Eighteen women will receive coursework fees and equipment to advance their education in snowsports.
West Lebanon, NH (March 15, 2021) Blizzard Tecnica is proud to announce the awards granted for the Women2Women (W2W) Education Scholarship – their inaugural scholarship for women looking to advance their education in snowsports. Over 300 women from North America and Europe submitted applications, of which the brands selected 18 recipients, awarding over $15,000 in scholarships and Blizzard Tecnica equipment.
Coursework for the grants range from AIARE 1 to AMGA ski guiding to Adaptive Sports instruction, representing a mix of personal and professional goals for recipients, something Program Director, Leslie Baker-Brown felt was an important element to the program. “We didn’t want to limit awards to only those pursuing advanced, professional-level courses,” said Baker-Brown. “W2W is dedicated to empowering all women in skiing, so by including courses that help women achieve not just professional goals but also personal goals, such as AIARE 1, we are able to further strengthen the community.”
As part of the submission process, applicants were instructed to share why they were applying for the scholarship. Upon reviewing all entries, a clear theme became present – the desire to create a more inclusive, accessible space for women and the next generation.
“In 2000, three percent of ski guides in Canada were female,” stated scholarship recipient, Kendra Hicks. “Today, that number has risen to nine percent. Over the years, I’ve taken many courses, mostly from men. It was common for me to feel intimated, discouraged, or in some cases harassed, often being the only girl in some of these courses. I found that with any female instructor I took a course from, I would cling to them like a small child to their mother. I was able to relate to their style of teaching. More than anything it was a huge relief seeing someone like me, a girl, setting an example. I finally felt like I belonged.” Whistler-based Hicks will take the ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide Exam with her grant, hoping to make backcountry skiing a more inclusive environment.
Blizzard Tecnica’s W2W program is widely considered one of the most committed women’s programs in skiing, closely and continually evaluating women’s products, needs, and lifestyles as they pertain to skiing. This was the first year for the scholarship program, but given its success and positive influence, Baker-Brown plans to continue it.
“One of the key pillars of the W2W program is Education,” explained Baker-Brown. “By helping women advance their education in snowsports, we’re not only helping them as individuals, but all of the girls and women they affect through their work. It’s imperative to bringing more women into skiing and empowering them to use their voice on and off the hill.”
SIA is the winter industry's non-profit trade association, supporting its members through insightful research, education and events, while advocating for issues that impact the future of the industry. We're United By Winter, Join Us.