WINDHAM, N.Y. – This Saturday, December 9, the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) will begin its 40th-anniversary season of providing ski and snowboard lessons to children and adults with both cognitive and physical disabilities and chronic illnesses at Windham Mountain Club.
“I’m thrilled to commemorate our 40th year of empowering individuals with disabilities,” ASF Executive Director John Iannelli said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to lead such an outstanding organization–one I’m immensely proud of.”
In the winter of 1983-1984, the late Gwen Allard conducted the first adaptive ski lesson under what was known as the Ski Windham Adaptive Program (SWAP). After 40 years of growth and a couple of name changes, the Adaptive Sports Foundation is proud to continue Allard’s legacy of inclusion and empowering lives.
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 a competition racing program and a recreational program, the ASF Sliders, for those adaptive athletes who are more experienced on the slopes. The ASF’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 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.
Along with the on-snow activities, the ASF has several other 40th-anniversary celebrations and fundraising events occurring this winter in Windham, including its annual Awareness Day celebration featuring the band The Nerds on January 13 and its Winter Gala, which will take place on February 10. Both events will be held in Seasons at the Windham Mountain Club base lodge. For more information on these events and the other exciting events the ASF will be hosting, click here.
About the Adaptive Sports Foundation
For 40 years the ASF has been providing sports and recreation opportunities to thousands in the disabled community. 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 has been accomplished 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.
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”, please click here.