Ski4All Wales

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Ski4All Wales

March 29, 2018

Ski4All Wales is a registered charity that delivers bespoke one to one adaptive ski sessions every Wednesday at Pembrey ski centre. 

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We caught up with Bethan Drinkall, Chairman and one of the physiotherapists working with the club:

"We are a therapy-centred club, as three of our organisers are physiotherapists, and we work closely alongside Carmarthenshire County Council as they provide the overall ski instruction which we bolster with volunteers. In return we raise funds to purchase specialist adaptive ski equipment, specific kit e.g. tracking hoist and vital adaptive ski training.

We also ensure that all of our instructors have valid moving and handling training, alongside first aid, child protection and DBS certification. To date Ski4All Wales have provided training for over 20 volunteers and instructors to Disability Skiing Wales adaptive instructor standard and 3 to BASI Level 1 and 2.

Sessions run weekly from 10am to 5pm and we regularly assist up to 20 skiers on a Wednesday. We are a

ble to offer specialist support to skiers with all levels of ability including: stroke, head injury, MS, cerebral palsy, EDS, fibromyalgia, spina bifida, Friedreichs Ataxia, amputees, autism, learning disability, spinal injury, visual deficits plus many, many more!

We have been fortunate enough to have been able to purchase vital adaptive ski kit such as:

Tessier kart ski – amazing rig that allows anyone with weak upper limbs or one sided weakness to be able to control the actual skis

Mountain man – Lovely stable sit ski which allows skiers to progress from being skied to gently introducing turns themselves

HOC – seat angle and length adjustable rigs that suit skiers with good head control

We also use edgey wedgies, out riggers, pilot skis, skipalots – in fact anything that we think can enable our skiers. Our super instructor Nev raises bindings, pads out boots and can engineer and adjust just about anything we ask of him.

Princes Gate Trust have recently bought us our newest rig - a Tessier grand comfort which offers maximum support for our less able skiers and ensures head support throughout the ride. Pictured above in the equipment are skiers Tonya and Shahd, BASI instructors Dave and Mia and Princes Gate Trustee Kathryn Jones. 

We are incredibly fortunate to have this equipment and would like to say a huge thank you to Princes Gate Trust for their continued support and generosity. 

A good friend of mine once wrote these words for me and they sum up our little ski club": 

Why do I ski?

My Dearest Bethan, when you sent the ‘Why Ski?’ text to me

You set me thinking long and hard on why I like to ski

To rationalise and reason what this strange sport does for me

And reasons there are many, as your list shows completely

But yet there’s something missing, or so it seems to me

It doesn’t fully nail it, I suspect you might agree?

 

Why does the sailor venture out on the stormy sea

To ride the tides and waves, with God-knows-what dangers beneath?

Why does the Alpinist climb summits steep and dangerous

And dangle from steep ledges that terrify most of us?

Why does the angler sit and wait by silent waters still?

The walker stride through lashing rain o’er dale and gloomy hill?

Why does the sports fan sit and watch as others bat and bowl

Why doe we cheer when mud-stained players finally score a goal

Why do we need music, and theatre and the show?

And why on earth do people stand on planks and slide down snow?

 

And then I thought ‘its simple!’ and I write to tell you so

I ski because I love it and because it fills my soul

 

Kathryn

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