‘Define what stoke means to you’ – Students can now apply for Bindu Spirit award | VailDaily.com

‘Define what stoke means to you’ – Students can now apply for Bindu Spirit award

Volunteer committee accepting scholarship applications through Jan. 4

Jack Coyne receives the inaugural Bindu Spirit Award From Gil Pomeroy, Bindu's father, at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy on Dec. 7, 2019. Special to the Daily.

When the Bindu Spirit award launched last season, volunteers weren’t sure what to expect.

A group of friends had been working on ways to honor Bindu Sky Pomeroy, a Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy teacher who died while snowboarding in 2018. The Bindu Spirit award, a scholarship for Eagle County high school students pursuing academic and athletic excellence, was born from the group’s efforts to remember Bindu.

Bindu died on Nov. 27, 2018, in the East Vail backcountry after landing head-first and sinking into deep snow.

At his memorial, “it was a packed house, hundreds of people, everyone was there because they loved Bindu, there was a lot of positivity and people wanted to do something with that,” said Sam Bennett, who was a teacher with Bindu at VSSA. “There was a lot of people that were willing to do something … we’ve had several successful events, and we’ve managed to always incorporate students from the ski academy into all the projects.”

Bindu Sky Pomeroy, 44, who was lovingly called “The Mayor of East Vail,” died on Nov. 27, 2018, in a backcountry accident, sending shockwaves through the community. Pomeroy was a well known snowboarder and teacher at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy.
Special to the Daily

The scholarship project was a success. VSSA senior Jack Coyne won the award, but as fundraising had been more successful than anticipated, two other athletes received scholarship awards, as well.

And just like Bindu, who was not your typical social studies teacher, his scholarship is not your typical financial grant.

“It’s, here’s $5,000, use it as you see fit to support snow sports,” Bennett said. “We don’t have them account for the money.”

Coyne is on the US Snowboard Team’s Rookie Team. While the rookies are supported at competitions, they still have to get themselves to those events. Something as simple as a camp at Mammoth Mountain can be a little daunting for someone with an invite but no transportation.

“That was my travel budget for the season,” Coyne said. “It helped me and my dad fund getting to all the contests, so it was crucial for last year.”

With the time he would have otherwise spent in the documentation and accounting that comes with other financial grants, Coyne edited his snowboarding movie “Jake Korn The Movie.”

The movie debuted to positive reviews from snowboarders like Chris Corning, who said “Heck yeah!” and Windham Lawndart Miller, who used keypad characters to create a graphic picture illustrating his excitement.

“Jake Korn The Movie” is dedicated to Bindu and will be played at the Spirit Award presentation on Jan. 16, at which time the 2021 Spirit Award winner will be announced. Jan. 16 is Bindu’s birthday; he would have turned 47 in 2021.

Students can now apply by visiting bspmemorial.com/scholarship. The scholarship is open to students who are also full-time snow sports athletes, and students must explain why they need the financial assistance and how the financial assistance will also assist their communities. Other questions include “Define what ‘stoke’ means to you?” and “How will this financial assistance advance your goals in your sport during school and post graduation?”

Hundreds gathered at the Vail Nordic Center on Nov. 30, 2018, to celebrate the life of Bindu Pomeroy, a social studies teacher at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy who was known for his backcountry snowboarding prowess.
Townsend Bessent/Special to the Daily

The application period runs through Jan. 4, and more details about the Jan. 16 event will be released in the weeks to come.

“The event will be a way for us all to get together virtually, but also to announce the winner of the scholarship,” Bennett said.

Learn more by visiting bspmemorial.com.

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