The Stream

Are winter sports doing enough to welcome people of colour?

On Thursday, June 15 at 19:30 GMT:
Public interest in winter sports is buoyant as people continue to hit the slopes year on year, joined by many first-time participants.

But many people of colour who are interested in skiing, snowboarding and other winter pursuits say they often feel discouraged from taking part – and, in some cases, are subject to racism and unconscious bias at venues where the vast majority of visitors are white.

In 2021 The Stream examined the challenge of making winter sports more accessible and welcoming to people of colour, and found that sporting bodies and resorts still have more to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. Survey data published in October by the US National Ski Areas Association shows that only 1.5% of participants in downhill snowsports identify as Black or African-American.

While several NGOs provide avenues for young people of colour to get involved in winter sports and eventually enter competition, a lack of racial diversity among instructors remains a barrier to progress. EDGE Outdoors is one organisation that is aiming to boost opportunities for Black, Indigenous women of colour to teach the next generation of winter sports stars.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll be joined by a panel of advocates for racial diversity in winter sports and hear what progress is being made.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Annette Diggs, @edge_pnw
Founder & CEO, EDGE Outdoors

Adrienne Saia Isaac, @NSAA_org
Director of Marketing & Communications, US National Ski Areas Association (NSAA)

Selema Masekela, @selema
Action sports commentator, and member of board of directors at Burton Snowboards