Ysgol Heol Goffa

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Ysgol Heol Goffa

April 4, 2018

Ysgol Heol Goffa is a Special Needs School in Llanelli which caters for children who have severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities from all over Carmarthenshire. We caught up with Peter Welton from Ysgol Heol Goffa and found out what kind of impact skiing had at the school.

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"For the last 26 years skiing has become an integral part of our School, many of our pupils have benefited from skiing and from our annual visit to Zauchenzee in Austria. Not only have they developed their skiing capabilities but also it has contributed to their personal and social development for example experiencing different cultures and improved confidence and self esteem.

We have also participated in many prestigious skiing events. Our pupils have been winning medals for over 20 years, including the British Championships held in Sierre Chevalier, France in January 2016 and the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria last year. This has been a unique experience for our pupils.

In the British Championships in France, Heol Goffa pupils represented Wales and brought home a range of medals. From this, two were chosen to represent GB in the World Winter Games in Austria. Tyler won 2 Gold medals and Ruth won 1 Bronze and a 5th ribbon in her division – a tremendous achievement based on the coaching and skiing opportunities made available to them. The School was also represented on the Olympic coaching staff as the Head of Delegation at the World Winter Games was our recently retired deputy Head Teacher.

We regard our commitment to skiing as an essential part of our varied curriculum, teaching our pupils a sport which develops their physical fitness and makes considerable demands on their physical, emotional and intellectual skills. Skiing is an enjoyable activity which also enables them to develop their social skills while coping with a week away from home.

This year we have had more pupils taking up skiing than ever. At present there are 20 pupils regularly attending sessions at Pembrey Ski Slope. Staff and volunteers have also upskilled and have achieved status as Alpine Ski Course Leaders. Following training organised by Ski4All and Disability Skiing Wales two staff are now Adaptive Ski Instructors, able to take pupils skiing using adaptive sit skies - this will enable greater number of pupils the chance to experience skiing.

Skiing is a sport which our pupils have been able to compete with not only their peers and other Special Schools, but also mainstream Schools. With the help of a dedicated staff, volunteers, Ski4All and Pembrey Ski Slope staff it is an opportunity which we intend providing for our pupils for many years to come."

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