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Vermont Adaptive Skiing to Host US Association of Blind Athletes Winter Ski Festival

  • Published: 2008-12-26 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-11) : Vermont Adaptive Skiing.
  • Synopsis: Vermont Adaptive Skiing will host the United States Association of Blind Athletes second annual winter ski festival Jan 16-18 2009

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As part of its commitment to introducing individuals with disabilities to the love of sports, including skiing and snowboarding, Vermont Adaptive Skiing & Sports, the only year-round organization in the state to offer daily programs for people with disabilities, will host the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Second Annual Winter Ski Festival Jan. 16-18, 2009.

As part of its commitment to introducing individuals with disabilities to the love of sports, including skiing and snowboarding, Vermont Adaptive Skiing & Sports, the only year-round organization in the state to offer daily programs for people with disabilities, will host the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Second Annual Winter Ski Festival Jan. 16-18, 2009.

Blind and visually impaired skiers, including military service members and veterans with eye injuries, will either learn to ski or participate in a competitive racing program depending on the individual's ability level. Alpine activities will be held at Pico Mountain while Nordic programs will be held at the Mountain Top Inn in Chittenden.

"We're pleased to be the host of this very special event," said Erin Fernandez, executive director at Vermont Adaptive. "Vermont Adaptive's well-trained guides and instructors will pair up with each blind and visually impaired skier to either learn the skills necessary to enjoy the sport of skiing, or to take existing skills to the next level, competitive racing. To be able to offer this opportunity to people who may not otherwise be able to afford or attend an event like this is just fantastic. It's a very empowering experience for these individuals."

USABA, with the support of the Gibney Family Foundation, covers the majority of the costs for participants to attend the festival, including lift tickets, ski rentals and guide costs. In addition to military service members and veterans, the New England Chapter of the National Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired (NAPVI) will meet while some of their children participate in the event. While kids are skiing, their parents will conduct support meetings and share information and resources for their children.

In addition, Vermont Adaptive and USABA have partnered with the U.S. Paralympics to earmark this festival as a Paralympic Academy event. These events serve as an introduction to Paralympic sports and allow participants to try different activities. This year all participants will be introduced to the Paralympic sport of goalball during the festival.

The inclusive weekend includes lodging and daily transportation to the events as well as all meals, lift tickets, rental equipment, instruction, and specially trained guides. A banquet will be held Saturday night at the Killington Grand Hotel and Conference Center. A Paralympics athlete will be the featured keynote speaker.

To learn more about the event or to fill out an application, visit www.usaba.org/Pages/usabaheadlines/Ski/09VermontSkiFestival.html or contact Donna Stanley at Vermont Adaptive, 802.353.7584 or Mark Lucas at USABA, 719.630.0422

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's Mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information, visit: www.usaba.org



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