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Volunteer Ski Coaches Needed! (Posted On: Thursday, October 12, 2006)

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For a number of years now, the Blue Mountain Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team has been providing an alpine ski program dedicated to promoting a more active and better quality of life for people who have an intellectual disability, through their involvement in sport.

Athletes with an intellectual disability are no different than any other athlete, they need training, support and encouragement. Special Olympics Athletes gain self - confidence and transfer the success they obtain on the ski hills to become more active citizens in society.

Our Alpine Program starts on Sunday October 15th which is the first day of our Dryland Training Program. The six week Dryland Program (2 hours each Sunday at Toronto Ski Club) sets the stage to allow Athletes and Coaches to begin to get ready for the winter ski season which for us, starts on January 7, 2007 at the South End of Blue Mountain Resorts. This is a very important ski season for us, as we are all busy preparing for the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Winter Games which takes place in Owen Sound Ontario February 1st to 4th, 2007.

In order for us to fulfill our promise to our Athletes, we have an ongoing requirement for Coaching and Volunteering staff! This is where you come in!

If you are an alpine skier and have become bored with the 'same old thing', and are looking for a new challenge, we have a place for you. Instructing, racing, and/or coaching experience is a valuable asset, but not necessary for you to join our team of coaches. Your main asset is to have the desire and enthusiasm to participate in the ski program providing our Athletes continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and to experience joy and friendship.


In the early 1960s, testing of children with intellectual disabilities revealed that they were only half as physically fit as the rest of the population. It was assumed that the low fitness levels were a direct result of mental disability.

Toronto researcher and professor Dr, Frank Hayden questioned this attitude. Dr. Hayden’s research demonstrated that intellectually disabled people could become physically fit and with appropriate training could readily participate in competitive sports just like the rest of us. His work proved that low levels of fitness and lack of motor skills development in people with mental handicaps were caused by nothing more than a sedentary lifestyle. Their intellectual disabilities resulted in their exclusion from the physical and sports experiences enjoyed by other children. Dr. Hayden set out to develop a national sports program for intellectually disabled people.

By the mid sixties, Dr. Hayden’s work came to the attention of Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver. You history buffs will perhaps know that Mrs. Shriver is the sister of U. S. President John F. Kennedy. And, one of her own sisters, Rosemary, was an intellectually disabled individual. Mrs. Shriver’s work with Dr. Hayden and the Kennedy Foundation led directly to the creation of the Special Olympics. The first competitive sporting events under the Special Olympics banner were held in Chicago in 1968.

This is just a brief sketch of our history and our goals. You may have many questions and comments about the program, so please feel free to contact me at any time. We need you!

Submitted by: Bill Rogers, Head Coach
Blue Mountain Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team
132 Wards Road
RR 2
Clarksburg Ontario
N0H 1J0
705 445 6127


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