Wānaka Sun       

Adaptive snow sports ensures the snow is for all

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 18 Jul, 2019 | By Abby Costen journalist@thewanakasun.co.nz

Snow Sports NZ has set up agreements with every commercial ski area in New Zealand, along with many overseas, to aid disabled people in experiencing adaptive snow-sports. 

The organisation aims to support those with permanent functional impairments ride the mountain; offering its adaptive members discounts on lift passes and instruction, as well as specialised equipment rentals ‒ such as modified skis and snowboards, frames and outriggers.

The adaptive membership costs $20 per annum for under 16s, valid from July 1 and June 30 ‒ ideal for the holidays.

The charitable trust sponsors athlete and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Adam Hall. Diagnosed at birth with spina bifida, he started skiing at age six and switched to snowboarding at age nine. 

During Starting Out in Adaptive Snow Sports in NZ, Adam says: “skiing and snowboarding truly is an incredible feeling, [leaving] the everyday business of a disability behind you for just a short period of time and be up on a chairlift shredding around.”

Cardrona Alpine Resort near Wanaka has one of the biggest adaptive snow-sport programmes in the country, catering to people with physical, sensory and cognitive impairments; including autism and dyspraxia which come with additional emotional and mental challenges, as well as physical.

At Cardrona, the target is to ensure that skiing and snowboarding comes with no limits, providing adaptive members with 50 percent off day passes and rentals, plus 40 percent off lessons. “Cardrona does a fantastic job in this area and has done for many years,” said Jane Stevens, adaptive snow sports manager from Snow Sports NZ. 

Snow Farm NZ, the home of cross-country skiing, likewise offers cardholders 50 percent off day passes and specialised rentals. Visitors can glide across 55km of trails, taking in views of the Pisa Range and bubbling Meg River. 

Find out more or sign up to be an adaptive member at snowsportsnz.co.nz.

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