The mind behind last Friday’s Campus In-flight skiing and snowboarding demonstration, Myles Williamson, called the event a “huge success.”
“I don’t think this could have gone any better. It’s a dream come true,” said Williamson after the event.
Campus In-flight, which showcased what professional skiers and snowboarders can do when given a high-speed winch and a 45-foot jump, had been an idea of Williamson’s for over a year.
As the founding member of Out Here, TRU’s ski and snowboard club, Williamson came up with the idea as a way to show TRU students what goes on within Out Here without having to be on a ski hill.
“All the stuff that goes on in the ski and snowboard club has to happen on a mountain,” Williamson said. “But it’s hard to show students what these trips can be like through photos, videos or a booth on campus while saying, ‘Hey come out to the mountain,’ when they have no idea what these trips can be like.”
Wanting to host an event on campus that he could fully call his own, the idea for Campus In-flight came to Williamson while he was in the Brown Family House of Learning.
“I work in the HOL and below there are those rolling hills, the teletubby hills. One day I was just looking out the window and I noticed how there are two knolls that are in perfect alignment and perfect distance for a jump,” Williamson said.
“So I thought about and decided I wanted to make an event of it.”
Williamson, who is Red Bull’s student brand manager for TRU, then pitched his idea to the energy drink company. The prospect of holding an extreme sporting event on a university campus appealed to Red Bull, who Williamson said was onboard with the idea from the very beginning.
The biggest hurdle for getting the event started however, would be TRU itself. It wasn’t until Williamson met Billy Collins, a lecturer within TRU’s department of Tourism Management, that Campus In-flight became an achievable goal.
“I talked to a few people about making this event, and they all said, ‘Talk to Billy Collins, he is kind of the guy who makes stuff happen around here,’” Williamson said.
After proposing Campus In-flight to Collins, Williamson said that the event really started to take shape.
“He submitted to me his idea in written form, in a proposal and I thought, ‘We can do this, but it has to be done the right way,’” Collins said. “I cleaned up and edited Myles’ proposal a bit. Then we sent it off to Warren Asuchak of Facilities, Jacquetta Goy of Risk Management and Glenn Read of Ancillary Services. Right from the start they had been super supportive of it.”
Collins was even able to secure financial backing for the event from both Ancillary Services and TRU Tourism Management. In total, the event cost $1,500, the majority of which went to GK Sound, the company who provided the lighting and sound equipment for the event. Though both Williamson and Collins said that the event’s biggest expense came in the form of time, with Williamson putting in nearly 100 hours of his time in the week before the event.
Collins, who is hoping to use the event to sell the tourism management program to potential students, thinks that Campus In-flight may usher in a new era where universities are comfortable with hosting more events with potential risks.
“We have lots of events on this campus, all the time, to the point where there are too many,” Collins said.
“I think we need a few more extraordinary events.”