A woolly tale - P5
SNOW sports (like beach cricket) is one of the few sporting areas where no matter what your age, gender or capabilities, anyone can participate.
To encourage school students to participate in snow sports, the Victorian Interschools Snowsports Championships were started at Mt Buller in 1958.
The ‘Interschools’ continues to evolve and grow, with organisers working to keep it relevant to all.
‘Nationals’ were introduced and new categories for cross country skiers and snowboarders together with new competitive activities such as skiercross, snowboardcross and freestyle moguls provide something for everyone.
In 2013 the inaugural Victorian Interschools Multiclass Event will provide an opportunity for school aged students with special needs to compete at the Victorian Interschools in their own event.
Supported by Disability Wintersports Australia (DWA) and Special Olympics Victoria (SOV), entrants will also be able to participate in a three day development camp at Mt Buller including race day.
Race coaches include Eric Bickerton, CEO DWA; Sven Erikson, national program manager DWA; Tom Liolios, technical director DWA and Hannah Kennedy, coordinator SOV.
The race divisions will replicate existing mainstream events with both individual and team races across all divisions.
Around 20 students are expected to compete in the event.
Following this the Special Olympics State Championships will be held on the same course.
Long time Mt Buller skier Liz Gosper, who teaches at Ashwood Special School, is passionate about the positive community benefits that this event will provide.
She, and a small group of dedicated teachers and parents who share a common love of snow sports, believe that sport provides common challenges to all and is a wonderful way to promote acceptance and foster understanding and respect.
“Including a Multiclass Snow- sports event for all primary and secondary aged students with special needs as part of the mainstream Interschools event gives our students the opportunity to demonstrate courage and compete safely and confidently against their peers in a race environment,” Liz said.
She added that due to encouragement and assistance from all the organising bodies, initial interest in the Multiclass Event has been very positive.
“Participating schools include metropolitan Ashwood, Rossbourne, Berendale and from country Victoria, Belvoir School Wodonga,” she said.
“We also have Jono Walsh, who is a vision impaired skier on a pathway to ski in the Sochi 2014 Paralympics, coming along to give a motivational talk to the students.”
Liz was keen to add that QANTAS pilot Richard de Crespigny who was recently announced as the new patron of Disabled Wintersport Australia, and his wife Coral, were expected to attend the Multiclass Snowports Awards Dinner at Mt Buller on Tuesday.