Created by Young Adventurer, Oliver, Aged 9
From ice hockey to snowshoeing, tobogganing to snowboarding – today a young adventurer named Oliver shares with us how his winters are not unlike any of his other childhood experiences – full of wonder and adventure. Oliver is so excited to speak to us as our young adventure ambassador, sharing with other kids all the ideas he came up with using his imagination, thoughts, and even his own creations. He does all of this with the encouragement and support of his family, who so eagerly follow his lead with skis and show shoes, sleighs and ice skates – through the snowy landscapes of Kelowna’s winter wonderland.
So, let’s take this winter adventure with Oliver as he leads us through his recommended winter activities with his family by his side, and the extra support of our story sponsor – Play It Again Sports.
This Story Is Brought To You By
Q & A with Oliver & Dad
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: Oliver, can you tell us what this means to you, to be the vision behind this story?
OLIVER: I wanted to show tips for different winter activities to the community.
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: It is so great how Oliver is leading this story. Can you tell us what this means to you as his Dad.
OLIVER’S DAD: It is important for us as a family to spend one-on-one time with our children and as a whole family unit, to be outdoors as much as possible, just being creative and having fun. It’s so meaningful for us to support Oliver with his vision, and we’re having a lot of fun doing the activities with him! Most importantly though, it makes me proud as his father to see how excited Oliver gets when his ideas come to life.
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: You talk a lot about being creative as a family. Can you elaborate on what this means to you?
OLIVER’S DAD: It’s about having a four-dimensional purpose. We are doing this in the real world by stretching our imaginations. By doing this, it makes us more well-rounded individuals, and this is what we want for our kids. It is going to give them the ability to troubleshoot by giving them more tools to come up with their own ideas and solutions. One example of Oliver’s creative thinking was when he created a snow skateboard apparatus. He built this himself using an old skateboard deck that was from Play it Again Sports, along with a rope as a handle. The best part of this though was how proud he was when he was finished and he could actually ride on it. What this is doing is allowing free expression in play and true imagination to come out.
This idea originated from a snow scooter which we originally viewed in the Play it Again Sports – Kelowna store.
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: It is so nice to talk with a Dad who shares this philosophy for free expression in kids. How does this relate to you supporting Oliver to leading this story about winter sports?
OLIVER’S DAD: I am thrilled to provide Oliver the opportunity to be an ambassador for other children. To not be so inundated with structured play but also, by having opportunities for free play. This will stretch their imagination in all areas while being active at the same time. This way, you are also promoting not just activity, but also adventure.
KiDS NEWS & REVIEWS: Can you tell us why you have chosen to support sports as the main theme to this story?
Sports is a healthy outlet for a child. It is so important that they have their own time to break down their thoughts through play. It is down time for them.-Oliver’s Dad
OLIVER’S DAD: It is promoting health and being active which is super important – and it is fun too. This is super important because it builds self confidence and self love. It makes our family strong as we share special and fun moments one-on-one, and as a family unit. I also feel as a father and coach of Oliver’s hockey team in the KMHA where he plays goalie, that structured sports further set our children up with great life skills and a sense of community. This is really important to me as this is something that is sometimes lost in our busy lives. Our team philosophy is to build relationships, teach technical skills along with a love for the game, and ultimately, to teach them about the importance of sportsmanship in general. We do this by having fun, and also, by having the ability to be creative without the kids having to experience any fears of failure or negativity from their coaches and peers. Winning should be the last thing on these children’s minds, and the post-game questions should be, “What is my snack?”, or, “When do we play next, coach?”
KiDS NEWS & REViEWS: We have talked about how important it is for kids to make these discoveries for themselves and the family as a unit. Also, how does this relate to the community at large? I can see that the kids are being inspired by Oliver and by your whole family. Now there is a third party to this story called Play It Again Sports. Can you tell us why you chose to work with them?
OLIVER: I like Play It Again Sports because it always has what I need for a reasonable price. There are lots of cool sports stuff that me and my Dad got for good deals and they helped me with this. The goalie gear helped me play hockey, a turning balance board helped me be creative, and player skates helped me have fun with my Dad. I am not sure how my family found Play It Again Sports, but I think it was my Mom who found it.
OLIVER’S DAD: When we moved to Kelowna, we decided that being active was of major importance to our family and we wanted to do this while staying within our budget. We did this by finding activities that our family could do on a regular basis that were affordable and so, we decided to think outside the box. Instead of paying for expensive rentals on the big mountains, we decided to look at other options that were more sustainable for us as a young family, and that is where Play It Again Sports came into play, by offering us this option to purchase used equipment and gear. Our first family adventure was cross country skiing, so we were lucky enough to discover Kelowna Nordic and we decided that purchasing ski equipment was more affordable for our family and affordable to sustain us to go weekly because it was not a huge cost. So, this is something we could all enjoy, and we could all work on our skills and grow into this activity separately and together as a family.
I still remember coming home to a living room full of cross-country ski gear, including a set for myself that my family picked up while I was out of town. A Play It Again team member helped my spouse and children get fitted with boots, bindings, skis, and the right length poles that best fit and made the most sense at our specific level and style of cross-country skiing. With these sorts of activities, traditions are created, and for our family, this now includes annual trade-ins of equipment. This is also not unlike what they experience with clothing that they are so excited to receive from their older cousins. It is so much more special to them than going out and buying a brand new pair or shoes, or ski boots. As little earth rangers, our children recognize this too, and we can teach them sustainability this way by using the gear multiple times, just like other families.
Play it Again Sports were able to set us up with snow shoes for the entire family – it was such a fun experience for us all.
OLIVER’S DAD: Again, as a parent, I am just trying to give my kids a sense of freedom. This is something that stuck with me by Rudolph Steiner.
Freedom is the sense of being capable of action motivated solely by love.-Rudolph Steiner
OLIVER’S DAD: I also feel that sports are a metaphor for overcoming obstacles against great odds. They do this by allowing us to come together as a teammate, a friend, or a family member in such challenging times. All of this gives us the opportunity to do what we love and cherish while enjoying the healthy lifestyle that the outdoors can bring to us, both mentally and physically.
I would like to thank you all for reading my article on sports. I think the reason we did this was to show people how important all exercise is to everyone. Also another reason we did this is to show how much fun you can have while getting fit.-Oliver, Nine Year Old Adventurer
Thanks again Play It Again Sports, for sponsoring this story. We’d like to end off this story with a word from our sponsor.
Seeing Hugh and his son Oliver find joy together through activity and sport really reminds us as to why we choose to operate a Play It Again Sports location. By making a variety of activities accessible to all families by providing quality new, used and rental options ultimately creates healthy people and healthy communities. It feels like we get to grow with a family by providing an environment to exchange goods and help in their drive to stay active. We are looking forward to Oliver’s adventures with spring and summer sports!