Alpine Ontario Alpin is proud to announce a new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh Program.

Founded in 1956 by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth development Award available to youth between the ages of 14- 25. The program’s belief is that not all learning happens in the classroom with an aim to equip young people for life. To date, over 750,000 young people from Canada and 10 million youth in 142 countries have been motivated to undertake a variety of voluntary and challenging activities, including Jeff Batchelor who is known for his 2010 Olympic appearance in snowboarding, and former Toronto Mayor, David Miller.

There are four areas of endeavor in the Award: Community Service, Expedition/Exploration, Skill Development and Physical Fitness and within these areas are six pillars of ‘tasks’: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and The Gold Project. There are three levels to The Award; Bronze, Silver and Gold. A young person can progress through each level or enroll directly to either the Silver (15 years and up) or the Gold (16 years and up). Each level requires an increasing level of commitment and effort. Young people have until their 25th birthday to complete The Award. Once participants have completed their Award, they receive a pin and certificate to mark their achievement, and may be able to attend a ceremony within their Province or Territory (depending on Award level and ceremony availability). Gold Award ceremonies are only presided over by the Governor General of Canada or by a member of the Royal Family when their schedule permits.

Why has Alpine Ontario partnered with this program?

In researching this program AOA saw an immediate link between the alpine skiing experience and the program requirements with the Duke of Edinburg. For example, the requirement for the Bronze level program includes 13 weeks of Physical Activity which many of our young skiers are already achieving. The ‘Adventurous Journey’ requirement also fits with the AOA program whereby youth participate in travel camps in a group setting. In reviewing this AOA believes the additional pillars of Service, Skills and the Gold Project are also being met by its membership with many kids volunteering, involved in music and other worthy pursuits.

Scott Barrett, AOA Executive Director comments, “This program immediately spoke to us at AOA as another way we can improve the skill set of our athletes on their development pathway. While one of AOA’s main objectives is for athletes to reach the elite levels of the sport, the reality is that many do not. However, their journey and what they learn along the way is what matters most. The Duke of Edinburgh Program embodies our belief that learning does indeed take place outside the classroom”. Barrett continues, “ I look forward to hearing from members who are currently involved, and from those considering joining this worthwhile program.

To learn more about the Duke of Edinburgh program, please visit https://www.dukeofed.org/get-started or contact laura@alpineontario.ca