Published on March 23, 2016 by Lola Augustine Brown

From April 3rd through 8th, something very special indeed is happening in Snowmass, Colorado, - The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. Now in its 30th year, the clinic provides US military Veterans, and those still in active duty, with disabilities, with the tools and instruction to participate in winter sports.


Even those with profound and traumatic injuries are able to participate through the use of specially adapted equipment. The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is manned by dedicated volunteers and specialized ski instructors who guide participants through the sports, bonding with them as they do, and creating a special experience that inspires and gives hope to those who may not feel very hopeful before arriving in Snowmass. This year, we are honored to be sending Scootaround technicians to the clinic to handle any and all damaged equipment for the participants.


More than 400 people have benefitted from attending this clinic in the past 30 years. Many of these veterans and military personnel have left the clinic with a newfound love of winter activities that they had never thought possible given their impairments. This clinic opens a door for them, and takes away the financial barriers that would stop many people from ever being able to learn to ski, snowboard, or get out on an ice-rink and play hockey.


Not all activities involve ice and snow. There are lots of fun and challenging activities to try inside too, such as scuba diving, mountain climbing, self-defense, and more. The clinic offers a broad range of activities that broaden experiences of those who attend, and show them the possibilities life still offers them.


This clinic changes lives. It shows people how much fun they can have skiing, playing sledge hockey, snowboarding and participating in other winter sports. It shows them that the sporting side of their lives is not over, just different. This has been such an incredible experience for both those who were active in snow sports before becoming disabled, and for those that have never before even set foot on snow. The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a fantastic event, and we feel honored to be able to help in some way.


If you’ve interested in attending this event, or volunteering in some way, the The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic site has lots of information, and the wonderful video on the homepage interviews those who have had their lives changed by the program. There is also information on training grants available to disabled veterans interested in becoming Paralympic athletes, and other places where people can get involved in adaptive sports programs.


Images Used in This Article

Article feature image, "Snowmass" by Jonathon Fox CC BY-SA 2.0