Making tracks

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Paralympians will hit the slopes in Queenstown this weekend as part of the Adaptive Snow Sports Festival.

Held at The Remarkables, the three-day event brings together skiers and snowboarders who have disabilities, with Paralympians such as Adam Hall and Corey Peters.

The festival’s been running on-and-off for 15 years, and has been held at different skifields around the country.

Snow Sports NZ adaptive snow sports boss Jane Stevens says: “Everybody just has a great time together, skis together, takes lessons together, and it might just be a fact of meeting new people and coming and skiing with other people with disabilities.”

She’s expecting 40 to 50 athletes to head up the mountain.

“It’s a chance for anybody with any form of disability … old and young, doesn’t matter about their ability, doesn’t matter about their disability, anyone that’s involved and has a love for snow sports is welcome to come along.”

The festival also provides an avenue for prospective Para-lympians, she says.

“There are a lot of people who will get inspired when they’re skiing next to the likes of Adam Hall and Corey Peters.

“We show them that pathway and how they can actually become a Para-lympian.”

Stevens says Paralympians are “more in the spotlight now than they used to be”, and that’s boosting interest in adaptive snow sports.

“I think that whole drive for equality and accessibility has really made a difference.”

The festival will run from tomorrow through to this Sunday.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz