8 a.m. on the second day of spring break and most students are fast asleep enjoying dreams of no school, beaches and sun. Everyone is finally getting that rest that all students need after a hard week of midterms and a half year of class with the exception of 22 Sierra Nevada College students. For them it’s an early morning of high anticipation for Jibs 4 Kids 2013.
It started two winters ago as my service learning project for Interdisciplinary Studies, and now has become a tradition. The purpose of Jibs 4 Kids has always been to promote student athlete mentorship, freestyle skiing and snowboarding, friendly and healthy competition in the outdoors Beginning this year it also raised money for charity. Each contestant paid a $10 entry fee in order to compete. The fee was donated to the Big Brother Big Sister foundation. To honor the event SNC also donated $100 to the Big Brother Big Sister foundation.
In my opinion, the biggest positive besides raising money for charity is the student athlete mentorship. Jibs 4 Kids ultimately showcases students who commit their lives towards academia and yet still find time to enjoy winter sports and excel at them. The message is to show youth that you can be committed to school and sports, and succeed in both. The combination of physical and mental challenge can create powerful personal traits such as strong work ethic, commitment, self confidence and a drive to succeed.
Jibs 4 Kids 2013 had a little more flair than previous years. For the first time, the contest was held at Homewood Mountain Resort on the West Shore. Students who went with SNC received a free lift ticket courtesy of SNC. Homewood Mountain Resort is not popular with SNC students, so most students who went really enjoyed a new resort and aspect of the lake.
In addition to the new location, the winners packages were improved. Some winners received cash prizes up to $100, a new snowboard, or various outerwear pieces, in contrast to previous years when the prize was bragging rights and a small outerwear package. This year, the contest had several local sponsors, including Local Knits (founded by SNC student, Ethan Rollins), Big Truck hats, Homewood Mountain Ski Resort, Thrive Snowboards, SNC, and others. Entertainment was provided by a local DJ.
Moving the location to Homewood Mountain Resort meant larger infrastructure, a better contest set up, and more people to watch and participate. The overall result was like jumping from college nationals to the X games for a snow sports enthusiast. It created a feeling of excitement.
The contest started at noon with a bang. Students had the option to simply enjoy Homewood Mountain Resort with their free ticket or to compete. Riders and skiers of all ages, both male and female, performed as if they were trying to make the Olympics. Friends and rivals pushed each other to step up their tricks all in the name of good old fashioned competition. Effort was put forth for personal accomplishment rather than recognition, national ranking or a gold medal especially for those who had never competed before such as Morgan Burke and Kim Brault who had never dreamed of competing in a contest yet entered anyway because of the laid-back environment and vibe.
The contest lasted almost three hours. Participants were timed in a heat and then the top skiers and riders in their category were picked for a final round. During the finals participants brought a level of creativity that would impress Da Vinci himself. After the contest winners were awarded, pictures were taken and everyone seemed to leave with a feeling of happiness. The kind of happiness one might find after completing a final exam and knowing you did well on it.
This kind of event really shows what SNC is all about outside of academics. It shows fun in the outdoors, friends pushing friends to a new level of accomplishment through the competition, responsibility to the community through the money raised for charity, excellent athleticism and commitment to a craft and setting an example for youth by providing role model students who commit to school and an athletic passion.