Big Brothers, Big Sisters Help Kids Ski in Autumn

The Snej.Com indoor slope features this interactive training simulator.

This Sunday, four dozen kids will brave the 65-meter summit of a snow-covered indoor slope, many of them skiing or snowboarding for the first time.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, a worldwide nonprofit group that helps disadvantaged youths realize potential through one-to-one mentorships, is teaming up with southwest Moscow's Snej.Com arena and the SkyTecSport training club to teach kids how to ski and snowboard and, in doing so, build self-confidence.

Sunday's event is the first of the charity's school-year program for children under the care of youth shelters around Moscow.

"When kids become more self-confident, they build communication skills and become more interested in the outside world," said Roman Sklotsky, the charity's Russia director.

The kids will initially train with a simulator, then, when they feel confident enough and get the proper go-ahead, they will attempt the actual slope.

"The simulator really gives you the feeling of skiing down a slope. It even shows you if you hit a tree," said Anna Futoryan, an outreach coordinator for the charity. "The bigger brother will encourage his little brother, and the little brother will feel the support and not be afraid to go down the slope."

Futoryan added, "While most charitable giving is based on donations and gifts, we believe that personal attention to children is infinitely more important."

The organization currently maintains more than 150 mentorships in Moscow.

If you speak Russian and would like to become a big brother or sister, call +7 (495) 649-2466 or e-mail info@nastavniki.org.

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