It’s the season when winter-sports lovers try to make it up to the slopes as often as they can. The Get Out and Play program has been making it possible for Park City elementary school students to do so for years. KPCW’s Emily Means has this.
The Youth Sports Alliance took on the Get Out and Play program 10 years ago, helping working parents with childcare when students get out of school early and providing students with the opportunity to try new sports. Youth Sports Alliance Executive Director Emily Fisher says as soon as the bell rings, volunteers help kids suit up, and then it’s off to the mountain.
“Basically every Friday, all the students in Park City get out at 12:30, and we run programs on those early-release days," Fisher said. "Our programs run for the full school year, but right now we start all of our ski programs. So there’s nearly 600 students who will be participating in those ski programs, and we have alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, ski jumping—a whole variety of things for kids to try in just bite-sized, affordable ways.”
Xanti, a fifth grader, has been participating in Get Out and Play since first grade. She learned to ski through the program and has met students she wouldn’t have otherwise.
“The thing I like the best is that Get Out and Play gives you a really great opportunity, so that you can learn and you can make new friends,” Xanti said.
Winter sports can be a bit cost-prohibitive, especially when trying to keep up with growing kids’ gear needs. The Youth Sports Alliance partners with a variety of community organizations to provide lessons, gear and transportation for Get out and Play, including Deer Valley Resort, Rossignol and the Solomon Fund. Youth Sports Alliance Development Director Jana Dalton says this season, a community partner has provided an extra avenue for funding the program.
“Vail Epic Promise has generously given us 500 lift tickets to sell in the community at a discounted rate of $135 each, so that’s less than the ticket window," Dalton said. "The great thing about this is that 100% of the proceeds go directly back to Youth Sports Alliance, so that they can help students like Xanti get out on the mountain.”
For more information about discounted lift tickets and program registration, visit ysaparkcity.org.