February is Heart Month, and the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS) reached out to another non-profit Valley organization, the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA), and its Project Inclusion (PI) participants to make “I love X-Country Skiing with VISAS @ Mt Washington” buttons.
VISAS’s nordic instructor team connected with Project Inclusion, a group that encourages skills development and workplace opportunities for young adults (ages 18 – 30+) with diverse abilities, to produce the “I love…” buttons with PI’s button-making equipment.
“We were so excited to collaborate with VISAS, particularly when a number of our regulars, also benefit from VISAS’s snowsports program in learning new skills, in outdoor exercise, and enjoying the fresh winter mountain air” said Wendy Hawksworth, Project Inclusion co-ordinator.
VISAS intro to xc skiing
VISAS’s nordic team is hosting a “Have a Go @ Nordic” experience on Sunday, Feb. 13 at Mt Washington’s Raven Lodge. It’s an opportunity for first-time nordic skiers with diverse abilities a chance to try cross-country skiing. Space is limited to five participants, and they must register ahead of time online to reserve their spot, and/or to make a future booking, email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Each season VISAS’s 90+ volunteer snowsports instructors introduce the thrill of downhill/nordic skiing and snowboarding to people age 6+ who have a variety of physical and cognitive challenges.
“VISAS was something I always wanted to do, as it combines my love of cross country skiing with the goal of supporting people with diverse abilities to fully participate in community life,” said Lorraine Aitken, former executive director of CVCDA, and now a volunteer nordic instructor. “It’s lovely to meet and support people new to skiing, and see ‘old friends’ who’ve grown up with skiing, and are regulars. It’s a win-win on so many levels.”
Project Inclusion runs Mondays to Fridays and its 16 young adults work on different community projects such as bottle drives, gardening, button making, as well training for work in local businesses, like Starbucks, Shoppers Drugmart, and Comox Valley Volkswagen. For more information on Project Inclusion, contact Wendy at email@example.com
Visit VISAS’s website: visasweb.ca for information on its snowsports program, as well as its upcoming VISAS Awareness Day on Sunday, March 6, VISAS’s annual fundraiser and silent auction.
For more information, visit www.cvcda.ca
Photo above: Team Project Inclusion holding their newly-made “I love X-Country Skiing” buttons, (including PI co-ordinator, Wendy Hawksworth, far middle back, and Lorraine Aitken, VISAS nordic volunteer, second row, right).