DATE: 19 JULY 2023
On Wednesday 19 July nine physically disabled people took part in a brand new Learn to Ski event at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. The day was organised by WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport and supported by a brilliant team of coaches from Disability Snowsport UK. The free event was a great success and for many of the participants this was the very first time they had been on snow, yet alone tried a sit ski.
One of the attendees was Martha, 19 from Kent who said “Before I became paralysed I used to be a very active person and used to love skiing with my family. So for me today has been just amazing and so great to get back on the slopes for my first time in 5 years. I think I’m addicted already and I will most definitely be doing it again soon!”
Hassan from St Albans said, “Thank you to everyone involved for an absolutely amazing experience. I felt alive again and I am most definitely thinking about taking up mono skiing. It was so much better than wheelchair rugby!”
"It is my first time skiing and it was brilliant experience for me and my son today. It definitely got the adrenaline going, and I felt the freedom as we flew down the slope. I would love to come back and get more independent at skiing in the future.” Callum from Essex.
Deborah from Chesham, Buckinghamshire attended the event with her daughter Ruth (20) who has spina bifida. She said “Sport and activity is really important to Ruth and as a parent I find it difficult to find things for her to do locally. She has never done skiing before but we were both keen for her to try something new and she’s really enjoyed it. We can’t thank WheelPower enough for this opportunity.”
“Anyone with any disability can enjoy the thrill of Snowsports and WheelPower is delighted that we could bring this new opportunity to The Snow Centre in Hemel. Over the course of the day everyone got to have many runs down the slope, supported 1-1 by the coaches from DSUK, and it was clear to see from all the smiles that they loved it! It was also great to see a few of the participants trying a mono ski and improving their balance and technique in such a short time. Thank you to everyone who made this day such a joy and we now look forward to delivering more of these life changing days in the future.” Emily Weller, Head of Sport, WheelPower.
The Learn to Ski with WheelPower event is one of many exciting new opportunities that the charity is delivering in 2023, including Learn to Handcycle and Rowing days at various locations across the United Kingdom. The events are open to complete beginners, or those looking to have another try with the hope they may continue to enjoy the sport following this initial introduction. They are complete free to attend and for anyone with a physical disability over the age of 18.