Youth Sports Alliance celebrates new Land Rover’s arrival

PARK CITY, Utah — Last year, OUTSIDE Interactive, Inc. held a contest that Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) won, earning them a new Land Rover Defender car to transport the student-athletes and their skis, snowboards, and especially bikes from the schools to the trails. 

The car in the crowd at Deer Valley. Photo: TownLift // Michele Roepke

Deer Valley Resort, a Land Rover-sponsored business, hosted a party on Thursday at the Snow Park Lodge to celebrate the vehicle’s arrival and wrapping. With live music provided by a band associated with Mountain Town Music, hot chocolate, and a pop-up bar, locals and visitors alike enjoyed the official launch of the new car.

YSA executive director Emily Fisher told TownLift, “In the beginning of October, we were notified that we were one of two finalists in our category, which was Outdoor Accessibility and  Education. So, in the beginning of November, I was lucky to be among the one representative from each organization to fly to Austin, Texas, for the Land Rover Defender Service Awards.” Interested Parkites held a watch party back home, finding out together they had won. High fives, loud cheers, huge hugs and tears of joy were experienced all around.

Everyone connected with YSA, perhaps most especially the hard-working parents who may lack the time and the resources to transport children and/or equipment around, expressed a big ‘thank you’ to the thousands of locals who voted. Fisher said of the year-long journey to win the car,

“In our community, we may have spirited discussions about different issues here and there, but ultimately when it’s something that community deeply cares about, like getting kids outside and active and off their screens, the community really came together and rallied for us and voted each day. It’s a testament to the community and it’s the reason the reason why the vehicle is here today, is because of this community and how much they care about the youth getting access to activities.”

A Heber City Council member, a YSA Board member, YSA staff members, Park City High School PTO President, and other celebrators welcome the car’s arrival. Photo: TownLift // Michele Roepke

Park City’s YSA provides opportunities for afterschool sports, photography, cooking, art, and other exciting, engaging, enriching activities to elementary students in the Get Out and Play (GOAP) program to middle schoolers in the Activ8 program. School districts from Summit, North Summit, Wasatch, including Weilenmann, participate. YSA is also exploring plans to expand into the Salt Lake Valley. 

The dedicated staff of the Youth Sports Alliance. Photo: TownLift // Michele Roepke

The slopeside party, where YSA athletes ski on a weekly basis, welcomed people like Jim Gaddis, the founder of YSA after he retired as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete, and his extensive work in and out of ski boots at Snowbird and Alta. Also in attendance for the celebration were YSA Board members and staff, along with a representative from the Heber City Council, without whose support, TownLift was told, the current level of success in the whole Wasatch Back would not be possible.

To win the car, YSA beat out nonprofit counterparts from multiple states. As soon as the spring snow drys up the trails later this month, YSA staff can’t wait to use the Land Rover to drive the mountain bikes where the children need them.

The celebration happened steps away from the statue and plaque honoring the Stein Eriksen YSA Dare To Dream Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The new YSA Land Rover will soon be seen driving around town. Photo: TownLift // Michele Roepke

Click here to donate to the YSA. 

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