What a wonderful way to finish the season for BASS Morzine & Les Gets in the Portes du Soleil!
LinkAble is a Woking based charity whose aim is to enable those with learning disabilities to develop their potential and enjoy socially inclusive fulfilled lives. The annual ski trip is part of their program and we are honoured to be part of the team who make this such a rich experience for the group. This year's group was made up of wide range of abilities and it was lovely to see returning faces back for the second and third year in a row.
It's quite a challenge for us to work out how best to meet the needs of each individual so our goal is to create safe, supportive environment where each skier is able to fulfil their potential regardless of their ability. BASS instructor Marc Walton rallied the troupes which meant we had Marc & Becci from BASS as well as Helena from Ski Beyond as the lead coaches, supported by BASS Pro basi level 2 instructors Nigel, Jo, Jeroen and Sarah providing even more hands on help.
First time skiers Kayleigh and Katrina with Jeroen.
Day 1 saw us with a fresh sprinkling of snow and surprisingly chilly temperatures for an April morning. The group were driven to the beginner plateau in Avoriaz where there is easy access to a large learner area where we can set up camp with rubber coated red carpets to make walking up the hill easy, ready for sliding down.
Red carpet not just for film premieres.
A few of the group who are already independent on skis were taken off to adventure round the slopes with BASS instructor Marc. These guys had to tackle both button lifts and chairlifts to get the miles under their feet and try out some of the longer runs around Avoriaz.
Marc’s skiing adventurers.
Day 2 and normal service had resumed on the weather front with sunshine and blue skies providing a stunning backdrop of snowy peaks.
The adventurers set off under Marc’s watchful eye while the beginner group carried on searching for those ever-elusive triangles (what we call the snowplough shape).
Lauren getting the red carpet treatment with Jo ready to give a helping hand.
After a bit of practise it was clear that a few more skiers were ready to leave the nest and try out some longer slopes so Helena and Sarah lead a group off to learn to use the button lift. A massive step for these guys and it was wonderful to see such progress.
There are many things that struck me over these two days. Learning happens for these guys, it may be different to the way other people learn but they can do it too.
To hear ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t’ and then see the smile on someone’s face when they realise that they CAN, is amazing. ‘I can’t’ turns into, ‘Take a picture, my Mum won’t believe what I’ve done!’
Helena and Leisha having a ball.
As coaches, we realise that listening to and understanding our learners is key to building a trusting relationship where learning can begin.
Working together in such a close team is an opportunity to learn and share ideas with each other.
For me, it is everything that teaching and being part of BASS is all about.
Thanks team, we couldn’t have done it without you.
Left to right: Helena, Sarah, Jo, Becs, Nigel, Jeroen.
Find out more about LinkAble Woking here.