East Kootenay Adaptive Snowsports is putting out a call for volunteers to help instructors teach skiing and snowboarding to people with adaptive needs.
The organization, headed by Al Watson, works with people with disabilities, whether it be physical or developmental or cognitive by adapting equipment and training to their needs so they can enjoy the sport they love.
“It’s a way of getting people outside doing things that they wouldn’t necessarily have a sport to do,” Watson said. “We try to adapt the equipment so no matter what their disability is, it works for everybody.”
The program is also open to people on the autism spectrum, which is one of the reasons Watson needs volunteers, because it has grown so much with heavy interest from local families.
Watson says volunteers will mainly be asked to help the instructors, as EKAS meets every Sunday this month starting on Jan. 8. He adds that volunteers don’t necessarily need to know how to ski or snowboard, but can help manage the group while the instructor teaches.
“It would be preferable if they can ski or snowboard, but they don’t have to,” Watson said. “Most of the stuff in the beginning with the kids starts off on the Magic Carpet.”
Watson hopes that if they get enough interested volunteers, then he can also train them up to serve as instructors, if they so wish.
“If I can get them to be a part of the program as volunteers and see how rewarding it is, then it’s easier to make them instructors,” Watson said.
Anyone interested in getting more information or volunteering with the organization can contact Watson at 250-426-6435 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re also on Facebook under East Kootenay Adaptive Snowsports.