Sense uk and snozone partnership success
Written by Paul Downes (Sense UK)
In Autumn 2022, some of the people we support in Rotherham got to try out skiing and other snow sports at Snozone in Castleford. They were really excited, as they’d never experienced snow sports before!
Snow sports are a great sensory experience: you can feel the sharp cold air, the fast movement and the artificial snow itself.
Sense has a strong partnership with Snozone, who have fundraised for Sense and worked closely with our charity shops in the north of England. They were kind enough to open their doors to our young people for a day in October.
Having held some Family Days at Snozone in the past, we’ve seen the brilliant effect these activities can have on people’s confidence. The young people supported by our adult services were thrilled to have a go!
The people we support had the chance to play in the snow with sledges and rubber rings.
Most excitingly, they got to try out the “sit ski”: a type of ski with a seat, made especially for wheelchair users. They were supported by a fully qualified ski instructor.
How we made the day accessible
The people we took along to Snozone had complex needs. They wouldn’t usually get to try something like snow sports. They’d face so many barriers. These barriers include:
- Not having accessible transport to get to the venue.
- Cost of sessions.
- Activities not being adapted to suit their needs (for example, not having access to a sit ski).
- Lack of quiet spaces to relax in.
- Staff not knowing how to coach people with complex disabilities.
We worked with Snozone to remove these barriers. First of all, we started talking to Snozone to plan the event well in advance.
We made sure that the activities for the day were planned around the young people we support, and there was a quiet room available for the day. Snozone’s instructors met with Sense staff and with the people we support to make sure they understood their needs.
And of course, the session was free for everyone who took part.
An unforgettable day out
In the end, it was such an incredible day. It gave everyone a lift in spirits, and was a real special treat for the young people to enjoy their new surroundings.
The highlight was definitely seeing the young people try out the sit ski, along with the instructor, Jimmy. They all loved it!
There’s another similar session coming up soon at Snozone Castleford, and in future we’re hoping to do more of this kind of special day out. Everyone should get the chance to try skiing and snow sports, including people with complex disabilities.
Snozone is Sense Uk’s partner of the year winner!
Snozone is the UK’s leading snow centre for indoor skiing and snowboarding on real snow. The company wholeheartedly engaged with Sense during the Covid-19 pandemic, and our partnership continues to go from strength to strength. Snozone remains committed to being inclusive and disability-aware, investing in new equipment and training.
For more details about specialist disability skiing clubs/ sessions across England please contact email@example.com.
Community innovation fund update – kendal snowsports club
KSC have had a lot of preparation to do for this project as they are venturing into an area they have not covered before in their adaptive offerings, Visually impairment (VI) skiing. KSC is one of our specialist disability clubs who have a popular adaptive section led by Geoff with a great team of instructors and helpers to support. Participants travel from miles around to take part in these sessions currently. These new additional sessions will be aimed at local VI children, so establishing excellent links with schools as well as the local education department is key. The club are also reaching out to collaborate with local charities as well as national level organisations to upskill their instructors. They are looking to produce VI promotional materials in collaboration with a local college to be used to advertise the sessions but also to inform parents as to what to expect for the children.
Steph (Participation Officer) and Jade (Participation Manager) were able to visit KSC in December 2022 and meet Geoff and some of the team from the new initiative. It allowed for them to offer support and understand the challenges of starting a new project further.
One key area to note is that everyone working on this project are volunteers and we thank them for helping to make Snowsports inclusive for everyone. We are very excited to see the project progress in months to come.
Snow Camp and Futures success story
Snowsport England have been working with Snow Camp to offer young people from different backgrounds the opportunity to improve their ski and snowboard skills from novices to Snowsport enthusiasts. Snow Camp offers young people the opportunity to take part in UK based indoor ski slope training as well as an annual snow trip abroad as part of a year long programme developing them into keen skiers, instructors and volunteers in the Snowsport sector.
The group were looking for the next step in their snow sports journey and Snowsport Englands Futures project offered just that, as an exciting, progressive and inclusive environment for them. The group took part in a Futures/Groms freestyle night at Tamworth in October with great success. Pat Sharples a coach from the night, plus a long time ambassador for Snow Camp offered lots of support to the group and it was a real highlight for them to meet him.
Snowsport England and Snow Camp believe its important to keep snowsports accessible to young people and the Futures pathway offers just this! Snowsport England are currently expanding their Futures sessions with more disciplines joining the programme soon and look forward to continuing to work with groups from Snow Camp in the future.
Find out more about Snow Camp: snow-camp.org.uk. Snow Camp is a programme run by Switch180 charity. Registered Charity Number England and Wales 1101030 and OSCR: SC043344. For more information about Futures please contact firstname.lastname@example.org uk or email@example.com
Snowsport England is committed to continuously addressing issues of diversity and equality to ensure that its Board, management and workforce reflects the sporting communities that we serve and makes us better able to understand their needs and priorities.
Snowsport England is committed to maintaining a minimum of 30% of each gender on its Board and will take all appropriate action to ensure that it continues to achieve this with the overall aim of progressing to gender parity.
Snowsport England is also committed to achieving greater diversity generally on its Board including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and disability.
We will publish annually our activities towards achieving Objectives One and Two together with their outcomes on our website.
Current Snowsport England board September 2022: 7 directors (2 Female and 5 Male).
Snowsport England is fully committed to the principles of equal of opportunity and is responsible in ensuring that everyone who wishes to, has a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in all snowsport disciplines at all levels and in all roles of the sport; irrespective of their age, ability, disability, gender-reassignment, religion or belief, ethnic origin, nationality, social status, marital status and civil-partnership, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity or political belief. This includes members, volunteers, participants, supporters, coaches and officials in the sport or as a job applicant or employee of Snowsport England and its constituent parts.
Snowsport England and its constituent parts recognise that discrimination is unacceptable and will not tolerate less favourable treatment as a result of direct or indirect discrimination.
The responsibility for equality within our sport does not stop with us and to be a truly open-for-all sport we each need to play our part. We want to equip you, the snowsport club, provider, or individual regardless of your role, with the tools and knowledge required to ensure you provide opportunities and an environment that truly promotes fairness and access for all. More support for clubs can be found under the club resource section of this website.
For any equality issues contact: firstname.lastname@example.org