STRIDE Adaptive Sports Expands
Yawgoo Valley Ski Area in Exeter, RI has recently partnered with STRIDE Adaptive Sports to prepare for winter to provide broader services in serving the disabled community who seek recreation in the winter. STRIDE Adaptive Sports is well known for its vast adaptive sport programs in the Northeast, hosting successful full-service adaptive snowsport programs at ski resorts such as Jiminy Peak, MA; Ski Sundown, CT and Catamount, NY.
STRIDE CEO Mary Ellen Whitney, a seasonal resident of Jamestown, RI visited Yawgoo Valley this summer, and met with Tracy Hartman, Yawgoo Valley General Manager; they began strategizing on how STRIDE could help improve the small adaptive program. “What was missing at Yawgoo was training in adaptive techniques, and structure to enhance the success for students taking adaptive lessons.” said Whitney. "STRIDE has a proven success rate at three other resorts in the Northeast for structure that works." Hartman was open and excited to build their small efforts to a structured program.
But another occurrence was in play to really make this program acquisition successful. Team leader and PSIA certified Supervisor at Ski Sundown in New Hartford CT, Scott Frankel had just moved to Westerly, RI for work, and felt he could no longer make the 2 hour commute to Sundown for his beloved volunteer work. He contacted Whitney to tell her the sad news; and mentioned his proximity to Yawgoo. Stars aligned.
Another seasoned instructor from Sundown, Christina Skeels also moved to North Kingstown this summer, so training staff is now in place to get the program off the ground.
Plans for the program include some indoor comprehensive training seminars beginning in November on disabilities and adaptive equipment; purchasing new teaching tools and equipment; recruitment for volunteer staff to build the program; and fundraising efforts to get the program off the ground.
2.5 hour lessons will be offered on Saturday's and Sundays by appointment with a focus on serving those with developmental & intellectual disabilities, vision or hearing impairments, mobility impairments for skiers or riders.
Volunteers and Corporate sponsors are needed to adopt the program. Contact mailto:[email protected]for information.