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For the Good Cause

11:03 6th April 2010 by Uli Köhler @ulikoehler
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We snowboarders like to moan about a lot of things: After destroying your pants in an attempt to jump the barbed wire fence nothing matches your awesome pink puffy jacket anymore. You arrive at the remote resort only to find out the 50 centimeters of fresh came down in the adjacent valley. You are at a party and they ran out of your favourite beer. You suck at backside spins. Basically, you think life is hard.

Sometimes it might be a good idea to double-check if times are really that tough – or if you are blessed after all to be able to indulge in a sport as great as snowboarding. Because for some people snowboarding is far beyond their reach or even expectations. Every now and then we should leave our own petty problems behind and try help those who are truly in need.

Hang on! What’s all this pretentious gibberish? Is this Sunday school? No worries, a press release from Burton Europe just made us think a little. Basically, they went all charity and helped some disadvantaged kids get the shred on. Here’s how:

All photos: Cyril

All photos: Cyril

Last Saturday a four-week snowboard program for disadvantaged kids from several aid organizations in Tyrol/Austria came to an end. It was the third time the “Chill” project took place in the resort of Serfaus. Over four consecutive Saturdays the kids had the chance to learn how to snowboard. Chill cooperated with the welfare projects “SOS-Kinderdorf BIWAK”, the assisted living community Telfs and “Nestwärme” as well as the youth probation service “Jugendwohnstart”. Chill was realised with support from Burton Snowboards, The Komperdellbahn Serfaus, the Ski school Serfaus and MPREIS/Baguette.

Goal of the Chill program has been to create a unique and positive experience for the kids. Because a feeling of success in sports and an active lifestyle have a positive and sustained effect on kids. Perseverance, the learning of new skills, falling down and getting up again, being proud: These experiences have a long-lasting effect way beyond the days of the Chill project.

Chill_Serfaus_by Cyril

The third edition of the Chill project has been a great success. 38 kids took part and were thrilled about the days in Serfaus. Their quick progress on the board helped maintain the positive vibe throughout the entire four weeks. Some of the kids had never done any winter sports in the Tyrolean mountains before. 16-year-old Latif from BIWAK Hall, said: Snowboarding and the young people are really cool. It is great fun to practice with the snowboard instructors. I am now a really good snowboarder.” Beginner Amela, 15 years old, from the assisted living community in Telfs, added: “I fell down so many times and collected some bruises. But now I can do turns. It was so much fun. I would take part again!”

And Lorenz Kerer, head of the BIWAK project, was excited about the whole event: “You can’t really say much about Burton’s Chill project: If you look into the eyes of the kids, you can tell how successful it really is.” Nguyen Minh, head of the assisted living community in Telfs and Haus am Lohbach, had this to say: “Chill does not talk about the kids’ potential. It is about offering the opportunity to really discover and show it. This is its refreshing key to success!”

Burton is grateful for the support from Serfaus – in particular the Komperdellbahn Serfaus, the Ski school Serfaus and Patscheider Sport + Mode – as well as MPREIS/Baguette for supporting the Chill program once again. Without this support the project could not have been realised.

Chill_Serfaus_by Cyril_3

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