Have you ever fancied becoming a downhill racer or slalom supremo but were unsure how difficult it might be organising high-octane ski holidays for disabled practitioners? Well, at the Whistler ski resort in Canada, it is not difficult at all. |
In fact Whistler, which was home to many of the events of the Winter Paralympics of 2010, has an Adaptive Ski & Snowboard Program designed to make it easy for skiers with disabilities to get the equipment and training they need to enjoy a full program of winter sports. This makes it one of the best destinations around for holidays for disabled winter sports enthusiasts.
The Whistler Adaptive Ski & Snowboard Program (WASSP)
Working together with The Whistler Adaptive Sport Program, this innovative initiative aims to offer a range of winter sports activities for all levels of practitioners from beginners through to advanced.
Whatever stage you are at in your training, the WASSP will offer equipment hire and training to take you on to the next level. Nothing is out of reach for skiers and boarders with disabilities here, with classes specially designed for advanced skiers and boarders to take them up to competitive levels. You could even find yourself ready for the next Winter Paralympics!
But don’t worry if you’re not quite Paralympic material and all you want to do is have a bit of skiing or boarding fun. The team of trained, certified WASSP instructors will be on hand to guide and support you, whether it’s your first time on the slopes or your 21st. For beginners, the team will introduce you to the equipment and teach you how to use it safely, so that you can get out on the slopes and start having fun.
Where to Stay: Accessible Hotels in Whistler
For a touch of luxury, I recommend you try the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. This fully accessible hotel offers the benefit of ski-in-ski-out access so that you could store your wheelchair safely at the hotel and know that you can get back to it at the end of your day on the slopes. The hotel has two wheelchairs available for guests which it provides at no extra cost, and there are 15 wheelchair accessible rooms with wider doors and spaces. Give my team a call if you would like to book in here. Another great luxury option is the Hilton Whistler. With a spacious modern layout, wheelchair users will find the public space relatively easy to navigate. There are also two different styles of accessible rooms: the 1 King Bed room and the 2 Double Beds room. The 1 King Bed is a spacious chalet-style Junior Suite which has its own kitchenette and a roaring log fire. The 2 Double Beds room has a roll-in shower and inclusive WiFi rates.
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Set right in the heart of the picturesque Whistle Village, this modern stylish hotel has accessibility at its heart, making it the perfect base for holidays for disabled skiers. The accessible suites have a full kitchen, free WiFi and a fireplace, while the public spaces such as the reception desk, two swimming pools, parking, restaurant and lounges are all accessible to wheelchair users.
- Delta Whistler Village Suites
So if you dream of becoming an active winter sport practitioner - whether that be skiing or snowboarding - stop dreaming, because it’s time to start making it a reality! Whistler, in Canada, can offer you all the assistance you need.
Philip Scott is the owner and founder of Can be Done, a fully licensed UK tour operator specialising in worldwide holidays for disabled individuals and groups. With over 31 years’ experience organising long and short breaks for disabled travellers, Philip has built a reputation for helping his clients select hotels and accommodation that offer high standards of accessibility, to ensure that those with special needs can experience truly relaxing and carefree holidays.
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