Old Thredbo St Moritz ski jackets are being put to good use and going to new homes around the world. They are going to children around the world who would otherwise feel the cold a lot more.
In 2011 the decision was made by the St Moritz ski committee to update the old red club ski jackets. They were replaced with the colourful and distinctive jacket that is now familiar on the ski slopes of Thredbo. This then led to the question of what to do with the old jackets? They ranged from well worn but still serviceable to brand new.
The committee preferred that they did not appear on the mountain worn by non club members so the prospect of donating them to an overseas charitable organization was investigated . Many inquiries with organisations such as the Nepalese embassy, UNHCR and UNICEF were made and it was discovered that getting the jackets to these deserving kids would be at a considerable expense.
There was a family connection at the time with a charity that exported donated clothing items to needy African countries, but the connection was lost and there was no assurance of where the jackets would go.
Graeme Windsor's position as volunteer president of an international sporting body requires him to travel a few times each year, so the committee thought it would be able to distribute the jackets themselves. So far it has been a success and from about 60 jackets only about 20 remain. Four jackets compressed well into baggage and weighed roughly three to four kilos.
The first eight jackets went to Vancouver in October 2012. Graeme visited friends who live in the Gibsons (just near the turn off to go up to Whistler Blackcomb) who have friends involved in running a school for the disadvantaged children in Vancouver.
Graeme's next jacket trip was to Dubai for a major international skydiving world competition and where he knew he would be seeing people from many cold climate countries. He made friends with a driver working at the event who was from the northern part of India and he makes an annual visit to see his wife and children and said he would be very happy to take the eight jackets as it is very cold in winter and is a very poor area.
In January 2013 Graeme took eight Jackets to Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzogovina. His friends there are involved with an orphanage and this country is still emerging from the devastation of the Balkan wars, and is going through an imbalance. His friends were very happy to be able to distribute the jackets to the underprivileged children in the local area.
In May 2013 Graeme travelled to Yorkshire, UK where his friends are involved in a local rowing club which encourages young people to take up the sport to improve their health and to develop a focus on outdoor activities.
Graeme is currently back in Bosnia Herzegovina and has taken another eight jackets and some polar fleeces for more needy local kids.
We anticipate the remaining jackets will be going to Dubai again later this year and to Austria in January 2014. All the remaining jackets will go to a local community in a ski area in Tanay, in the Kemerovo region of Siberia.