Bringing joy to ski students
They might not be able to walk, but they are no different from others when on the slopes.
Disabled people or those with special needs are learning how to ski and snowboard with Snow Sports’ adaptive programme.
Adaptive programme coordinator at the Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski fields in Queenstown, Christina Bruno, loves bringing joy to her students.
‘‘Nothing is impossible’’ is her approach. The programme supports adults and children with physical cognitive and sensory disabilities.
Those with disabilities forget about their differences when on the slopes, Bruno said.
‘‘It’s a big step for them to come up here but once they are skiing or snowboarding everything is kind of levelled again. They can do what everyone else can.’’
Introverted children often came out of their shells too, Bruno said.
The reaction of those who were on the snow for the first time was ‘‘priceless’’.
‘‘Uncontrollable laughter, huge smiles. The sensation too of being outside, feeling the wind on their faces, feeling the snow under their feet is just a lot more stimulus than they get normally and they just love it.’’
Fifteen volunteers helped out with the programme this year, and Bruno is looking for longterm Queenstown residents to sign up for the next season.
Adaptive programme coordinator Christina Bruno demonstrates equipment at The Remarkables.