Killington World Cup Foundation Awards Grant to STRIDE Adaptive Sports
STRIDE Adaptive Sports announced today that its racing team of adaptive skiers with disabilities – ranging from a 10 year old on the Autism Spectrum to a 40 year old with visual impairments – has been awarded a grant of over $3,500.00 to grow the team and expand its participation in Special Olympics and the Dianna Golden race series. The grant has been generously awarded by the Killington World Cup Foundation (KWCF), which works to increase access to winter sports for youths and individuals with disabilities in the Northeast and create more lifelong participants in winter sports.
According to STRIDE Founder and CEO, Mary Ellen Whitney, the race team will use the funds provided by KWCF for offsetting costs to athletes such as lift tickets, entry fees, travel expenses, uniforms, an electronic timing system and a special headset for guiding blind/visually-impaired skiers. “Skiing is an elite sport,” said Whitney. “Because of this, it includes many costs that can be prohibitive to athletes and families living with a disability. STRIDE’s mission is to promote diversity and inclusion – we want everybody to have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy this great sport. We also want to encourage people to live an active lifestyle during the winter, as we believe health, fitness and recreation are year-round endeavors. KWCF is a kindred organization with a similar outlook on things, and we are thrilled that they have decided to invest in our team of skiers with special needs. This year the focus will be on building sill, since many of the competitions have already been cancelled, due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions.”
STRIDE’s race team is built with athletes who practice at two of the STRIDE locations, Jiminy Peak in MA and Ski Sundown in CT. The program introduces adaptive skiers to the thrill of competition in a safe format. Each racer practices for 2.5 hours each week and is timed in giant slalom on a variety of terrain skill levels. Divisions are open to: Visually Impaired, 2-Track, 3-Track, 4-Track, Mono Skiers and Snowboarders with special needs. The season typically culminates in a variety of races including Special Olympics, regional and state, other adaptive program races, and STRIDE’s “Great Race” event (TBD 2021). People who are interested in participating with the team can contact Megan Evans, STRIDE Program Director, at [email protected] or by calling 518-598-1279.