By PHILIP CHANDLER
Volunteer ‘snowbuddies’ are being sought to help disabled skiers and riders enjoy Queenstown’s skifields this winter.
NZSki’s seeking 30 to 40 volunteers, who’ll receive ski pass benefits, to again contribute to its adaptive snowsports programme.
There’s an information and sign-up evening tomorrow night — 6 till 8pm at Ultimate Hikes’ meeting room in The Station building — then training days at Coronet Peak on June
21 and The Remarkables on June 27.
‘‘We couldn’t run the programme if we didn’t have our volunteers,’’ NZSki adaptive coordinator Sheena Haywood says.
‘‘You don’t have to be an expert in skiing or snowboarding, but you need to be kind and intuitive and patient, and have a little time yourself so you can help people around the
Haywood’s new to the role, but has had an interest in helping disabled people enjoy the
snow since she started teaching skiing at Mt Ruapehu soon after leaving school.
‘‘I had some friends who were in the adaptive world, they had some limbs missing and one was visually impaired, so I’ve kind of right from the get-go been around it.
‘‘And I photographed the Paralympics in Italy, in Torino [in 2006], so I was at the coalface of watching the excellence of people with their disabilities being unstoppable.’’
Last year, Haywood, who notes some disabled people can’t walk but can ski, also added to her instructor’s qualifications by getting her adaptive ski licence.
For more information on NZSki’s adaptive programme, see www.snowbuddies.org.nz