Highlands resort wants more skiers with disabilities on slopes

Disability snowsport skiers on a trip abroard
Disability snowsport skiers on a trip abroard
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Skiers with disabilities are to be offered state-of-art specialist rental equipment, including snowboards, and specialist instructors, at one of Scotland’s most popular ski resorts.

Nevis Range Mountain Experience (NRME) in Lochaber, north of Fort William has teamed up with Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) for the 2018-2019 winter season.

The partnership will also allow the resort to provide a training facility for para athletes and provide training for up and coming para athletes.

They are aiming to make the UK’s highest snowsports destination more accessible to all regardless of ability .

There are currently thousands of skiers with disabilities in the UK, with demand increasing as better access and equipment becomes available.

Millie Knight, a student at the University of Stirling, won a silver medal on the first day of the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea for the visually-impaired women’s downhill, with her guide Brett Wilde from Glasgow.

NRME currently has disability access throughout, including the only gondola system of its kind in Britain, transporting to 1700 snowsports enthusiasts up the mountain every hour.

While its Snowsports School has one DSUK qualified instructor on its coaching staff, the partnership will allow more of its instructors to acquire the essential disability coaching qualification, to increase availability of specialist instruction and support for disabled skiers and snowboarders.

Nikki Stafford, marketing manager at NRME, said: “Partnering with DSUK means that our mountain will become even more accessible to all abilities and at an affordable price.

“Snow has already started falling on the mountain and we can’t wait for the season to begin.”

Mark Kelvin, chief executive officer of DSUK, said the venture included plans include specialist holidays with local hotels and bed and breakfasts.

“We’re so excited to partner with Nevis Range in making skiing and snowboarding accessible to disabled people.

“We’re looking forward to working with local accommodation providers in order to package specialised short-breaks so that disabled skiers and snowboarders can experience the thrill and exhilaration of snowsport at one of the UK’s finest mountain resorts.

“This is a fantastic addition to our current adaptive snowsport schools at dry slopes and indoor snow centres throughout the UK, and a great opportunity to try out a mountain resort before joining us on one of our trips abroad.”