A4 nominations due March 7

By Frank Ruggiero (frank@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Feb. 27 | Modified: Mar. 8
A4 nominations due March 7

Zack Silberman was one of 2012’s A4 winners.

Photo submitted

The High Country is forming its very own junior A-Team.

But don’t expect a young Master T driving a minivan.

The Appalachian Adventure Achievement Award, or A4, is back for its third year, and adventurers need apply.

Presented by Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs and held in conjunction with the local screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, the A4 was created to recognize and celebrate young mountain athletes and role models.

“What we are really looking for is a way to bring some attention and a way to showcase some of the individuals who are doing some pretty amazing things in their respective mountain sports,” said Rich Campbell, associate director of ASU Outdoor Programs.

Those include skiing, snowboarding, climbing, cross country or trail running, biking, kayaking, backpacking and adventure racing — and that’s for starters.

“A lot of the times, these sports don’t attract as much attention, since they’re not big spectator sports,” Campbell said. “There are some people who are doing great things … people who are elevated through sport, who are contributing to the community or giving back to their sport, like maintaining trails or organizing campaigns to keep rivers or rock sides clean. That’s who we’re looking to celebrate.”

Nominees are eligible in one of two age categories — 18 to 24 and 17 and younger, as of March 2014. Nominations are due March 7. Forms can be found online at http://www.op.appstate.edu, and nominations are free of charge.

Winners — one from each age bracket — will win a deluxe prize package, packed with surprises from award sponsors, including presenting partner Blue Ridge Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and supporters Appalachian Ski Mountain, Earth Fare and Misty Mountain Threadworks. Prizes will also be awarded to two finalists from each category.

The winners will be formally recognized at the March 28 and 29 screenings of the 18th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, to be held at ASU’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.
Previous winners include Zack Silberman (18-24) and Levi Marland (17 and younger) in 2012 and Will Washam (18-24) and Adam Dehus (17 and younger) in 2011. Due to logistical reasons, the competition did not take place in 2013, Campbell said.

The award places a spotlight not only on the winner, but a notion Campbell and Dr. Scott St. Clair of Blue Ridge Pediatrics take to heart.

“We’re trying to encourage people to encourage healthy, active lifestyles,” Campbell said.
“This award promotes the importance of outdoor recreation, leadership skills and community involvement,” St. Clair said in news release. “These are the same values that we hope to encourage in our patients.”

To nominate a young adventurer for the A4, visit http://www.op.appstate.edu.

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