Returning from Alpe D’Huez still inspired by the French visually impaired (VI) ski racers I hit the internet to find out more about adaptive skiing in the UK and discovered Disability Snowsport UK who train adaptive instructors, run adaptive ski schools at all of the UK’s snow domes and support the British Disabled Ski Team.
I started ski lessons with DSUK in 2010 spending 2 hours a week on real snow at Hemel Hempstead snow centre where I still train. Nick, my instructor was terrific and helped me to develop my basic platform, improve my speed and started to teach me how to ski following a sighted ski guide. Following a year of training I was invited to spend 2 days in Manchester at an assessment and trial for the development squad of the British Disabled Ski Team where they observed my skiing, my ability to follow a guide, my ‘coachability’ and assessed my fitness and physical performance.
I failed to get onto the squad on this first attempt and was sent away with an action plan to further develop my skiing, get more time on snow and most importantly get fit! I spent all of 2010 working on my fitness, hitting the gym, following a good diet and training hard at the snowdome all of which led me to lose 5.5 stones in weight, vastly improve my fitness and resulted in another try out in October 2011. This time I was off to Austria and would be training with other hopeful development athletes and members of the British Squad.
The Really Useful Stuff team would like to thank John for writing this guest blog for us and wish him the best of luck with his future efforts. John will be keeping us all up-to-date on his experiences and competition results. Good luck John!
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