From Googles for Doctors in the USA, to Michelin starred chefs preparing meals for health staff in France. Burton Snowboards is sourcing 500,000 masks & a paralympic silver medalist is working as a nurse.


Snoworks instructor, Lee Townend, has been chosen to be one of a team of 80 ‘Virtual’ cyclists to join world record holder @mrmarkbeaumont on Thursday 23rd April , to ride 240 miles each (386km) on their turbo trainers at home.

Lee Townend

Lee Townend. Image © Lee Townend.

All 80 riders combined miles will equal 18,000 miles, which will take them around the planet in a day, in aid of @nhscharitiestogether.

This is happening at 4am (UK time) tomorrow Thursday April 23rd, and the riders hope to be finished by 8pm in time for Clap for Carers.

See more here as Lee has earlier told us about how he passes his days in Life Under Lockdown. 

He is usually on his bike on the balcony

Lee Townend

Lee Townend. Image © Lee Townend.

You can help in one of 3 ways:

* Are you able to support Lee on this crazy challenge by sponsoring him a few pounds?

If each of the 80 riders can raise £240 each thats £18,000 for the charity.

You can sponsor him on the Virgingiving page.

Lee will be providing regular updates on Snoworks Insta-story and Snoworks Facebook throughout the day tomorrow, and expects it to take him 15-16hrs of pedalling on the turbo/static bike. #strongskilegs

* Are you able to join in and put in a shift for the @nhs on your tredmill, turbo, rollers, or rowing machine and simple donate £1 per mile?

Whether thats for 15 mins or 15 hours.

Then just post your miles to the social channels @worldin1day with the hashtag #donateyourmiles.

You can find more info on this at www.worldinaday.com

* Share the event far and wide in then next 24 hrs, so the team can try and raise as much money as possible to help out front line workers.

Please get behind Lee and show him your support as this is going to be one hell of a challenge.

Lee Townend

Lee Townend. Image © Lee Townend.


The company aims to make 90,000 masks over the next few months.

It responded to a request from the French government as it launched a national appeal to the country’s textile industry.

The masks are certified by the DGA (Direction Général de l’Armement) and will be intended primarily for administrations and industrialists in all sectors of the business community.

“We like to say that, in a normal day, we might make a prototype shoe that helps Kilian Jornet go to the top of Everest in the morning and a sports bra for our running range in the afternoon,” says Jean-Noel Thevenoud, who manages the prototype lab.

“So, this is a different project for us, but the team has been eager to help since the crisis started. When we got the call last week, everyone was ready to go.

“We’ll get back to making outdoor sports gear soon enough, but right now we are very happy to use the skills of the team to help in these times.”

The US Paralympic snowboarder Brittani Coury has volunteered to help on wards with patients suffering from coronavirus as part of her career as a nurse.

The 34-year old Pyeongchang 2018 silver medallist begun her nursing career after being helped to recover from having her leg amputated below the right knee in 2011.

Her right ankle joint failed to recover from a snowboarding accident in 2003, despite multiple surgeries.

She is currently working at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City on an acute internal medicine floor, which does not have coronavirus patients.

The 34-year-old has volunteered to help in wards with coronavirus patients to help tired colleagues and bolster staff numbers should they be required.

“This is the biggest social thing we are facing in my lifetime,” she said.

“I am mentally ready and prepared for this. I am not afraid of getting the virus, because I am here to help my patients.”


Ainsley Proffit has donated 3,000 facemasks to the local community in St Louis, USA,  in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

She makes them along with her family

She is a member of the US Alpine Ski Team development programme.

She has said they will be distributed to those who request them.

So far this includes Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St Louis, the Chicago Police Department, emergency medics in Seattle plus paediatric doctors and patients.

Proffit’s family owns a small children’s clothing company and her mother came up with the idea of producing the masks.

“When she started hearing about the shortages all around, she knew we had to step in,” she  said.

“Together, my mom, dad, and I transitioned the clothing business into mask-making instead – we are cutting and sewing all masks here in St Louis.”

The production of masks continues, with the family planning to keep going until the outbreak has subsided.

The US campaign ‘Goggles for Docs’ provides used ski googles to medics and has already received thousands of sets of protective eyewear for hospitals, particularly in New York state.

30, 000 pairs of goggles have been donated to hospitals in more than 30 states across the USA.

Goggles for Docs is asking people in the USA to donate goggles to health care workers who lack eye protection.

A doctor from New York, Mike Halpero, called Steamboat in Colorado and asked if there were some spare goggle he could have.

His aunt and uncle sent on the request to a handful of friends in other ski towns, who sent it to more friends and it has snowballed from there.

We reported about it earlier, on April 7th, in our rolling blog.

Burton Snowboards has been playing its part.

It has  sourced 500,000 KN 95 respirator masks from China.

They will be going to front line healthcare workers in the North East of the USA.

The KN95 respirator masks come from China.

48,000 have already been distributed to hospitals across Vermont where Burton has its HQ.

Burton worked with its snowboard binding factory partner, Fudakin, to source the masks from China and UPS Express to move them to the USA.

It has also started a production effort to manufacture medical face shields for local healthcare workers at its research and development facility in Burlington, Vermont.

It is aiming to produce 500 face shields per week this month.

They will be distributed to the University of Vermont Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre and Boston Children’s Hospital employees.

Burton’s helmet and goggle division, is working with GogglesforDocs to provide snow goggles to medical professionals in need of eye protection.

To date, they have donated over 1,300 goggles.

Burton has also set up a bin outside of Burton HQ in Burlington for people to drop off goggles.

They go through a quarantine process before being distributed.

The International Ski Federation has been looking at a number of other  snowsports individuals and organisations that have been helping:

Ski equipment brand Aleah has been making protective goggles as well.

Salomon has provided sandals and compression stockings to medical personnel at hospitals of Lyon, Paris, Mulhouse, Chambéry, Marseille and Annecy.

Also medical teams at ski resorts have been donating stocks of hard-to-obtain goods in many countries, including gloves, sanitisers and masks to hospitals.

Individuals are contributing too.

In the French resort Alpe d ‘Huez, ski instructor Françoise Berthet, is making protective masks from old skiwear once used by instructors of the ESF in the resort.

German ski jumper Katharina Althaus is working hard on sowing additional face masks.

Other individuals and companies have other helpful ideas and measures in the fight against Covid-19.

The Vortex, which served as the Athletes’ Village for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, has housed doctors, nurses and other medical personnel since March 19.

Lausanne 2020 had been due to be a tenant of the facility, set to become university accommodation, until the end of this month, but it us now for health professionals amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Lausanne Youth Olympics 2020

Lausanne Youth Olympics 2020

Twenty chefs from ski resorts in Savoie Mont Blanc region ahave been cooking 1,200 meals every Sunday for doctors and nurses, but also for all the workers in the hospitals such as the cleaners, administrators and security.

Among those 20 chefs, there are three Michelin starred chefs: Julien Machet from Le Farçon in La Tania (one star), Clément Bouvier from Ursus in Tignes (one star) and Mickaël Arnoult from Auberge Les Morainières in Jongieux (two stars).

The chefs buy from local producers who are not able to sell their food on the markets anymore.

We reported about it earlier, on April 7th, in our rolling blog.

Demaclenko, a South Tirolean company of the Leitner group specialised in systems for artificial snow, is using snow cannon technology for the sanitation of streets and public places.

The mechanism, mounted on a truck, is composed of a high-performance snow generator connected to a pump capable of ensuring optimal water pressure and a tank containing 100% biodegradable disinfectants.

After the go-ahead from the Provincial Civil Protection Agency, the system will be available free of charge to the South Tirolean Municipalities.

Some of Austria’s leading skiers and snowboarders have been using their forced down-time to help others during the coronavirus crisis.

Many of the athletes are also in the Austrian Armed Forces and have been drafted in to help keep the supply and distribution of food going.

Alpine racer Patrick Feurstein is working at SPAR HQ in Dornbirn.

“Our department from the Army Command Centre is responsible for loading and unloading the trucks. We can help and learn here as well,” he says in an article on the Austrian Ski Association website.

Snowboarder Arvid Auner is responsible for the delivery of goods at a food discount store in Werndorf.

“It is very important to me to make a contribution in the current situation so that the supply of important goods and food to the population continues to function without complaint,” he says.

“When I was shopping for my grandmother recently and saw almost only older people in the supermarket, it was clear to me that I would also join a private initiative in Graz to support our older people with errands of all kinds.

“We all have to stick together now so that the current precarious situation eases as quickly as possible.”

Slalom specialist Michaela Dygruber is enthusiastic about the scheme.

“I think the campaign is megacool, because we athletes can also make a contribution…… In this difficult time it is important that we all stick together, so I am glad that I am can be there and help.”

Others involved in public service in Austria include Nordic combined athletes Philipp Orter, Thomas Jöbstl, Martin Fritz and Thomas Rettenegge and snowboarders Sabine Schöffmann, Jemima Juritz and Fabian Obmann.

The US racer, Mikaela Shiffrin, has auctioned an autographed slalom winner’s bib from Killington in Vermont to the highest bidder.

It went for $3,200 and there were 42 bids.

All proceeds from the bib will help towards response and recovery in Colorado, and assist with the prevention of the spread of the virus.

And she has been boosting morale too.

She’s written a song to thank the coronavirus heroes….


And on Friday night Shiffrin will be performing live along with singer/songwriter KT Tunstall as part of the Virtual Apres Music Series from REVERB.org that features musical artists performing 30-45 minute sets, all from the comfort of their living rooms.

Tunstall will be the featured artist while Shiffrin will perform a favorite cover song.

The performance will be livestreamed at Facebook.com/REVERB starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile the resort of Zermatt has come up with perhaps one of the best ideas to help with people’s morale and spirits.

Beaming messages and flags on to the Matterhorn.

On Thursday evening the Stars and Stripes made its appearance.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article with more information on how people and organisations in the snowsports community are helping in the battle against coronavirus.

Do check back…