OK, so snow sports is not an accessible sport. We know this. It's something we reiterate because it's pretty central when thinking about how to go about diversifying snow sports. Snow sports are less accessible to women, the working class, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, the queer community, and the list goes on. Rather than let this tear us down, we at Coalition Snow believe that instead, we should come together and raise the voices of those who are generally left out of this sport in order to create this space. That’s what our platform and brand are all about.
A big issue with accessibility in snow sports is whether or not people are able to afford this very expensive sport. The costs add up, even for someone in a comfortable financial position. Lessons, gear, lift passes, trips, accommodation - not to mention the actual time off to enjoy it all - are required to learn and progress in skiing and snowboarding. Realistically, many people just aren’t able to do it. One solution, something we believe will help eliminate some of the various barriers in snow sport, is to create scholarships. The good news is, there’s a lot out there and these opportunities are continuing to grow.
If you are wondering how to support and share these scholarships, look no further. We’ve rounded up some of the awesome scholarships out there that you can apply to, donate to and share!
We've come up with a great however, non exhaustive list of scholarships that aim to diversify the mountain. One of Coalition Snow's ambassadors Lulu (@itsluluavila) has a great extensive resource of outdoor scholarships called the "Outdoor Inclusivity Project." It lists some awesome scholarships available for snow sports, mountaineering, biking, climbing and more. Check it out here.
Firstly, our very own Indigenous backcountry scholarship. We’ve partnered with On The Land Media and its creator, Deenaalee Hodgan (one of our ambassadors) to help create a scholarship for indigenous communities to gain access to the backcountry. That means avalanche training and backcountry riding. Recipients receive $1000 to support their backcountry adventures, a coalition snowboard or skis, and an Ortovox beacon, shovel, and probe pack to get them started! The backcountry is often inaccessible due to education and costs so this scholarship is a great way to build a more diverse community in the backcountry. Check it out here.
Safe As Clinics provides women tailored, beginner to experienced, avalanche safety and awareness clinics. As a lot of snow sports is dominated by cis men, the backcountry is no exception. This makes it difficult for women to access and jump into the backcountry when a lot of education in this area is aimed at and given by cis men. So, that’s why Safe As clinics are so great! The scholarships are aimed at women 14+ who need some financial support to access avalanche safety information. They are sponsored by Redbull and Mammut! Please share with those whom you would benefit from! Check it out here.
Women of Winter and PSIA-AASI partnered up to create a scholarship for BIWOC to gain further education in snow sport and obtain their level 1 certification to teach skiing or snowboarding. There are 5 different events around the US that scholarship applicants can apply to attend. The scholarship includes the course and exam fee, PSIA-AASI membership fees for a season, lift tickets for the course and exam, hard goods: skis, Leki poles, Giro goggles and helmet, and soft goods: Terramar base layers, Hestra mittens or gloves, and the North Face backpacks. An awesome scholarship brought to you by an awesome organization. Diversity on the mountain starts with representation, and this scholarship creates space for that representation. Check out this awesome scholarship here.
This scholarship exists for adult women in snow sports to gain further experience and education in avalanche safety and winter sports in general. Though the scholarship is open to all women who are interested, She Jumps specifically encourages women of color and women with financial needs to apply. There are various scholarships available. One awards IKON passes to women on the mountain and one supports by women by providing avalanche training in different regions. Both to create more accessibility. Check it out here.
Edge Outdoors is offering some great scholarships surrounding group lessons, private improvement, community building sessions, and mountain passes. All aimed at helping those who face barriers to progression in snow sports. These scholarships are for black indigenous women of color and are inclusive of trans and genderqueer women. Check them out here.
The Voile and Scarpa scholarship provides a backcountry set up to a BIPOC on the mountain with the aim of breaking down barriers, particularly for people of color in the backcountry and snow sports. The scholarship offers money for a full backcountry setup. This means, skis, poles, bindings, a shovel, beacon, probe and even touring boots for the grand prize winner. Check it out here.
This scholarship is aimed at women, specifically trans and non-cisgender women in snow sport to take an AAIRE PRO1 or PRO2 avalanche safety courses. This scholarship focuses on diversifying the mountain by providing opportunities for underrepresented genders in snow sports. The scholarships are made possible by Scarpa and Arcteryx. Check them out here.
Thank you to all of the amazing organizers creating and supporting these scholarships. They are definitely helping progress the mission of diversifying snow sports. We hope you love them as much as we do and we encourage you to apply, share and support.