Students volunteer at annual Adaptive Ski Week at Beech Mountain Resort

This winter’s near-perfect snow conditions on the slopes in Western North Carolina created the perfect venue for the annual Disabled Sports USA Adaptive Ski Week at Beech Mountain Resort. The great conditions also brought more volunteers and participants to lend a hand—nearly 20 of them being Lees-McRae College students, faculty or staff.

The clinic, which kicked off its weeklong itinerary on Monday, January 15, started with volunteer safety courses followed by the first round of lessons the next day.

Students representing multiple campus organizations attended, including Delta Zeta Nu sorority, a social and community service-based sorority, the Outdoor Recreation Management Adaptive Adventure Recreation course, as well as the Lees-McRae ski team.

Those with snowboarding and skiing experience were on the slopes helping adaptive athletes navigate, while many others stayed on stable ground helping distribute equipment and making visiting athletes feel welcome.

Led by Disabled Sports USA, the Beech Mountain Resort chapter is the oldest clinic in the program’s history. The event brings participants from all over the Southeast region including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.

Since Disabled Sports USA’s establishment in 1961, its main goal has been to, “improve the lives of wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities by providing sports and recreation opportunities.”

Participants at this year’s Adaptive Ski Week ranged in age from young children to elderly adults. Their diversity in age was only surpassed by their diagnoses, which certified instructors and trained volunteers were prepared to handle. Athletes included those with brain and spinal injuries, amputations, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, as well as developmentally delayed individuals, visually impaired athletes and a whole host of other neurological and orthopedic challenges.

The event, celebrating its 37th annual clinic, also rung in the 50th anniversary of Beech Mountain Resort—marking a special time for both partners, athletes and students alike.

By Nina MastandreaJanuary 26, 2018
Campus LifeCommunityAthletics