Slide and Ride offers inclusive lessons to those with disabilities
This Saturday, Rabbit Hill offers the chance to dip your toes into the world of adaptive snowsports with the first Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) Alberta Slide and Ride event of the season.
The Slide and Ride events are entering their second year after a very successful start to the program last season. The idea behind the event is to give people with any kind of disability the chance to try skiing or snowboarding in a completely free, one day setting.
It’s an event that began to increase awareness of the program for both volunteers and students and its success has been immediate says CADS Alberta’s Director Ozzie Sawicki.
“We had been hovering around the 845 to 850 [participant] mark for several years, but since the inception of the Slide and Ride events last year we jumped up to about 1,100 participants province-wide.”
Rabbit Hill is hosting the first of seven Slide and Ride events that take place throughout the province this winter, with the goal of giving as many people as possible the chance to take part.
“We want to make these events as inclusive as possible,” Sawicki says. “It’s open to friends, family, caregivers and anyone else that wants to get involved. Everyone is provided with a free one day CADS membership and there is a free lunch. Everything is looked after.”
CADS Alberta is an organization that has been providing recreational and competitive snowsport opportunities to the community since the ‘70s. Previously, the acronym CADS stood for the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing, but this season the name has been changed to Canadian Adaptive Snowsports.
In the Edmonton area, the CADS program takes place over eight Monday evenings from January to early March at Rabbit Hill. The one-day Slide and Ride event is aimed at not only providing a fun day on the slopes for those that might not otherwise have the chance, but also to increase the awareness of the opportunities that exist to take part in the eight-week program.
“Our goal is outreach to everyone that wants to give it a try,” Sawicki says. “That’s why we have seven events spread throughout the province. We want it to be completely inclusive regardless of someone’s location.”
Last season’s initial offering of the Slide and Ride concept was somewhat of a soft opening as the organizers didn’t quite know what kind of response to expect.
“We were not sure of what kind of numbers we would get so we didn’t advertise it to the media very much because we wanted to make sure it went well,” says Sawicki. “This year we are actively trying to get info about the events into schools, rehabilitation facilities, health care communities and provincial sport organizations. We want to bring in new volunteers as well as participants. And anybody with any ability can participate.”
Sat., Nov. 25
Slide and Ride
Rabbit Hill Snow Resort