreme cold weather conditions delayed their excursion to the hill. Having to adjust to this would be no small feat, and being responsible for almost 100 people on a trip can be nerve-racking. 

However, advanced skier and environmental systems engineer Mathew Saleski saw no stress among the club organizers. “I think the club organized it pretty well, and handled the hill being delayed due to the cold pretty well,” said Saleski. Once the weather was tolerable, everyone was successfully brought to the hill. From there, skiers of all skill levels enjoyed themselves. 

“Sunshine was a good mix of easy and harder trails, and I think no matter the level of the skier there were trails for everyone,” said Saleski. It comes as a relief that no matter what skill level, all students were able to enjoy themselves and leave Banff with no injuries.  

“I’m glad I’m still alive,” Zarooq jokingly said. “Going to Banff as a beginner, I feel lucky.” 

A survey the club posted showed positive feedback to the trip. “Out of 43 responses that we got in the survey we did, 20 of them told us it was a 10 out of 10 [experience], 16 of them told us it was a nine out of 10, four that said it was an eight, and three that said it was a seven. Overall, that’s pretty good reviews,” said executive assistant Solstice Morrell. 

“I think it just shows how our teamwork came together,” said Wagner. The overwhelming positive response has influenced the club to begin planning for future trips almost immediately. “Right now, we’re planning a couple Mission Ridge nights coming up. For our trip next year, we’re going to start planning in the summer,” said Wagner. 

“To get good prices and stuff in Banff, the trip needs to be booked months and months in advance,” said club vice-president Aidan McMahon. The main goal will be to acquire more funds from a diverse group of local business owners. They will also turn to URSU for future funding. However, a higher demand of students for future trips would require a larger sum for funding. 

“We would like to take more but the big problem with that was the funding, and we can’t supply lessons just because of the prices and we just didn’t have the funding for that. That’s something in the future that we want to try to lower the cost of or incorporate within our trip,” said Wagner. 

The university’s Ski and Board Club is pre-emptively planning for the next big trip. Moving forward, they hope to offer more opportunities and unforgettable experiences. 

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