On this week’s Travel with Val, NY1’s Valarie D’Elia hits the trails with the National Brotherhood of Skiers, who are helping to get a new group of skiers on the slopes.
By night, Tony Jenkins is a subway train operator. On certain winter weekends, he moves from the rails to the trails.
“With skiing you have to constantly focus on your downhill trip because you never know when a snow snake will jump up and bite your skis. Same thing with a train. You constantly watch the tracks,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins is a member of the Sno-Burners Ski and Sports Association of Harlem, one of three New York City clubs that are part of the National Brotherhood of Skiers. He and his fellow members are helping to refute the myth that African-Americans deliberately stay away from the slopes.
“It’s just a matter of exposure, in the inner city, there’s not much, you see basketball in the inner city, that’s what’s available,” said Jenkins.
“It’s a way also, not only of introducing the African American community to skiing, but to let people know, we ski too. We also enjoy the art of skiing,” said Jackie Hyatt, vice president of the Sno-Burners Ski and Sports Association.
Sno-Burners take advantage of group rates to keep costs down, with bus ride, lift ticket, rentals and lessons all discounted. On this Sunday in the Catskills, the Sno-Burners are hosting some teens from the Harlem Y.
“Some of them probably don’t even go outside when it’s snowing because they believe it’s so cold, but now look, you’re in your snow clothes and your actually enjoying the freezing weather so it makes it fun for them,” said Cheyenne Pearson, teen leader at the Harlem YMCA.
For Jenkins, skiing teaches valuable lessons.
“You can’t be out of control on the slopes, can’t be out of control on the tracks,” Jenkins said.
For more information, go to www.snoburners.org.