Canadian Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic to hit slopes in February
The eighth annual Canadian Adaptive Snowsports – National Capital Division (CADS-NCD) Canadian Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic will be held this year from Feb. 4-9 at the Calabogie Peaks Resort.
Just a few weeks away, the Winter Sports Clinic provides adaptive but challenging winter sports opportunities to injured veterans as part of their ongoing rehabilitation.
The clinic supports veterans who are amputees, visually impaired or suffer from a range of mental health disorders.
“It’s really fostering a healthy, winter, outdoor lifestyle. We live in Canada, and if you don’t get out f the house for six months, that can be negative for your lifestyle just your attitude on life, just in general. So I think getting out and just experiencing the great outdoors and just finding joy out on the Canadian hill, is a fantastic opportunity,” said Alex McPherson, Program Director of the Canadian Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic.
The CADS-NCD covers the costs of ski equipment with lessons from certified CADS, CSIA and CASI instructors, accommodations, and meals for all Canadian participants. Participants must, however, cover the cost of transportation to and from the resort themselves.
The Winter Sports Clinic also welcomes one adult support person to accompany the veteran. This person can be a sibling, spouse or partner or close friend.
This year, CADS-NCD is expecting more than 50 participants, 40 instructors, and 10 volunteers.
After a day of orientation on Feb. 4th, participants will have five full days to enjoy a variety of winter outdoor sports.
Modelled after a similar program out of the U.S., the Canadian Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic provides an opportunity for veterans to experience alternative winter sports including dog sledding and sit skiing.
“Something that gets them outside, something at least that gets them some fresh air. It’s sort of a break day from skiing,” noted McPherson.
Additionally, attendees can wind down a day with yoga or look forward to the annual sledge hockey match.
According to McPherson, attending the program opens a world of opportunities to veterans who may have otherwise thought they cannot be active in the winter season. McPherson says, thanks to the program, some attendees have even gone on to take part in the Paralympics.
The program also gives veterans another community of support.
“It gets you out of your comfort zone a bit but still be in a friendly supportive environment,” said McPherson.
Registration for the CADS-NCD Canadian Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic opens up mid-September. Keep an eye out for next year’s registration here.