Snowsports Education Association and Women’s Empowerment Group Partner to Make Snowsports More Inclusive
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (August 4, 2021) – The Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) recently partnered with Women of Winter to host instructor education events for female Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) that will encourage and support BIPOC women to pursue opportunities to teach skiing or snowboarding.
“PSIA-AASI remains committed to helping grow inclusion within the snowsports industry,” said PSIA-AASI Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Herrin. “After seeing the success of Women of Winter’s events, we’re thrilled to partner with them to create more opportunities for women, and especially BIPOC women. I hope this partnership is one way to be part of the change as we diversify snowsports instruction and welcome more people to the ski and snowboard industry.”
The PSIA-AASI and Women of Women partnership will host three instructor certification events around the country for BIPOC women during the 2021-22 season and provide participants scholarships to attend. The events will support BIPOC women by empowering them with the education to feel confident in their skiing, snowboarding, and teaching skills and to use this education to welcome other BIPOC women and girls into the snowsports community.
“By actively working to diversify snowsports, we are saying to everyone – ‘You belong here, you are welcome here,’” said Women of Winter founder Chris Walch.
The partnership will help welcome more BIPOC women to snowsports by:
- Highlighting BIPOC women snowsports instructors as role models through images, marketing materials, and stories.
- Creating PSIA-AASI certification events developed in collaboration with BIPOC women for BIPOC women.
- Fostering a community to ensure BIPOC women feel welcome and included on the hill.
- Eliminating cost barriers by providing scholarships and also gear from PSIA-AASI Official Suppliers.
Women of Winter 2021 scholarship recipient Carolyn Stempler said it’s time the ski and snowboard industry creates more diversity on the mountain and in leadership roles. She said, “I have taken over 100 days of lessons over the years to improve my skills and I have only had two Black instructors. My PSIA-AASI certification enables me to be part of the change.”
“For us to achieve our mission of inspiring and empowering women and girls to get outside and boldly pursue their dreams by carving their own paths in the mountains and in life, we’re focusing a large part of our efforts on BIPOC women, the most underrepresented demographic in snowsports,” said Walch.
Walch states that representation matters, and that when trying something new or achieving a goal it’s important to see other people who share your set of experiences succeeding, and that the PSIA-AASI and Women of Winter partnership will encourage and support more BIPOC women to work as instructors and serve as role models for other BIPOC women and girls.
“We are so proud to partner with PSIA-AASI and are grateful for its leadership championing these efforts,” said Walch. “With over 32,000 members, PSIA-AASI is undoubtedly one of the most influential bodies in snowsports worldwide. Standing up and proudly backing gender and racial equity initiatives serves as a loud siren call to everyone that the snowsports industry is primed and ready to make these changes – so get on board.”
You can follow PSIA-AASI and Women of Winter on Facebook @thesnowpros and @womenofwinterbzn or Instagram @thesnowpros and @womenofwinter.
About Women of Winter
Women of Winter is a grassroots organization founded in Big Sky, Montana, in December 2018 by Chris Walch and several other badass women who knew their stories needed to be shared. Women of Winter’s mission is to inspire and empower women and girls to get outside, to be courageous and to boldly embrace and pursue their dreams by carving their own paths in the mountains and in life.
The Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) is a nonprofit education association – and close-knit community – of more than 32,000 snowsports professionals dedicated to creating life-changing experiences for others through snowsports instruction. PSIA-AASI members give people the gift of freedom, health, and the ability to enjoy sports that will reward them for life. Members of PSIA-AASI are busy creating the future of skiing and snowboarding – the association is there to help make that job easier, providing the platform and support to ensure their success.
For more information about PSIA-AASI or Women of Winter, or interviews with Nicholas Herrin or Chris Walch, contact Katrina Brinkerhoff at [email protected] or 720.963.4825.