NENSA BKL clubs can now purchase equipment in bulk orders with a â€œBuy One, Get One Free” deal for any club interested in starting a new, or growing an existing, ski lease program. â€œTD Banknorth's $10,000 grant was a huge boost to the program and is allowing clubs to get twice the equipment they'd normally be able to afford. It is our sincere hope that this program will directly enable hundreds of kids to get a start in this great lifetime family sport.â€ says NENSA Executive director Pat Cote.
This program was based off the model that Maine Winter Sports Center developed. Several clubs in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont were utilizing a similar model. The development of such a program within the wider New England region was an important step in removing the financial barriers for youth to participate in nordic skiing. â€œWe had heard over and over again that the initial investment in equipment was an obstacle faced by our BKL youth clubs; something that was limiting their ability to attract new families. For several years we've wanted to do something and we're thrilled to have the program up and running nowâ€ Cote added.
Once the clubs have purchased their equipment, the program becomes self-sufficient. Clubs lease and maintain their equipment, then over about 4 years they will have generated enough revenue from lease fees to purchase replacement equipment. Everyone wins!
This program was the result of the cooperation and hard work of
TD Banknorth, NENSA, Alpina Sports, Atomic, Rossingnol, and NENSA BKL clubs. Each has played a strong role in making this program a success.
The future of cross-country skiing is dependent upon the health of its youth programs. The BKL program is the foundation upon which our sport is built. The stronger we build that foundation, the higher we can go. The Ski Lease Program could have a huge impact on the level of youth participation in the sport of cross-country skiing in New England, and if it does, it will strengthen the whole sport all the way to the top.
Mary Ann Levins, the Bill Koch Committee Chair said â€œThrough the hard work of the NENSA staff and BOD, our dream of an affordable ski lease program for the BKL clubs of New England has become a fantastic reality. Over the years our clubs have worked hard to make sure every child has access to equipment, but financial resources and availability have made this difficult at times.â€ Levins added â€œThe NENSA/Banknorth BKL Lease Program brings new life and energy to all of our clubs. We can welcome new skiers with the confidence that we will be able to outfit our new members with excellent equipment for years to come. On behalf of the youth nordic ski community of New England, present and future, thank you NENSA, thank you TD Banknorth.â€
Any BKL clubs interested in taking part in the ski lease program should contact Stuart Kremzner at firstname.lastname@example.org.