Disabled skiers impress Minister Drum
MINISTER for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum was amazed and impressed by the talent and courage of disabled skiers such as Jess Gallagher when he visited Falls Creek recently.
Mr Drum learned that Jess Gallagher, who is visually impaired, reached speeds of over 100km to win bronze in the Slalom events at Sochi last year.
Mr Drum said, “Jess’ courage and faith in her guide puts the achievements of able bodied athletes into perspective.”
Mr Drum also visited Disability Wintersport Australia’s (DWA) facilities at Howmans Gap, just off the mountain from Falls Creek, and was shown plans for an accommodation block for 35 people.
President of DWA Jim Blackburn said “with these facilities and support from ski lift companies and the Resort Management Board we can offer disabled skiers opportunities to ski at the same cost as able bodied people”.
“That is, the extra cost of their carers and guides is covered.”
Bill Sykes (MLA, Benalla) said “I too was impressed with the achievements of disabled skiers”.
“And as Jess pointed out, by being able to mix with able bodied skiers both on and off the slopes, disabled skiers feel very much a part of the snow scene.
“I look forward to the minister giving serious consideration to DWA’s request for financial support for the very worthy project.”
ON SNOW: Pictured at the recent Falls Creek Hoppet event were (from left) Winter Olympian Jess Gallagher, Bill Tilley (MLA, Benambra), DWA president Jim Blackburn, Ross Passalaqua and Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum.