136 Kids Test Their Legsat Snowboarding during Interski Congress 2019

March 19 2019

One hundred and thirty-six children from Smolyan, Chepelare and the village of Pavelskomade their first steps in snowboarding with the help of the best instructors gathered at the 2019 Interski Congress in Pamporovo. This initiative, launched by the Interski School, targeted girls and boys from disadvantaged families in the region. While it will continue for the next 5 years, by March 23 – the closing date of the Interski Congress 2019 – the kids, aged 7 through 12, will have the rare opportunity to work with top visiting instructors from 36 countries. Trainingwill be delivered in two-hour sessions every day, while the trainers will rotate constantly. Then the kids will continue to ski thanks to a fundraising campaign organized for their benefit.

On Monday, children from 1st through 6th grade donned for their first time their brand new skiing gear supplied by the Atomic company of Sweden. The equipment will remain at the Pamporovo ski school and will be used for training sessions till 2023.

Once they put on their boots and snowboards, the boys and girls were divided into groups according to their skill levels and took their first lesson.

‘Training children from the host country of the current Interski congress has become a tradition and is a way for us to show our appreciation for the opportunity to be all at one place,’ said Tom Danielson of Sweden, who is one of the coordinators of the Interski Ski School Project. ‘The purpose is to teach children how to ski and snowboard, and enjoy the snow sports. Part of them have some previous experience, for others this may be their first lesson, but everybody is making good progress. Most of them cannot afford to pay for this. That is why our job is so important. We are happy to be able to help them get a taste of something that they could never have a chance to experience otherwise,’ he added.

The instructors from the Interski Congress work with the girls and boys from Smolyan, Chepelare and Pavelsko with genuine pleasure and a smile on their faces. To them, training children is one of their most exciting experiences in Bulgaria and a chance to exchange expertise amongst themselves. It is not accidental that this initiative, which began in South Korea back in 2007, and in Ushuaia, Argentina, already involved 60 children, has grown in Bulgaria into a serious commitment towards 163 boys and girls.

‘Our work with children will certainly have an effect on them,’ was the confident opinion of AsparukhMachirski, the Bulgarian coordinator of the project, a member of the board of the Bulgarian Ski School Association and of the organizing committee of the Interski Congress 2019. He is also the owner of one of the major skiing and snowboarding schools in this country, the Machirski Ski School. In his view, while not every participating child willcontinue to ski in the future, getting half of them hooked on show sports would be more than enough. In any event, being part of the training will give them an emotional high, and once they overcome the initial stress and anxiety, their joy with snowboarding and skiing will be complete. In addition to providing them with the basic skills, the Interski initiative will have a beneficial effect on their health. Getting started with brand new gear is also important, as the children take this emotionally, as a source of pride and joy.