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SDSS Nordic Ski Team

Front Row (left to right): Luiz Simplicio, Terri-lynne Virtue, Anna Fawthrop, Kai Kirkeby, Anthony Nascimento, Rayden Cote-Barnwell, Daniel Almeida. Back Row (left to right): Melissa McEwen, Brandon Kirkland, Kaitlin Ferguson, Kiandra Martin, Keith Day, Eve Martin, Joe Molinaro, Erin Piel, Griffin Walker, Blake Weber, Jamie Kuhl, Nick Scott, Connor Chapman, Jacob Condy, Tyler Jackman, Maria Medeiros, Sam Blundell, Eleanor Mowbray, Mike Mowbray, Eric Cartlidge.

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Eric Cartlidge, a Jumpstart Charity Representative, along with Mike and Eleanor Mowbray, owners of the Port Elgin Canadian Tire store, presented staff and students at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) with a grant to help kids glide through the long winters in Saugeen Shores March 22.

A total of $16,300 was donated to the school for the purchase of Nordic cross-country ski equipment. The equipment will be used as part of the school’s physical education classes as well as for individuals competing as part of the SDSS Nordic ski team.

Keith Day is the leader of the SDSS Nordic ski program and also coaches the ski team. He was thrilled by the gracious offering from Jumpstart and acknowledged the rarity of making such capital investments on fitness equipment for students. “I am so excited with the support provided by the Jumpstart charity. This program is not a one off program but will impact students for more than a decade," said Day. "I thank you for this great investment in developing an interest in sport for life in youth from all backgrounds in our community.”

Parent Nancy Kuhl expressed her appreciation for the grant from Jumpstart. “In previous years, we had to either borrow equipment or rent. We chose to rent at a cost of $350 for the season. It is a significant amount of money to pay out of pocket for any family,” explained Kuhl. “Funding the ski program will not only help our family but remove barriers for other young people who wish to try the sport and hopefully help grow the team.”

Melissa McEwan, Principal at SDSS, was excited over the accessibility to quality and safe equipment this donation allows her students. “Whenever we are able to provide students with an opportunity to experience a recreational activity that could lead to a lifelong hobby, passion or interest, it is rewarding," she said.

Heather Parsons said her son has benefited both physically and socially, thanks to the SDSS Nordic ski team. Parsons’ son found a passion in a new sport where he otherwise would not have had the opportunity. He has met many new friends through the program and represented SDSS at the OFSAA Nordic Skiing Championship.

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Not taking any chances, these precious new commodities were all clearly labeled.