FWT Commits Itself to Gender Equality
In case you missed it, yesterday the Freeride World Tour announced that men and women athletes will be awarded equal prize money across all categories beginning with the first event of FWT20.
As other tours and sports associations struggle with the decision, the FWT made this milestone announcement committing itself to gender equality as it strives to continue inspiring new generations of freeriders to chase the ultimate dream of earning a spot on the renowned FWT.
FWT CEO, Nicolas Hale-Woods explains,
“This is a major step forward to elevate women freeride skiing and snowboarding, and is simply the right and only thing to do for the FWT."
This means that when the world’s best freeriders drop into the first event of the FWT20 coming up January 18-25 in Hakuba, Japan, they will for the first time ever, be competing for equal prize money.
Two-time Snowboard Women World Champion, Marion Haerty (FRA) said,
"Competing since the age of 10, I have been able to observe positive developments so that women, too, have the means to create their dreams in this discipline. I hope that this sends a message of empowerment to the next generations.”
Whilst two-time Ski Men World Champ, Drew Tabke (USA) is also a fan of the move,
“I believe it’s the right move, as I’m confident it will push performance levels while growing worldwide participation of women in Freeride.“
A brief history of the participation of women in competitive freeride and the FWT.
1996: 1st Verbier Xtreme, Snowboard was the only category for both men and women.
2004: Ski Men introduced at Xtreme Verbier.
2006: Ski Women introduced at Xtreme Verbier.
2008: Creation of the Freeride World Tour / 5 stages / 4 categories; Ski Men, Ski Women, Snow Men, Snow Women
2020: First time that Women and Men will share equal prize money and creation of the program focused on growing women's involvement in freeride “Girls Just Wanna Have Pow”.
Fergie, the founder of FLŌA, founded and spent ten years at Base Camp training over 2,000 ski & snowboard instructors before spending 8 years working in tech startups, including at over 5 accelerators covering Seed to Series A, before returning to action sports base layers and creating the FLŌA brand.