Awareness and First Involvement
To engage in sport and physical activity, individuals must be aware of what opportunities exist for them, and when they try an activity for the first time, it is critical that the experience is positive.Photo: Mark Newton Para-Alpine Development Coach
Awareness promotes an understanding of opportunities to get involved in skiing, sports, and physical activity. It highlights opportunities for persons of all abilities to participate in skiing and become a ski racer, and go as far as their ability and motivation will take them. In this stage, future skiers become aware of ski cross, alpine and para-alpine skiing opportunities through local ski schools, ski clubs, and adaptive para-alpine ski programs.
Partner Adaptive Ski Organizations who work to promote opportunities for persons with disabilities include:
- Canadian Paralympic Committee
- Canadian Association of Disabled Skiing (CADS) National role in developing an overall strategy that local programs can use.
- PSOs play a role in funding, information delivery, and referrals.
- Local ski schools (Canadian Ski Instructors Association CSIA) and clubs play a role in awareness and referrals.
First involvement refers to the initial experience participants have in ski cross, alpine, para-alpine skiing and sports. In this phase, it is critical to ensure individuals have a positive first experience in an activity. A negative experience when initially participating can lead to future non-participation in physical activity and skiing. Organizations such as CADS create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for participants with developmentally appropriate instruction, adapted equipment and facilities and a program orientation that will nurture the desire and confidence to participate in life. Clear direction should be provided to participants with regarding their second involvement.
Prospective para-alpine skiers will have access to conditions for a positive first adaptive experience through the CADS program. CADS is a multi-sport organization recognized nationally and internationally with a mission to develop and promote adaptive snow sports through partnerships, training, and instructor certification programs. With over 4,000 active members, CADS, directly and through its 10 Divisions and a network of over 60 local Programs from coast to coast, provides quality opportunities for people with disabilities in Canada to experience the joy of participating and competing in adaptive snow sports. Alpine Canada encourages all prospective para-alpine skiers to undergo an assessment and orientation through their local CADS adaptive para ski program.