Article by Disability Snowsport UK.
Thanks to Andorra Resorts customers, you helped Anna and her family have their first trip to the mountains.
Anna loves being on the snow. When she’s skiing, she’s living in the moment and not thinking or worrying about other things.
Growing up, Anna went to a mainstream school where sport wasn’t accessible for her. She never considered herself to be ‘sporty’ and the idea of sport being ‘fun’ was never a given.
Anna, a Disability Snowsport UK member, enjoyed her first ski holiday this winter with her family in Arinsal. Anna has cerebral palsy. She experiences regular spasms in her legs and arms, and is a wheelchair-user.
Anna loves being on the snow. It’s tremendous fun and when she’s skiing, she’s living in the moment and not thinking or worrying about other things. She says that her legs feel more relaxed for being secure in her sit ski, and experiences fewer spasms. Her core strength has improved and says she feels so much happier all-round. Anna is currently guided by an instructor but is learning to ski independently.
Anna really enjoyed the snow, the mountains, the skiing, and meeting other like-minded people. Growing up in mainstream school Anna didn’t meet any other disabled people. Anna says it was refreshing not to have to explain her condition all the time. Instead, people were supportive and understood her needs.
As a ski resort, Anna really liked the facilities in Arinsal. She said the access onto the Gondolas was good, with ramps to assist wheelchair users on and off. Helpful staff made all the difference, like putting out mats to help Anna’s wheelchair gain traction if she needed it on softer snow. Lift access to the terrace and an accessible toilet on site made things easier.
With encouragement from Disability Snowsport UK, Anna’s parents have now tried skiing too, so that the whole family could get involved. Anna’s mum says “there’s a great vibe at the DSUK snowsport school. Anna has blossomed in so many ways because she enjoys skiing so much.” The Andorra holiday was great for Anna’s parents. It was a dynamic mix of other families with a great communal feeling.
We love the set up in Arinsal. Our members are familiar with the facilities of the resort and the slopes are fantastic. The range of our equipment there means that members can experience the joy of snowsport in the mountains. We’re already planning trips back to Andorra again next winter.
Out on the mountains in Arinsal, you might see our members. They include sit-skiers, those using outriggers, blind skiers being guided, or instructors taking a personal approach for someone with autism, a learning difficulty or a sensory impairment.
Disability Snowsport UK’s founder asked “Why shouldn’t a wheelchair be on top of a mountain?”. This is what we continue to be driven by today. We are really grateful to have the support from Andorra Resorts and their customers. The donations collected create opportunities for disabled people. Your kindness helps to make snowsport available for everyone.
About Disability Snowsport UK
Disability Snowsport UK is the UK’s leading adaptive snowsport charity. We provide skiing and snowboarding for children and adults; regardless of disability, injury or experience.
Disability Snowsport UK operate across the UK at indoor snow centres, dry slopes and in the Scottish Highlands, as well as taking our members on annual ski holidays to Andorra.
To help others to experience the thrill of snowsports, you can donate to DSUK on the checkout page of the Andorra Resorts online booking system when booking your airport transfers, lift passes, lessons, and ski hire.