Local ski cross athlete Jason Oliemans hopes to raise $7,000 through crowdfunding and raffling off a season pass to cover a shortfall in funds.
Oliemans said that he will attend many more races and camps this year and that will take a toll on his finances. He estimates that he will need $17,000 by the end of the season, and has only $10,000 saved up from working in the summer.
“It’s the cost of going to the races. Almost every race that I end up going to is at least a 12-hour drive and a lot of them end up being flights,” said Oliemans. “Hotels, race fees and transportation getting back-and-forth tends to be what the big costs are.”
His biggest expense came from joining the Canadian National Development Team in Saas Fee, Switzerland last October.
The GoFundMe campaign has raised $1,450 of $3,500 at the time of writing with the biggest contributions coming from BV Electric, at $500. Hudson Bay Mountain manager Chrissy Chapman and Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach also contributed $150 and $80 respectively.
“If I can get the full amount of $3,500, then I should be able to make it to all the races, and at the end of the season, not be having me spending off my summer paying off the past races,” said Oliemans.
Oliemans elaborates that if he fails to fundraise the balance, he will have to stop racing next season as he will use the money raised in the summer to pay off debt, rather than saving it for the next season.
Oliemans said he is attending more races and camps this year because he has higher aims.
“This is the year I’m going out and trying to get a certain good result to make it onto the National Development Team and get my name out there,” he said. “One of my other goals, either this year or next year, is to make it to World Juniors.”
“To make it to those kind of races and onto those kind of teams, you need to show certain results at, of course, the various higher-level races.”
To sweeten the deal, Oliemans is offering to wax and tune your skis or give you a masterclass on ski cross — if you contribute enough.
A bronze reward level, requiring a contribution of $40, will see Oliemans offering waxing and tuning services at Local Supply Co. A platinum level reward, requiring $400, will see you get a postcard from the Nor-Am event, the masterclass and a pair of tickets to the Canadian National Ski Cross Championships banquet.
“I appreciate every donation that’s made, but for a certain amount, I’m giving back things that I can do,” said Oliemans.
Oliemans is also raffling off a 2016/2017 Hudson Bay Mountain season pass. Each ticket costs $20 and he has 300 of them. He hopes to raise another $3,500 from it.
You can buy these at Hudson Bay Mountain’s downtown office or at Local Supply Co.
Olieman’s GoFundMe page is located at gofundme.com/myskijourney.