While the UK basks in a heatwave, Physio Matters and specially invited guests from Irwin Mitchell LLP enjoyed a cool -4 degrees this week at our Adaptive Snowsport Taster Day co-hosted with Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) at the Chill Factore in Manchester.
The Adaptive Snowsport Taster Day on 22 July was organised specifically for solicitors and paralegals from Irwin Mitchell LLP to experience first-hand the rehabilitation benefits of adaptive snowsport – including the thrill of riding in a sit-ski!
Richard Biggs, Senior Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell LLP said: “Thank you very much for hosting us at the Chill Factore. The team enjoyed it hugely and agreed it was a fantastic experience. Thank you to Physio Matters and DSUK for demonstrating the great work you do in adaptive snowsport. It will really help inform our understanding of the range of possibilities for our clients when it comes to rehabilitation through sport.”
The event was organised by Physio Matters in conjunction with DSUK, who provide adaptive equipment and special instruction to enable people with a disability to take part in skiing, including those with physical, sensory and learning difficulties.
The Taster Day gave guests the opportunity to visit the indoor snow centre at Chill Factore and experience adaptive snowsport, as well as discover the many benefits it can offer their clients with disabilities.
Following an introductory talk with case studies given by Colin Green, Clinical Director at Physio Matters and Stephen Smaje, Development Manager at Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK), participants were kitted out in protective snowsport clothing and ski-boots. They joined DSUK ski instructors on the slopes to observe a demonstration of adaptive snowsport, including upright skiing and sit-skiing, before trying the activities for themselves and experiencing skiing from a client perspective. For many, the highlight was being securely fastened into a sit-ski and taken down the main slope at Chill Factore by DSUK instructors and the Physio Matters team – an exhilarating experience!
“Adaptive snowsport can make a great difference to clients’ rehabilitation,” explained Colin Green, Clinical Director at Physio Matters. “It improves mobility, core strength and motivation. Participating in the activity gives people a fresh challenge in a new environment. They can do it with no previous experience, and our physios are trained to ski alongside the DSUK instructors so that clients are in safe hands all the way.
It is also a stimulating and enjoyable social experience for many clients, some of whom may not leave their home very often. It offers many physical and emotional benefits and is a real achievement and milestone in their rehabilitation.”
Stephen Smaje, Development Manager at Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) added: “We regularly work with the Physio Matters team and their clients, and the Taster Days are a great way to showcase adaptive snowsport. We’re always pleased to take part as it gives the participants a first-hand experience and increases their awareness of the many therapeutic benefits of adaptive snowsport.”
Following the Adaptive Snowsport Taster Day, Colin Green, Clinical Director at Physio Matters met with Mark Kelvin, Chief Executive of DSUK to discuss further ways of working together to promote and support the role of adaptive snowsport in rehabilitation.
Colin said: “We explored a number of potential initiatives where we can work together, and with other partners in Manchester too. There are many exciting possibilities ahead, which we hope to reveal in the near future. Watch this space!”
Adaptive Snowsport is just one of the many Physio Active activities that Physio Matters offers to clients as part of their rehabilitation.
To see more, visit: www.physio-matters.org/physio-active
To find out more about Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) visit: www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk