Fifteen-year-old Zakia Kuiurusumu has never skied in his life. But that’s about to change.
Living with his family in Confederation Community Housing, admission to a ski resort is a luxury that his family simply can’t afford.
However, with help from Kids Up Front Ottawa, Kuiurusumu, along with 99 other deserving kids from the across the city, is set to hit the slopes of Camp Fortune on Saturday for what will likely be the first time on skis for many.
Despite having no skiing experience, Kuriusumu said he’s looking forward to it. He’s excited about the chance to finally learn the basics of the sport — and blow off a little steam.
“(It’s special) because we can get away from anything, to be honest. If you’re mad or sad, you can take it all on the ski trip,” he said.
Christel Mukengeshay, 14, was bursting with excitement upon hearing she was heading on a free ski trip with Kids Up Front Ottawa.
She’ll be snapping on ski bindings for the second time, and she’s looking forward to the opportunity to “get out of the house,” enjoy a good time with great people and have a few good chuckles.
“It will be very funny for them to fall on their butts and start complaining about how cold and wet it is,” Mukengeshay said as she laughed.
The kids will be given lunches and transportation to and from the hill, with support from Calian Group Ltd. And Camp Fortune will provide lift tickets, equipment rentals and ski lessons to the 100 youth participating. François Bernier, director of snow sports at Camp Fortune, said he’s “pleased to have the opportunity to welcome youth from Kids Up Front to hit the slopes with us.”