‘A really good place to be’: Newcomers to Sask. learn ski lessons at Mission Ridge

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For the second straight year, the Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) Qu’Appelle Zone along with Mission Ridge Winter Park invited the Regina Open Door Society (RODS) and the North Central Family Centre (NCFC) for a day of family fun.

Tubing and skiing were just some of the activities offered at the day long event. Among the attendees were many newcomers to Saskatchewan.

For some, the event marked a first time skiing experience. Omar Ahmed, who moved to Regina from Egypt, was one of them.

“It means so much because in my home country we don’t have ice at all,” he said.

“We do a lot of activities in water but not on ice.”

Victoria Flores, a spokesperson for RODS, said it’s important for new families to get outside and experience winter.

“When it comes to winter sports and winter activities, it’s a really great way for them to feel part of the community and maybe find a new hobby or new sport for them to do in the future,” she said.

CSP was on location providing free hands on lessons to the youth.

“The Canadian Ski Patrol loves to be out here at Mission Ridge,” Roseann Nasser, CSP Qu’Appelle president, said.

“We love to see people skiing and we like to see them skiing safely, as part of this opportunity the kids are taking the lessons to learn basic skills and to be safe on the hill.”

For newcomers to Saskatchewan, skiing is a way for families to experience a winter with a seasonal favourite.

“The first thing you want to do is [ask] ‘Where is everything? What do I do for friends?’ And they [friendships] usually happen in schools or with your neighbours and in activities you join,” Flores said.

Skiing the hills, mixed with the cold weather can be a challenge for new Canadians, but Ahmed said the two are similar.

“It’s like skiing, it is very hard at the beginning but like you have to keep warm and wear a lot of clothes and it will work out eventually,” Ahmed said.

All in all, Ahmed enjoyed the day, and the lessons learned along the way.

“It was a really fun day with a lot of helpful staff and it is overall a really good place to be.”

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