Snow has arrived early and in abundance in Europe so the ski season has well and truly arrived. Ski-ing has become more and more inclusive and if you’re disabled it’s something that keeps you fit and raises the spirits……Here’s some information to help you get started….
It was on the ski slopes of Switzerland that I first noticed I might have something seriously wrong as I found I suddenly didn’t have the strength or balance to get down a Blue Beginners slope – something I’d always been able to enjoy. Ski-ing and driving cool cars are the two things I miss most having become disabled with MS 30 years ago. So I’ve always yearned to get back on the slopes and we’ve written about disabled ski-ing many times. The previous posts can be read here and include not just ski-ing but other winter sports such as those at Skisport Halle in Germany.
So as not to leave American friends ‘out in the cold’, there’s the Disabled Sports USA website that includes resources for Downhill and Nordic Ski-ing in American resorts. Similarly, Whistler adaptive gives great information on ski-ing and general accessibility at Whistler, Canada.
Back to Europe and there’s a new service we’ve been alerted to, in Switzerland it’s the Summit Ski and Snowboard School where they want to enable everyone get out onto the snow and enjoy the thrill of being in the mountains!
They are a small British run Ski School based in the stunning resort of Zermatt, Switzerland and five years ago they set up a program to make skiing an inclusive experience. Situated underneath the iconic view of the Matterhorn, their team of dedicated and experienced instructors are specifically trained to teach adaptive skiing. The program aims to promote independence, remove barriers and enable people to participate in the world of snowsports.
Whether you have a physical disability, a learning difficulty, a sensory need, or just require a different or more specialist approach to learning, Summit has the experience and equipment to enable clients to get out onto the snow. Here’s an example of their service,
Link to youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTACCEQkqBM&t=7s
The Programme was set up by Ski Instructor and British Association of Snowsports Instructor Trainer, Ashley Morton. Ashley was inspired to work in the field of adaptive snowsports after skiing with his brother, Laurie, who has Down’s Syndrome. Ash worked in Adaptive Ski Schools across Europe and in New Zealand and after moving to and falling in love with Zermatt, he decided to set up a programme with Summit.
Summit’s adaptive team is headed up by Sarah Wilcock. She has been involved with Adaptive Skiing for 14 years and has worked closely with the charity Disability Snowsports UK (another great resource for disabled ski-ing) for a number of these years. Here’s another video to inspire you from DSUK.
Sarah has taught Adaptive skiing in Andorra, Italy, Austria, Canada, Australia and of course here in Switzerland. Sarah spends the summers in England, working as an Occupational Therapist and has extensive experience of in working with adults and children with a wide range of disabilities and conditions.
Summit has a strong team of instructors who are motivated to pass on their love for skiing. They want to help you to achieve your goal, whether you are getting on skis for the first time, or are an experienced skier who wants to perfect your technique.
Get in touch if you would like to enquire about lessons for yourself or for someone you know who would enjoy the fun and freedom of adaptive snowsports.
Telephone: +41 27 967 0001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As always if anyone knows of some great disabled ski-ing venues contact us here and tell us more. Off to get some apres ski!!