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Local woman named Alpine Ontario volunteer of the year

Kris Baird, a Wasaga Beach resident, has received the Alpine Ontario Fasken Volunteer of the Year Award.

A Wasaga Beach resident has been named the Fasken Volunteer of the Year by Alpine Ontario Alpin (AOA). 

An avid skier herself, Kris Baird started volunteering when her son started skiing. 

“As a parent in the ski cross world, we volunteer to help promote the sport and keep our kids on snow,” said Baird. 

The Fasken Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes volunteers in the sport of Ontario ski racing who have made an extraordinary contribution to their club, division or province, and to the sport in general. 

It also recognizes the importance of volunteers as they support their children, team, club or sport as a whole.

Her son, Logan, first strapped on skis when he was three and a half years old at Sir Sam’s Ski Resort in Haliburton, where their family lived at the time. He started his race career with Fenninger Racing at Sir Sam’s and Baird started volunteering on training and race days as a gate judge and starting gate assistant.

In 2019, the Baird family moved to Collingwood, and because there were no local Ski Cross teams at the time Logan joined the Elite Alpine Ski Cross (EASX) team in North Bay. 

After Logan joined EASX, Baird was elected to the EASX board of directors, supporting Athlete Development which included developing the team’s COVID protocols and return to sport protocol, writing proposals for grant applications and representing the team at Alpine Ontario Club Calls.

“Ski cross is a fantastic sport, it combines all the alpine disciplines into one,” she said. 

A newer discipline and a smaller sport within AOA, Baird said the sport relies on volunteers to keep the momentum going, but she said because of that, it’s also created a really cool community. 

“The families really have built out this community feel because of how small it is. All the athletes know each other, the parents support each other, it’s one big family,” she said. 

Though she lives three and a half hours away from the training location, Baird is a very active volunteer and “always willing to lend a hand in any way she can,” according to her nomination. Even this past year, Logan had to have knee surgery and didn’t participate in any programming, but Baird continued to volunteer her time. 

Patrick Biggs, the executive director of AOA, called Baird personally to let her know she received the award. 

“I didn’t even know I was nominated!” said Baird. “It’s a wonderful recognition.”

As noted by her nominators in a recent press release: “Kris is a wonderfully kind person, and always puts the athletes first. She sees how much ski racing means to everyone, including her own son, and helps to provide any and all that she can to make each season as best as it can possibly be for everyone!”

Baird has also been invited to be trained to work at World Cup races, which will return to Canada in 2023 with Craigleith Ski Club hosting the World Cup Finals this March. 

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “Our athletes are all planning to come cheer them on.”

Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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