Kids have a new place to play in the wintertime. The National Winter Sports Education Foundation (NWSEF) just announced the grand opening of the National Winter Activity Center (NWAC) as the nation’s first private 501(c)(3) nonprofit winter sport facility for kids.
Formerly Hidden Valley Resort, NWAC will exclusively serve 6- through 17-year-olds, through partnerships with youth organizations. The arching purpose of the facility is to improve the health and fitness of our nation’s youth by providing access to winter sport activities, skill development, healthy meals, and mentoring. Upon acquiring Hidden Valley, NWAC invested more than $12 million toward overall improvements including new lifts, snow-making machinery, and renovations to the lodge.
Youth participants awill learn to ski and snowboard during the seven-session program in a 1-to-8 instructor ratio with PSIA and United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) trained coaches. Participating children are equipped with gear and will be active either in morning or afternoon sessions to meet with coaches for on-snow training. Each day will also include a healthy meal as part of the program’s core focus to improve the health and overall wellness. In total, participating children will experience around 40 hours of outdoor activity during the winter months.
U.S. Ski Team athletes will also visit and ski with kids at NWAC.
“National Winter Activity Center provides a one of a kind opportunity for youth who would typically not have the chance to experience winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding,” says CEO Schone Malliet. “Part of our goal is to help reverse the low retention rate in winter sports, while combatting childhood obesity and inspiring a lifelong habit of regular exercise during the winter months.”
NWSEF set benchmarks of introducing 4,200 children to snowsports over the next three years, retaining 50 percent as adaptors and encouraging 10 percent to eventually enter the world of competitive winter sports.
Important partners of the NWAC include Ted Ligety, U.S. Ski Team, Olympian and World Champion, USSA, the International Ski Federation (FIS), the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), SnowSports Industries America (SIA), Powdr Corp, Royal Trailworks, and HKD Snowmakers among others.