SPIRIT OF SARAH
11th June 2019 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on December 19th, 2019
Seven years after her death, freestyle skier Sarah Burke’s legacy lives on as another young skier wins a scholarship in her name.
The Spirit of Sarah Scholarship gives one young female skier the chance to attend a prestigious summer ski camp at Whistler in Canada.
It is named in honour of the leading Canadian halfpipe skier.
She died as a result of a fall in practice in Utah in January 2012 at the age of 29.
Each year the award is given to a young female skier who is considered to have the drive to excel and also the same special characteristics that Sarah Burke was known for.
They include modesty, kindness, determination and a positive attitude.
Last year the scholarship went to Britain’s own Kirsty Muir, then aged 14.
We reported on Kirsty’s success as she became the first skier from outside North America to be awarded the scholarship.
She spent a week at a Momentum Summer Ski Camp at Whistler.
Kirsty wrote a blog of her experiences while she was there for PlanetSKI.
“It’s always hard to pick a winner each year as there are so many worthy applicants, but we feel that Naomi really embodies a lot of the characteristics of Sarah when she was a young camper herself,” said John Smart, one of the judges and the Director of the Ski Camp.
“It’s really special to keep Sarah’s memory alive and know that her legacy of encouraging young girls to excel in sport, overcoming setbacks and striving for excellence, lives on even now, seven years after she passed away,” he added.
The scholarship is the result of a partnership between Whistler’s Momentum Camps and the Sarah Burke Foundation.
It is valued at $3,000 (Canadian dollars) and involves a free eight-day Summer Session at Momentum Camps during ‘Girls Week.’
Naomi will be coached by Olympic Gold Medallist Cassie Sharpe, World Cup winner Elena Gaskell and World Champion and multiple X-Games medallist Anna Segal.
“I really want to push myself, try new things with the girls, have fun with others and do the best that I can do,” Naomi said.
In the 12 months since Kirsty Muir won the scholarship, she has gone on to bigger and better things.
She is now a member of the main GB Park & Pipe Squad and has made the podium in the Europa Cup and at the Junior World Championships.
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