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Virtual Youth Snowboard Competition Aims to Raise Funds to Combat Climate Change

Genius Sk8 and Snow

With the COVID-19 pandemic still forcing many events to be canceled this winter, one 11-year-old Parkite is hoping to get kids competing again, virtually. 


Steele Stark knew he wanted to turn his passion for skateboarding and snowboarding into a career at a young age. Now, he’s successfully put on several youth skate and snowboard events and is currently hosting a virtual competition this month. He’s also only 11.


Stark says it all started about four years ago when his dad asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. Out of that conversation came an organization called Genius Sk8 and Snow, which he runs.


“Around a pretty young age at, like, six or seven, he’s like, ‘oh, what do you want to do with your life?’” said Stark. “And I was just getting into skateboarding and snowboarding during that time and I was like I want to do something with skateboarding and snowboarding. Eventually it turned into Genius and now we’re here.”


For the first two weeks of March, Stark will be hosting the Genius Life virtual snowboard contest. Kids 15 and under can submit minute-long videos of them snowboarding to compete for prizes from sponsors like High Cascade camps and Shredog clothing. Stark says the kids themselves will also be able to judge the competition. 


“One of our sponsors, Shredog, recommended that we have the kids vote and have the judges finish it off at the end and I thought that was a really cool idea, so the kids will be in the judging aspect and, yes, there will be prizes won,” he said.


At the end of voting, the top seven videos in each category will then be judged by professional snowboarders to determine the winners.


Stark is also hoping to raise at least $500 for Protect Our Winters, which is an advocacy group that works to protect outdoor places and lifestyles from the effects of climate change, a cause that’s near and dear to his heart.


Entry into the competition is free and donations to Protect our Winters are not required to participate, but are encouraged.


The Genius Life virtual snowboard contest runs through March 15th. For more information or to submit a video, click here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.