Dis­abled skiers im­press Min­is­ter Drum

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

PHOTO: Bill Sykes

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.

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