The NWT Snowboard Championships were supposed to be held in Fort Smith at the end of February but thanks to some cold weather, it wasn’t meant to be.

The one-week delay in proceedings only meant better weather was to come and those in attendance took full advantage.

The 2021 edition of the territorial championships was held on March 6 and 7 in Fort Smith with a total of 14 boarders from Yellowknife, Hay River and the host community taking part, said Andrew Goodwin, NWT Snowboard’s executive director.

“We were hoping to have a group coming in from Fort Simpson but something happened and they weren’t able to make it,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll see them next year.”

The boarders were split into one of three divisions depending on their age: juvenile male, junior male and female. Both days saw action of various sorts with each competitor vying to win the overall title in their division.

“We did the competition in the morning each day,” said Goodwin. “Saturday, we had the slalom, banked slalom and the rail jam and Sunday was the big air and snowboard cross.”

From those events came the overall divisional champs with the results from each going toward a competitor’s final total, he added.

“Basically, whoever had the most amount of top finishes won out,” he said.

There was another award on the weekend – Best Wipeout – and that honour went to Sanis Villeneuve of Fort Smith.

Goodwin said it’s not an award that’s publicized too much.

“We don’t encourage the kids to go out and really blow it but it’s more of a way to show them that it isn’t a bad thing,” he said. “It happens to everyone and sometimes, it can be fun.”

David Dragon of Yellowknife flies through the air with the greatest of ease during his run in the big air event as part of the NWT Snowboard Championships in Fort Smith on March 6.
Photo courtesy of Marie-Pier Garant

The weekend also included the Big Fun Snowfest, hosted by the Slide Zone Shredderz club in Fort Smith. It was open to everyone in the community and each participant got the chance to learn more about the sport and get some tips and tricks to put in the back pocket.

“That’s an annual event in Fort Smith and with territorials being there this year, we thought it would just make sense to combine the two and have them on the same weekend,” said Goodwin.

NWT Snowboard was lucky enough to host a territorial championship this season as scant few others haven’t been able to do anything close to a territorial over the past 12 months.

Goodwin said being outdoors made it easier to get permission to host the event but there were still rules and regulations which had to be followed.

“Snowboarding is a naturally solo event so there aren’t many crowds on the hills,” he said. “We still made sure that everyone had a buff or something covering their face and that they had gloves on so no bare hands touched anything. We were told because it was being held outside that it helped with the approval.”

Something else which helped make things go smoothly was the amount of help from the community, he added.

“We had so many people come out and do something for us,” he said. “We had people shuttling everyone around town, we had the hill groomed for us on Sunday morning – we just had so much help from a lot of volunteers. It just made a great event that much better.”

Here are the overall results from the weekend’s festivities:


1st – Storm Cabell-White, Fort Smith

2nd – Kenna MacDonald-Taylor, Fort Smith

3rd – Sanis Villeneuve, Fort Smith

Juvenile boys

1st – Grayson Marchiori, Yellowknife

2nd – Kaleb Major, Yellowknife

3rd – Detonaze Paulette, Fort Smith

Junior boys

1st – Hawke Williams-Ellis, Yellowknife

2nd – David Dragon, Yellowknife

3rd – Mackynnen MacDonald-Taylor, Fort Smith

source: NWT Snowboard

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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