Thirteen year old Amy Victoria Snow Attalla, one of Fernie Alpine Ski Team’s (FAST) racers, received the Coast Capital Leadership Bursary Award at the 2020 BC Winter Games in Fort St. John. Out of roughly 100 applicants, a total of 16 athletes, including Attalla, accepted the bursary at the closing ceremonies.
The bursary was presented to athletes who show leadership in their communities, teams, or schools, alongside their achievements in education and sport. Each recipient was involved in various leadership groups within their community, including coaching, fundraising, student councils, food banks, public events, and officiating.
“I feel truly honoured to win this award and it feels like the hard work is paying off. It encourages me to keep up the work in school, skiing, leadership, and volunteering. It felt really cool walking up onto a big stage with 16 others, standing there holding this award, hearing my name over the big speaker, then later seeing it on TV. Truly amazing,” Attalla raved.
Athletes have the opportunity to apply for this bursary at every BC Winter and Summer Games. The bursary is sponsored by Coast Capital Savings, a corporate partner of the BC Games Society. The company seeks to help local youth by supporting activities that enrich their health, confidence, self reliance, and leadership skills. Coast Capital Savings has made it its goal to invest 10 per cent of its bottom line into programs that support youth in pursuing their ambitions. They acknowledge the power of sport to meet those ends, and see the BC Winter Games as an opportunity for athletes to further expand their teamwork, friendship, community involvement, and goal setting skills.
“We are continually impressed with the level of commitment that BC Games participants make not only to their sport but to their community,” said Alison Noble, president and CEO of the BC Games Society. “It is an honour to provide this bursary and we look forward to seeing the impact these young leaders will have in the future.”
Despite her busy training schedule, Attalla finds time to be a leader in the community through various volunteer positions. Twice a week, she visits seniors at the Rocky Mountain Village senior’s home, playing card games and interacting with the residents.
“I really enjoy talking to these great people. I chose to volunteer in activities like these because I truly love it all. I love interacting with seniors. I love playing games with them and watching them smile as we build relationships. I love hearing their stories, I love learning their history, and I love to give back to these people and the community,” said Attalla.
Attalla is also involved in the FAST community through volunteering at events such as the annual ski swap, the FAST film festival, and the club’s camps. The budding athlete also devotes time in the summer to building bike trails to give back to the mountain biking community that she is involved in. Not stopping there, young Attalla even writes poetry and articles for the Fernie Fix, a local magazine.
“Amy is constantly making us proud with family, school, volunteering and her athletic efforts. For the BC Games Society to recognize her and give her an award is amazing. She’s one of my heroes,” said Amy’s father, Paul Attalla.
The decorated alpine racer joined FAST at the ripe age of five, and had her sights set on the BC Winter Games since she was 10. Devoted to advancing in the sport of skiing, Attalla skis throughout the weekend, taking three afternoons off from school to train each week. Despite a broken thumb, Attalla placed 31st in the combined time slalom event at the games, and looks forward to many more races in the future.
“We are extremely proud of all of our athletes and Amy Attalla who brought home this amazing recognition. Congratulations Amy and thank you to all our athletes for being such great ambassadors of our club and our sport,” said Derick Berry, FAST club president.