A4 open for applications

Article Published: Dec. 15, 2011 | Modified: Mar. 31, 2012
A4 open for applications

ASU student and mountain biker William Washam took home one of this year’s A4 awards.

Films will be watched, and young adventurers will be celebrated.

Appalachian State University’s Outdoor Programs will host the 16th annual screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at Farthing Auditorium on March 30 and 31.

The tour will feature short films and documentaries selected from the annual international film competition that focuses on mountain culture, outdoor sports and the environment.

For the second year, Outdoor Programs and Blue Ridge Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine will present the Appalachian Adventure Achievement Award (A4) in conjunction with the festival.

The award will recognize two young people in the High Country community who exemplify the outdoor sporting lifestyle. The mountain sports stars and role models will be presented with the A4 on stage at Banff and will win a prize package that includes items from program sponsors Appalachian Ski Mountain, Earth Fare and Misty Mountain Threadworks.

The A4 was created by Outdoor Programs in 2011 in an effort to positively inspire more youth to adopt a healthy, supportive and active outdoor lifestyle for their current and future well-being.

“We wanted to find a way to celebrate young people who are doing great things in our mountain community, so we created this award,” said Rich Campbell, associate director of ASU Outdoor Programs.

Outdoor Programs drew inspiration from the Mountain Idol award presented to athletes in the communities surrounding the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, the Canadian facility, which hosts the Banff Mountain Festival.

“After talking with their award coordinators, we came up with our own version specific to young people here in the High Country,” Campbell said. “The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture was very supportive of our efforts and noted that they are not aware of any other community who is doing anything like it.”

The A4 was designed to acknowledge the passion and pursuits of members of the youth sporting community and inspire others to join them in living active, healthy and adventurous lives. The initiative being advanced by A4 is one that Dr. Scott St. Clair of Blue Ridge Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine fully supports.

“This award promotes the importance of outdoor recreation, leadership skills and community involvement,” he said. “These are the same values that we hope to encourage in our patients.”

Ideal candidates for the A4 are those who excel in a mountain sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, climbing, trail running, biking, kayaking or backpacking. They are valued role models who elevate the status of their sport in the High Country, excellent ambassadors of the High Country outdoor community and contribute to the social or environmental awareness of the area.

The first recipients of the award were Watauga High School student Adam Dehus and Appalachian State University student Will Washam. Dehus boulders nearly every day after school and mentors classmates who are interested in climbing. Washam is a competitive mountain biker who helped organize a local series of downhill bike races.

Submissions for 2012 A4 are open on the ASU Outdoor Programs website through Jan. 31. Individuals may be nominated in either the 17 and younger or 18 to 24 age categories. Nominees must currently reside or attend school in Watauga, Avery or Ashe counties.

The 17 and younger A4 winner will be announced at the March 31 screening of the Banff Festival, and the 18 to 24 year old A4 winner on the April 1 screening.

Tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour are available now at Footsloggers (139 S. Depot St.) and Farthing Auditorium (733 Rivers St.). They are also available at the Farthing Auditorium website, http://www.farthing.appstate.edu. Prices are $10 per adult and $7 for ASU students.

For more information on Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour and the A4 Award, visit op.appstate.edu or contact Rich Campbell at (828) 262-2475 or (campbllrh@appstate.edu)

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