WINDHAM, N.Y. – The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) is gearing up for another winter season of providing ski and snowboard lessons to children and adults with both cognitive and physical disabilities and chronic illnesses. The organization’s first lesson date will be Saturday, December 17.
“We are all really excited for the start of what should be a great winter season,” Executive Director John Iannelli said. “Our team is ready and our lodge is open, something everyone missed dearly the last two winters. With cold temperatures and snow in the recent forecast, Windham should have a variety of trails for our students to enjoy”
The season was initially supposed to begin last weekend on December 10, however due to a lack of snow, the ASF deemed that the available terrain at the time was not appropriate for the ASF students’ first time on snow this season. Now that Windham was gifted plenty of snow from Mother Nature this week, the organization looks forward to get back to teaching adaptive ski and snowboard lessons.
From the middle of December to the middle of March, the ASF hosts adaptive ski and snowboard lessons every weekend, while weekday lessons are available beginning in the final week of December. A student can be signed up for a half-day lesson, choosing between the morning or afternoon session, or a full-day lesson. Lesson availability is based on the availability of the organization’s volunteer instructors.
As well as daily lessons, the ASF offers competition racing and recreational racing programs for those adaptive athletes who are more experienced on the slopes. The Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Competition Racing Program provides coaching, mentoring, technique development and tactics training for athletes with physical disabilities (Paralympic eligible) and intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics). Through hard work and guided coaching, the ASF Race Team athletes earn the opportunity to participate in local, regional and national competitions. The ASF also has its Recreational Race Program that promotes competition, but to a lesser extent than the Competition Racing Program.
The ASF’s Sliders program provides a season-long program for skiers and snowboarders whose aspirations are more recreational and social in nature. The Sliders learn how physical activity, good nutritional habits, and a positive outlook impacts their health through a coordinated student-first coaching philosophy shared by the instructors.
Since 1984, the ASF has been providing sports and recreation opportunities to thousands in the disabled community. The wintertime is special for the ASF, as the foundation started as an adaptive ski school nearly 40 years ago, working out of a room in Windham Mountain’s main lodge. Since then, it has grown into what it is today, an organization that provides year-round services out of its own slope-side lodge, the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center. All this is has been done over the years thanks to many donors and an impressive legion of volunteers, who can be seen in their iconic green jackets sliding down the snow-white slopes.
This will be the first season since early 2020 that the ASF lodge will be open for its many participants and volunteers. This includes the ASF’s lunch program, which was suspended the last two seasons and is very popular among the participants.
The Adaptive Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides profound and life changing experiences for children and adults with physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities and chronic illnesses through outdoor physical activity, education, support and community. If you’d like to help support the ASF’s mission of “empowering lives through adaptive sports”, click here.