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Giving disabled skiers a lift

There are so many ways you can volunteer. My brother, my mom, my two aunts and I are all a part of something wonderful. At Windham Mountain, in upstate New York, the Adaptive Sports Program helps disabled skiers.

Kidsday reporter Peyton Naus of Wantagh teaching her

Kidsday reporter Peyton Naus of Wantagh teaching her 2-year-old cousin Reese Delaney to ski at Windham Mountain, where Adaptive Sports Foundation volunteers help disabled skiers on the slopes.

 

Photo Credit: Naus family

The program helps people with physical and chronic illnesses learn to ski. Anyone 5 and older can participate. The disabilities range from autism, paralysis, amputation, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injuries.

In the winter, you can recognize these skiers on the slopes by their  dark green jackets, which feature the word “Adaptive” in orange. My aunt has had a lot of experience with the program. She says, “My experience at the Adaptive Sports Foundation [ASF] was very unique and special. ASF provides the appropriate ski equipment, resources, accessibility and environment for athletes with disabilities to thrive in a snow sport that they wouldn’t be able to participate in depending on their disability.”

To become an instructor in the program, you need recommendation letters, plus a letter about yourself and why you want to do this. Before you become an actual worker, you need to train. My brother went through his training this past winter.

The Adaptive Sports Program at Windham Mountain is great. We should recognize all the positive things it achieves, and hopefully more children and adults will benefit from another amazing season next winter.

Info: adaptivesportsfoundation.org

Valentina Gatti and Bonnie Hersch’s sixth-grade class, Wantagh Middle School

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