Adaptive Skiing in DHS

Madalen Meier, Reporter

Winter Sports like skiing and snowboarding are enjoyed by many students at Durango
High School, but some students are unable to appreciate this time of year on their own. The Adaptive Sports Association provides opportunities for these students to have fun with winter sports. The opportunity for these students to participate in Adaptive Sports helps them learn life skills and improve in their academic work.

The Adaptive Sports Association provides opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors, sports, and recreational experiences. The Adaptive Sports Association’s winter program provides adaptive skiing, snowboarding, and variety of “sit-ski” at Purgatory Resort.

Through this program, students learn to take risks and develop more confidence. The participating students from DHS go skiing with the Adaptive Sports Association five times.

“After students have gone skiing they seem more confident and they seem to be willing to try new things and to take a risk,” said Lorna Medici, an ESS significant needed teacher.

Learning to ski can be scary for students who have been unable to participate in regular sports, but after learning that they can ski, they become more confident. Students learn that risk taking can be beneficial, not only while skiing, but also in life.

The students may not realize that they are learning valuable life skills, but they do know how important skiing is to them.

“Getting out and learn how to do something different makes me feel good about myself,”  said Sr. Nick Vasquez.

These students enjoy learning how to ski. Once they see how good they can ski, the students are happy and confident.

After skiing for the first-time, students want to continue to go. Fortunately, the Adaptive Sports Association is happy to comply.

“Students are pretty motivated to make sure that they’re doing their work so they got to go skiing the next time,” said Kayla Mohlman, a Paraprofessional in the Special Education program.

The students are excited to return to skiing, therefore, so they work hard in school. This increases attendance, performance, and positive mental attitude.

Skiing with the Adaptive Sports Association does not only teach the students life skills and make them feel good, but it also makes the volunteers feel good about what they are doing.

“When somebody is so scared to do something they’ve never done but overtime learn to love it, that inspires me every day and it makes me feel accomplished and happy,” said Paula Mills, President of the Board of Directors for the Adaptive Sports Association.

Assisting these students can greatly impact a person. The volunteers are not only changing the life of the people they help but also their own life.

Some students at DHS can not enjoy winter sports like their peers but these students are getting something greater than the thrill of the sport, they are gaining a new experience that builds confidence in themselves, risk taking and other life skills. This not only helps them do better in school but also in life. The Adaptive Sports Association supports more than 450 individuals in Durango and is continuing to grow.