Rite to Ride seeks to train riders in mountain presence

Devin Publicover has launched a new foundation in Invermere

Columbia Valley resident Devin Publicover has launched a new foundation designed to teach kids the finer points of snowboarding and skateboarding while learning how to be good community citizens and leaders.

Mr. Publicover was working at Panorama Mountain Resort as a snowboarding coach. The resort offers amazing programs for area schools, describes Mr. Publicover, and he spent much of his time coaching local students coming through that school program. This year, he had a particular group from JA Laird that just “clicked.”

“After our three days this year, the little kids are on the double black diamonds just exploring … they’re exceptional,” he recalls, saying in that moment, watching these kids happy and thriving on the mountain, he did not want to end his coaching time with them.

He started the wheels turning on how he could keep working with students and decided to create a not-for-profit society. The goals of the Rite to Ride Foundation are to provide a safe environment for children to participate and excel in snowboarding, skateboarding and community involvement, to give them opportunities to learn skills in leadership, community outreach, and fundraising, to provide assistance to snowboarders and skateboarders in the organization with equipment to aid in skills progression, and to provide children with outstanding teachers, instructors, coaches and friends.

“I want to teach the kids leadership skills, and to be involved in the community, but also be centred around our commonality of snowboarding,” he says. “Rite to Ride is going to empower these students to create their own rite of passage, to earn their right on the mountain.”

Mr. Publicover is starting with a pilot project group of about 10, consisting mostly of the students who were in the JA Laird snowboarding group with a couple extra added in. He wants to make sure he gets it right with this smaller group first before opening it up to the broader community.

“Rite to Ride riders – we’re going to be a power tower off the mountain and on the mountain,” says Mr. Publicover, hoping to take children from the community and help turn them into good leaders within the community and on the mountain.

In the off-season, he wants to shift the group to the skateboarding scene, which is gaining notoriety thanks to its inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“Skateboarding is about 99 per cent failure, 1 per cent success,” he comments. “Skateboarding teaches resiliency and perseverance … and kids are out there being active.”

The Rite to Ride Foundation will be looking for opportunities to give back within the community. They are also looking for people who can donate to help launch this new organization. Money will go towards things such as insurance, lift tickets, and quality coaching.

The group is organizing their first public fundraiser for Saturday, March 16th at Pothole Park from 11-3 p.m. They will be hosting a Spring Fling Yard Sale, and club members will be demonstrating some snowboarding skills at the park. Anything not sold at the garage sale will be donated to the thrift store, creating a “trickle down effect” of giving, describes Mr. Publicover.

Email ritetoridefoundation@gmail.com if you have items to donate, or bring down to Pothole Park this Saturday any time from 9 a.m. onwards.

To learn more about Rite to Ride Foundation, visit them on Facebook or Instagram at RiteToRide, email ritetoridefoundation@gmail.com, or call 250-409-4388.

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