Golf tournament to benefit WASP 

Event organizers looking for golfers

WHAT: WASP Golf Challenge

WHERE: Nicklaus North Golf Course

WHEN: May 30

In a short time, the Whistler Adaptive Ski Program has emerged as one of the top institutions of its kind in North America, with cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, and snowboarding programs for people with all types of disabilities.

The program hopes to start offering summer programs as well, and with the backing of Intrawest and a new partnership with the National Sports Centre for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winterpark, Colorado, Whistler is poised to become a national disabled sports centre, affiliated with the NSCD, in Canada.

To help raise money for its growing range of activities and increasing number of visitors, WASP is hosting its first ever Golf Challenge at Nicklaus North Golf Course.

The day includes 18 holes of golf at one of Canada’s top courses, a premier gift bag, prizes, side contests, a live auction, cocktails and an awards dinner and reception at the clubhouse.

A strong turnout of golfers and sponsors will not only help to provide programs for the disabled, but it will also help Whistler to become a national sports centre for the disabled.

"We’re very much raising the bar with this fundraiser, we’ve never done anything as classy as this before," says Sian Blyth, the director of the Whistler Adaptive Ski Program. "This is one of the steps we’re taking towards becoming a year-round program, and in becoming a permanent part of the the NSCD.

"(The NSCD) is looking at where they can have the most impact, and everything they’ve seen so far in Whistler has been great, but we needed to show that we could host fundraising events as well."

WASP is becoming well known locally, and Blyth said it was relatively easy to find sponsors and donors for the WASP Golf Challenge. Finding golfers for the event has proved to be a little bit harder.

"This season, Whistler has been pretty much absorbed with fundraising, but that said, it’s been great to see a few local sponsors coming and getting behind our plans to make this a year-round program," Blyth says.

With the Olympics and Paralympics on the horizon, WASP is already beginning to make its presence felt for athletes. At the group’s first ever alpine training camp held in April, nine young athletes with the potential to represent B.C. and possibly Canada in the future took part.

"These kids could be the ones making the podium in 2010, and we want nothing more than to be able to support their dreams," Blyth says.

The cost for a foursome is $1,000, including the golf, giveaways, prizes, and the gala dinner and auction, and companies can sponsor holes and enter foursomes for $2,500.

For more information on WASP and the Golf Challenge, call 604-905-2071 or 1-800-766-0449, ext. 2071. For e-mail inquiries, contact adaptiveski@intrawest.com.

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