ROCKVILLE, Md. -Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA), one of the nation's largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, today announced the schedule for its national DS/USA SkiTour winter ski series. From January through April 2010 the DS/USA SkiTour will include more than 80 events hosted by 40 DS/USA chapters and affiliates in 18 states. Events include beginner and elite ski races, race training, learn-to-ski and instructor training.
This year U.S. Paralympics has joined as a national partner of the SkiTour, to form partnerships among national, regional and local organizations to strengthen the national infrastructure of adaptive skiing programs and the pipeline of alpine skiing athletes for the 2014 and 2018 U.S. Paralympic Teams. "By working together, U.S. Paralympics and DS/USA can provide greater winter sports opportunities for more youth and service members with physical disabilities," said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, USOC. "Our hope is that SkiTour will not only have a profound impact on building local programs, but also future generations of Paralympians."
The SkiTour program is the only one of its kind that ensures opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to receive state-of-the-art instruction and adaptive equipment throughout the nation's leading ski destinations such as Breckenridge, Sun Valley, Aspen, Waterville Valley, Park City, Tahoe and more.
In addition, SkiTour includes internationally rated elite "NorAm" ski races that qualify USA and foreign ski racers for the International events, like the Paralympic Winter Games. It is the only national qualifying race series for ski racers attempting to qualify for the U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships.
The SkiTour schedule also includes the Diana Golden Level I Race Series for youth with physical disabilities, consisting of 15 races hosted in eight states in Far West Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountain and Northeast ski areas.
"The 2010 DS/USA Ski Tour provides skiing and snowboarding rehabilitation opportunities that teach people with disabilities that they can lead full and active lives with their physical challenges" said Kirk Bauer, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. "The confidence, dedication and commitment it takes to succeed on the mountain can be applied to other areas of life. They come away from their experience with the attitude 'If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!'".
In addition to SkiTour, Disabled Sports USA also works with the Professional Ski Instructors of America / American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) to produce a national calendar of 2010 educational opportunities for adaptive ski and snowboard instructors.
DS/USA chapters hosting SkiTour events include, by state: Alaska: Challenge Alaska. Arizona: Arizona Disabled Sports. California: Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra; Disabled Sports USA Far West; DS/USA Los Angeles- The Unrecables; & US Adaptive Recreation Center. Colorado: Challenge Aspen; Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center; Adaptive Sports Association; Adaptive Sports Center of Crested Butte; National Sports Center for the Disabled; Adaptive Adventures; & Telluride Adaptive Sports Program. Idaho: Sun Valley Adaptive Sports; Adaptive Wilderness Sports Of McCall. Maine: Maine Handicapped Skiing. Maryland: Baltimore Adaptive Recreation and Sports. Minnesota: Courage Center. New Hampshire & Vermont: Ability Plus (at Gunstock and Waterville Valley); Bretton Woods Adaptive, Inc.; New England Handicapped Sports Association; New England Disabled Sports; Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports; Bart J Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center; Northeast Passage. New York: Adaptive Sports Foundation; Greek Peek Adaptive Snowsports; & STRIDE Adaptive Sports. Pennsylvania: PA Center for Adaptive Sports; Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports; Blue Ridge Adaptive Snow Sports. North Carolina: DS/USA Chattanooga (SPARC); Bridge II Sports. Virginia; Wintergreen Adaptive Sports. Oregon: Oregon Adaptive Sports. Utah: Common Ground Outdoor Adventures; & National Ability Center. Washington: Outdoors For All. Wisconsin: SouthEastern Wisconsin Adaptive Ski Program. Wyoming: Teton Adaptive Sports.
To view the SkiTour calendar of events, visit http://dsusa.org/calendar-dsusa.html; to view the PSIA calendar, visit http://www.dsusa.org/programs-winter-PSIA.html.