This is such cool news! I was at SIA and missed it. During the Snowsports Industries America trade show in Denver, leaders in the industry highlighted the importance of getting today’s youth outdoors, but put an equal emphasis on the growing need for diversity in snow sports.
Anthony De Rocco, President and CEO of K2 Sports Inc. and SOS Outreach board member, presented youth development charity SOS Outreach with a check for $25,000 to demonstrate K2’s support for programs that get youth from diverse demographics outdoors. De Rocco recognized the unique ability of winter sports to turn kids into lifelong outdoor enthusiasts and thanked SOS for the work they are doing in their efforts to get kids outdoors and diversify the world of snow sports.
“At K2, we have built a storied legacy of producing innovative products that put smiles on peoples’ faces while they enjoy the outdoors. We recognize the importance of outdoor activity and the true joy associated with skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing…simply being in the mountains,” said De Rocco, citing the impacts outdoor sports can have on participants.
“Similarly, SOS Outreach has built a legacy of its own, developing programs devoted to fostering character development and improved self-esteem in youth through a combination of outdoor activities and the SOS curriculum.” K2 and many others in the industry recognize that SOS is attracting a more diverse audience to mountain sports, an audience that the industry needs to sustain growth in the years ahead.
Many industry leaders are realizing the importance of connecting with the youth in order to maintain industry growth, and are choosing to connect with organizations like SOS who have proven rates of participants becoming long-time outdoor enthusiasts. 24% of kids in SOS programs return to their sport of choice as lifelong participants, as opposed to only a 16% rate of conversion within the industry.
“At K2 Sports, one of our key initiatives is to continue to push access and awareness to as many of our winter sports as we can. Not only is this vital for the longevity and success of our industry, but as I have already articulated, we have seen firsthand the joy and personal impact that regular outdoor activity can bring.”
K2 Sports Inc., which also owns 5150 Snowboards, Morrow Snowboards, Ride Snowboards, Line, Tubbs Snowshoes, Full Tilt, Atlas Snowshoes, Planet Earth, Zoot Sports, Madshus, and Powder Ridge, has been one of SOS’s biggest supporters. Over the past decade K2 has given more than $250,000 which includes cash and in-kind donations as well as SOS office space in K2’s Seattle office. Their support helps SOS to serve nearly 5,000 youth across 15 states as well as in New Zealand.
SOS Outreach is a long standing youth development non-profit that utilizes outdoor adventure sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, as the platform for a values based leadership and character development curriculum. SOS has been running programs since 1993, and continues to be a leader in the world of youth development.
Cheers to K2 and Cheers to SOS Outreach! The outdoors is our passion here at MTN Town Magazine. It’s why we live in our Colorado mountain towns!
All Images and Video Courtesy of SOS Outreach!