Sarah Morris-Probert Receives Leadership Award

BC Adaptive Snowsports’ President Sarah Morris-Probert receives national inspirational leadership award

Kelowna, BC – BC Adaptive Snowsports (BCAS) would like to congratulate their long standing Board Director and current President, Sarah Morris-Probert on receiving the 2019 Canadian Adaptive Snow Sports (CADS) Bob Gilmour Inspirational Leadership Award.  Announced this week, the annual CADS awards recognize individuals across Canada for their contributions in leading, teaching, and excelling in adaptive snowsports.

The CADS Inspirational Leadership Award was created in memory of Bob Gilmour who dedicated much of his life to enriching people’s lives through adaptive snowsports.  Dedication to adaptive snowsports is not new to Sarah, who has been a leader in adaptive snowsports for 25 years, including over 15 years as a member of the CADS family.

Sarah learned to sit-ski in 1995 and was immediately attracted to the freedom, exhilaration and speed.  Immersing herself in para-alpine racing, and with a combination of passion, dedication and athletic prowess, Sarah quickly established herself as an elite competitor on the world stage. Earning a spot on Team Great Britain she quickly made her way to the World Cup circuit and the 1998 Winter Paralympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

Her success as an international racer had ignited her enthusiasm for skiing and she wanted to share this with others by becoming a certified instructor.  To initiate her certification, Sarah attended the Breckenridge Ski Spectacular in the United States where she and a group of British instructors gained their PSIA1 Adaptive certification (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Receiving a BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) certification in the UK hadn’t been possible as she had been asked to demonstrate a snowplough to students – an impossible task in a sit-ski. Her attendance at the event in Breckenridge and her drive led to a pilot course hosted by the PSIA in Aviemore, Scotland and to a new BASI Adaptive certification program. Sarah was the first person with a disability to gain the new BASI certification.

In 2004, Sarah and her family moved to Kelowna and joined Silver Star Adaptive Snowsports (SSASS) to help them run the race team. Sarah soon achieved her CADS2 certification and after several years with SSASS, she made the move to the Powderhounds program at Big White to facilitate the implementation of the CADS certification program. To this day, Sarah continues to instruct with Powderhounds alongside her husband and twin boys.

“Sarah truly believes sport is a great way to leading a full life,” explains Gail Williamson, Powderhounds President. “She believes sport provides purpose, a sense of accomplishment, and opens so many doors to anyone with disabilities. This is what drives her to help make sport a part of life for all who want to come out and participate! She has seen it first hand and wants to make sure that it’s there for others.” 

In addition to her athlete and instructor roles, Sarah has always committed to making a positive change off the snow, through her involvement in the boardroom. Sarah has served the BCAS board for over a decade, most recently, as the President through a period of substantial growth.  Looking forward, in her role as President, Sarah will champion BCAS’ new strategic plan, designed to support adaptive snow sports clubs, volunteers, and participants in British Columbia through training, financial support, and advocacy. 

We thank Sarah for her passion, commitment and advocacy over the last 25 years. Sarah has, and continues to be, an influential leader in our Canadian sport and she is most deserving of this award.

Our congratulations also go out to other BC recipients of CADS awards including Rob Vat (Volunteer of the Year), Pat McKimmon (Administrator of the Year), Silver Star Adaptive Snowsports (CADS Presidents Award), and Mount Washington Ski Resort (Ski Area of the Year).

About BC Adaptive Snowsports

Formed in 1973, BC Adaptive Snowsports is a registered Canadian charity. We support adaptive snowsports clubs, volunteers, and participants in British Columbia through training, financial support, and advocacy.  It is our vision to provide everyone with the opportunity to experience snowsports.