Rossendale Special Ski Club (RSSC) was formed in 2011 when a group of young people with learning difficulties were offered the opportunity to compete at the National Ski Trials in Italy.
It was formed by a group of parents, Andy Squire (Head teacher Tor View Special School) and Ski Rossendale Coach Mike Hopkins
Aims of the Club
The club is open to any young person in East Lancashire and neighbouring counties with a Learning Disability. The criteria is that they must have or have had a Statement of Special Educational Needs or be on School Action +. There is no upper age limit but we have set a lower age limit of 6 years.
We aim to open up skiing to a group of young people who may never have had the opportunity to ski. We are Associate Members of Special Olympics GB and offer the opportunity to those skiers who meet SOGB criteria the chance to compete at local, national and world level.
We also take a small number of advanced skiers to Switzerland for snow practice. This is really beneficial to the skier as quite often they have never been away from home without their own parent or carer. This also benefits the family as a whole.
All our skiers benefit from regular exercise (we meet weekly) and being part of a team. All training is given at the skier’s level of understanding. Our Coaches Mike and John have worked with young people with learning difficulties for many years and will assess each new skier and places them in the appropriate group. The skier works to his/her own pace. Groups are split into Beginner Intermediate and Advanced and each group is further split so skiers are working alongside others of the same ability. This has a massive impact on their confidence as they are pushed to the best of their ability without feeling they are holding others back.
The Race Team also tend to help out with the beginners and so therefore become role models for future skiers. Again this vastly increases their self-worth and confidence.
We do expect a carer to stay slope side as we are not a care group. This benefits carers as often it is the only time during the week that they can sit and have a cup of tea without interruption. It also allows carers to meet other people in similar positions to themselves.
We started in 2011 with 9 skiers and now have over 30 on our books. We hope in the coming year to increase this number.
New members are very welcome-we offer a free taster session-please see contact details below