Adaptive Snowsports...anything is possible.
WHAT ARE ADAPTIVE SNOWSPORTS?
Adaptive snowsports use adaptive equipment and provide accessible support systems to allow people with a wide range of disabilities to take to the snow and experience the freedom of snow sports in the least restrictive manner possible.
There are two types of Para Alpine Skiing: sit-ski and standing ski. Both of these can be adapted to make it more suitable for your disability. Sit-ski's can be mono- or bi-ski and enable people who might usually use a wheelchair or find it difficult to stand for long periods to enjoy skiing, both with and without assistance. Stand Up skiing can be with or without outriggers and if you are visually impaired you may need a guide. Stand Up skiing is available for people who can use skis but may need instructor support to control direction and speed, verbal instruction or additional equipment
Para Snowboarding is suitable for anyone who can stand unaided whether using prosthetics or otherwise. The equipment used in adaptive snowboard is the same for most disabilities: Boots, bindings and snowboard. Adaptions are sometimes made to prosthetics to improve their interaction with the board such as heel wedges and padding in the shin. Sometimes tethers may be used to aid with steering in the learning phase and for those with double leg amputations special bindings are used.
Para Nordic has Paralympic classification categories for sit-skiers and those with leg, arm, combined and visual impairments. The discipline is comprised of two types of events: Cross Country Skiing, which ranges from 2.5km to 20km in classical and freestyle techniques and Biathlon, which combines shooting 5 targets from 10m between skiing laps. In the summer Para Nordic skiers can practise and train on rollerskis. There are currently 4 Nordic ski clubs in Scotland, SSS supports these clubs to provide opportunities for adaptive skiers.
We would encourage you to contact Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK), an organisation that works to make sure that anyone with a disability, may it be learning, sensory or physical, can ski or snowboard alongside other people in Scotland. They cater for complete novices to snowsports all the way to advanced participants with both snowsports schools and local groups scattered around the country.
There are also several other companies we work with around Scotland and the UK who also cater for disability and can support with lessons and funding, as described below. You may also look to join a club, most snowsports clubs would welcome disabilities.
Disability Snowsports UK
Disability Snowsport UK’s vision is of mountains and ski slopes free from barriers. They believe that all people have the right to access the unique physical, mental, and social benefits of snowsport, regardless of disability, injury, or experience.
They operate ski schools at various locations throughout Scotland as well as delivering opportunities to ski and snowboard in a mountain environment worldwide.
Adaptive Snowsports Collective
Adaptive Snowsports Collective offer both one to one private adaptive lessons and inclusive group lessons where people with and without a disability can ski together. Any profits from their lessons go back into their work or into the disability snowsport community.
They can be based at Glenmore Lodge, The Lecht or Cairngorm Mountain Resort.
Developed in partnership with Special Olympics, Sport Aberdeen offer sessions which are suitable for individuals with additional support needs and provide a pathway of progression through the sport. Their programmes run on a 50 week coached programme cycle.
Their ‘Get active for Less’ discounted access scheme offers a range of pay and play and membership discounts to those who meet the eligibility criteria.
EVENTS COMING UP
The Progression Sessions are open to any snowboarders with a disability or additional support needs looking to develop their skills and push their riding to the next level. During the sessions we'll work on ensuring the fundamentals are honed so you have a good platform to work from as we explore how to ride different parts of the mountain. These sessions are currently based down in England due to the closure of Snow Factor.
These sessions are currently based down in England due to the closure of Snow Factor.
Aberdeen Live often run Para Nordic session for those new to the sport and Fife Rollerski Club are open to disabilities too. Please keep an eye on this page for further updates.
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