KILLINGTON, Vermont — On Saturday January 19th and Sunday January 20th, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports will be providing programs to a group of Visually Impaired athletes from across the country, all members of the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).
This is the first annual Winter Ski Festival, a program specifically designed to get both experienced and inexperienced skiers out on the snow. Participants have the opportunity to learn to alpine or Nordic ski. The program is designed to provide a supportive environment to help athletes realize personal potential and self confidence never experienced before, regardless of their athletic ability. The U.S. Paralympics joined efforts and assisted a few athletes by providing scholarships for airfare.
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, hosted by Killington Resort and Pico Mountain, provides year round access and instruction to adaptive sports at a variety of locations around the state for individuals with a disability. “By working with partners, like USABA Disabled Sports, USA, and the US Paralympics, we can collectively identify individuals that want to explore the possibility of taking sports to the next level”, says Executive Director of Vermont Adaptive, Erin Fernandez. “It is important to provide both beginner and advanced opportunities, so it is a supportive environment. Beginners will be reassured by the more experienced athletes and the experienced athletes will have encouragement from special guest coaches”.
The participants will be arriving on Friday, and the Festival kicks off with a pizza party and Goal Ball demonstration. Early Saturday and Sunday athletes will be driven to Pico Mountain or Mountain Top Inn. They will be greeted by trained sighted guides, who will be skiing and coaching participants throughout the weekend.
Vermont Adaptive and the USABA have similar missions to their organizations. To provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in sports and physical activity. For more information about USABA log on to www.usaba.org. For more information about Vermont Adaptive log on to www.vermontadaptive.org