Do you remember the first time you clipped into a pair of skis? Or that feeling in your stomach as you looked down at the bright white snow? Were you nervous of what felt like the steepest hill ever? Or were you excited and ready, visualising yourself cutting through the snow like Chemmy Alcott or Dave Ryding? How about the first time that you experienced that rush of adrenaline and the feeling of air rushing around your body as the hair stood up on the back of your neck?
Snowsport makes us feel alive like no other sport can: like we can achieve anything. Disability Snowsport UK exists to make sure everyone gets to experience that feeling.
The unique health benefits felt by DSUK’s skiers and snowboarders may begin with that feeling of freedom, but the longer-term health benefits reach far beyond that. Over-and-above physical health, good mental health is important for everyone, and particularly important for someone who was born disabled, or acquired a disability or injury.
Travel, exercise, belonging to a community, and even something that many of us take for granted like being outside, can all help to promote happiness and positive mental health. Afterall, what else lights up our brains like a Christmas tree more than the thrill of a good downhill run!?
DSUK has been helping disabled people to realise their full potential for almost 50 years. They pride themselves on supporting all disabled people to learn to ski or snowboard but Covid-19 has hit them hard and they’re facing their toughest year in their proud history.
Disability Snowsport UK have missed out on nearly a whole year of fundraising activities, as well as being unable to generate income from the adaptive lessons that they usually deliver.
Mark Kelvin, CEO of DSUK explains the level of the challenge. “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on so many of us, and it’s being heartening to see the British public rally to support our front-line staff and to donate time and money to charities, despite many of them feeling increased anxiety over their own household income. A challenge for DSUK is that most people don’t understand the health benefits of Snowsport, and so we’re seen as a ‘luxury’, and not a necessity. Essentially, we are asking the British snowsport community to save us. They are uniquely placed to understand what we do and more likely to support us than non-skiers. We’re an incredibly lean charity that rely on our army of volunteers and small number of paid staff to effectively make disabilities disappear. The specialist equipment and training required to do this properly is expensive, and really, every little does help.”
Providing freedom through adaptive snowsports to everyone is what makes DSUK so unique. A sight impaired snowboarder or a person with a spinal injury using a mono-ski may never have imagined they can enjoy the rush of adrenaline that comes with mastering a mountain. There are no disabilities that DSUK cannot work with and no skill level they don’t welcome, meaning everyone gets to experience what they call, ‘the power of powder’.
DSUK is keen to give-back to everybody, including their donors, and that’s one reason that they run the DSUK lottery. The Lottery is drawn each month and sees winners picking up at least £100 cash with a winning ticket! One years’ worth of lottery tickets costs just £30. To sign up and find out more, go to https://www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk/lottery.
You can also make a donation of any amount to DSUK via their ‘Ski You Soon’ appeal on Just Giving, here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/DSUK, thank you.
Before you continue on your web journey, just scroll back to the top of this blog and remind yourself of that feeling snowsport gives you. Now imagine not being able to ever experience that… Disability Snowsport UK needs your support to continue enabling anyone, regardless of disability, injury or experience to get that feeling that brings us all back to the slopes time after time.
Please help DSUK to continue their work. Because we ALL deserve the benefits snowsport brings. Thank you.