Awareness In Mental Health Soars As Skiers And Snowboarders With Additional Needs Benefit From Life-Changing Skills

Individuals with additional needs and mental health challenges are gaining invaluable life-changing skills through skiing and snowboarding with Snowbility. With their slogan, ‘It’s cool to be different’, Snowbility are supporting their students, families and carers to achieve amazing results.

They provide an opportunity to learn the sport in a safe environment, through an integrated approach that helps to develop their social skills, such as interaction, confidence, self-esteem, concentration, motor skills and motivation.

Since Snowbility launched in 2011, numbers have risen dramatically and over 10,000 people have benefited in a positive way, with evidence mounting that proves participation of a sport, such as skiing or snowboarding, can dramatically improve the lives of people with additional needs and mental health.

Snowbility was founded by Richard Fetherston, a passionate snowsports enthusiast and instructor, and is based at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead – an indoor snow facility that is open all year round. Their carefully selected and specialised team of fully qualified ski and snowboard instructors are BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) or IASI (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors) qualified and registered, as well as experienced in both indoor and Alpine environments.

Richard said:

We have a team of fully qualified ski and snowboard instructors with the knowledge, experience and passion to provide tailor-made coaching for a wide range of complex physical, psychological and mental health needs, including learning disabilities, autism, dyspraxia and deafness. We aim to enrich the lives of our students, parents, carers and teachers we work with, by giving people with additional needs and rehabilitation challenges the opportunity to develop both emotionally and physically through skiing and snowboarding.

It’s the best job in the world. As a team we like nothing more than seeing the progress of our students, people like George who has Glaucoma, Sturge-Weber syndrome and is on the autistic spectrum. He’s an inspiration and we were so proud to see him on the BBC recently, telling his story. Once we get our pupils skiing and their families start to see the changes, then they all benefit; everyone gets involved. It’s truly humbling to see lives change in such a positive way.

Snowbility’s integrated approach and flexible coaching methods help every student develop their skiing and snowboarding skills, allowing their impressive natural abilities to be expressed, to give them a sense of achievement and pride. This engagement, in a purposeful activity, enhances their social, emotional and communication skills, whilst improving fitness, balance, concentration and ultimately, self-confidence.

Many students progress to a level that enables them to travel to the mountains with their family where they can continue to enjoy the benefits that skiing and snowboarding bring.

    Company Information

    Snowbility is the brainchild of Ski Development Coach, Richard Fetherston, who discovered the incredible benefits that could be achieved for people with additional needs and mental health challenges through ski and snowboard coaching.
    Based at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead – an all year round indoor ‘real snow’ facility.
    Lessons are available 7 days a week and can be on a private or group basis and prices are available on application.
    Snowbility caters for pupils of all ages from children as young as 5 years old to adults of 65 years plus.
    Snowbility helps people with learning disabilities and mental health challenges, not severe physical disabilities.

    Comments are closed.


    Robert Stewart
    PR DirectorSki Press

    Telephone: +00 44 (0)7543 799338




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