First Parent and Caregiver Day a Rousing Success!

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The first ever Parent and Caregiver Ski and Ride Clinic in the country took place on March 27, 2015 at Eldora Mountain Resort presented by Ignite Adaptive Sports. Ignite Adaptive Sports is a 40 year old adaptive ski program that provides safe, fun, and affordable instruction in alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing to people with cognitive and physical disabilities to enhance their quality of life. If a student can get to Eldora, Ignite can get them skiing.

Addie at Copper Mountain
Addie with her family at Copper Mountain after the clinic

The weather on the 22nd was bright and sunny, the snow perfect. The clinic was lead by instructor extraordinaire Jacque Carbone assisted by Terri Rosenbaum and Keith Jimmerson. The purpose of this clinic was to instruct parents and caregivers the skills needed to be able to ski as a family with their children with disabilities. The three dads representing their families were a little nervous but those concerns were laid to rest as the lesson progressed and they realized that they had all the skills needed to ski with their children. The skills covered were terrain choice, lift loading and unloading skills, safety concerns at ski resorts, adaptive equipment options, ski down or call ski patrol, and ski skills needed as it relates to adaptive requirements.

One of the specific ski skills worked on was to ski pizza to french fries and back again in one continuous movement. That is to say snow plow ( pizza ) to parallel skis ( french fries ) and repeat. This teaches balance, speed control and stopping. Stopping is important. Left turns followed by right turns then coming to a stop are also one of the many skills that were covered.

It is always exciting to see the transition from worrying about what your child can’t do to now realizing all the things your child can do. To quote one parent “ The Ignite program is absolutely enhancing the lives of it’s fortunate participants, making what once may have seemed impossible, possible”. The first ever Parent and Caregiver Ski and Ride Clinic was safe, informative, and FUN, the first of many to come.

Bob, who joined the clinic has been waiting for a class like this for many years and was elated when Jacque sent the email announcing it to parents. He signed up right away and was ready to go in the early March morning of the clinic. “The students in the class happened to be three guys, which was a good thing in a sense. If I can ski down and maintain control with a 180 pound guy, I should be able to control the speed of my seven year old girl.”

Bob was excited about trying the equipment that is used in lessons at Ignite, including the ski bra and the hula hoop. “It’s one thing to hear about these tools and very different to experience skiing with them. It’s great to see how I can share the joy of skiing with other people if I join the program. I’m thinking about joining the program next year to be able to ski more with my daughter and share the love of the mountain with more people.”

Bob’s participation in a real lesson with his daughter the weekend after the clinic drove home the lessons of the clinic. With three instructors, they were able to have her ski independently a distance of about 20 feet toward him. “It was a great feeling to see my daughter standing and skiing on her own!”

The short drive up to Eldora is a great help to the family. Through the lessons with Ignite, they have become friends with many other families that participate in the program and joined the ranks of season pass holders that were introduced to the gem that is Eldora through Ignite.

Bob’s daughter loves skiing and everyone at Ignite, human or plush. This always gives her a big smile going up to the hill and coming home. Off the mountain, she prefers swimming and ballet. We look forward to seeing her and Bob on the mountain next year.

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