Swan River, Manitoba, is a town of about 5,000 people. The long months of winter here could be unbearable if it weren’t for the sport of snowmobiling.
The Swan Valley Snowmobile Association is one of the most active clubs in Manitoba and the third largest in the province. It's been nominated as club of the year twice in the past seven years. As with all clubs, it is only as strong as its volunteers.
Bill Musey has been an active member of the Swan Valley Snowmobile Association since November 2001. Five years of his time with the club was served as a very active and inspirational president. What motivates Musey?
“I love the camaraderie of snowmobiling," said Musey. "I’ve made so many lifelong friends during my years of involvement.”
Musey sits on the board of directors for Snowmobilers of Manitoba (Snoman), which provides strong leadership in the development and maintenance of environmentally friendly trails throughout Manitoba. Currently there are 32 clubs in the province maintaining 11,907 kilometres of trail.
“The trail systems are like the veins and arteries of snowmobiling in Manitoba," said Musey. "They keep riders safe and provide endless hours of winter enjoyment for men, women and children.”
In addition to providing recreational enjoyment, the trail systems have another purpose: safety. Over 90 per cent of the fatalities in Manitoba occur off-trail. Speed limits and detailed signage help to keep sledders alive. Musey also is active in the Ride Sober program, encouraging all snowmobilers to abstain from alcoholic beverages while riding.
Daughter Ali Musey believes in her father.
“My father is a kind-hearted and genuine man," she said. "He treats everyone like royalty and always finds the good in everything.”
With role models like Bill Musey, is it any wonder the sport of snowmobiling is active and strong in Manitoba?