A Heroic Fundraising Effort On The Slopes For Disability Charity

Paralympian Joins Disability Snowsport UK At Annual Skiathon


By Suzanne Rutter

Intrepid fundraisers, including one from a leading law firm, took to the snowy slopes at Snow Factor to help raise money for a national charity which is giving people with disabilities and serious injuries a new lease of life.

Two teams of six skiers made up of disabled and able-bodied skiers took part in Disability Snowsport UK’s 'Skiathon' at Snow Factor’s indoor ski slopes at Braehead to raise much needed funds for the charity.

Lorraine Smart, from Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, joined Occupational Therapist, Leslie Wallace from the Queen Elizabeth Spinal Unit, her daughter Louise, Claire Ormiston, Craig Gorrie, Graeme Hood, Catriona McKenzie, Rashmi McClaferty, and Jane McClafferty along with representatives from Disability Snowsport UK for the annual event, which challenged skiers to complete 666 runs in six hours.

The teams, called 'The Life Savers' and 'The Whacky Racers', wore fancy dress costumes to complement the event’s superhero theme and raised £1,219 with more money still to come in. 
Gold medal winning Paralympian David Smith MBE also attended the event to inspire fundraisers taking part.

Lorraine said: “At Irwin Mitchell, we see the devastating consequences serious injuries can have on people’s lives, and that’s why I was delighted to support this fantastic event which encourages people, whatever their disability or injury, to take to the slopes and enjoy the freedom it provides them.

“We’ve seen first-hand how specialist ski classes for our clients who have suffered serious spinal injuries, for example, can help with their recovery by helping them build up their strength and confidence.

“It was a really fun event, especially seeing everyone in fancy dress, but we also hope it helps raise awareness about the fantastic work Disability Snowsport UK does to help people with an injury or disability push their boundaries and learn new skills.”

Disability Snowsport UK provides opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in ski and snowboarding activities to help increase their mobility, freedom, social interaction and to nurture the abilities of potential athletes.

The charity also provides specially adapted skiing equipment and instruction to enable disabled skiers to take part in overseas activity weeks, ski schools and to join local groups.

It costs the charity £50 to provide a one-hour ski lesson, £150 provides three ski helmets and £1,000 is needed for five sets of skis and boots or covers the cost of a volunteer helper accompanying a group oversees.

Keira Young, the Ski School Manager at Disability Snowsport UK, added: “The Skiathon was fantastic! The skiers really made the day with their fantastic efforts in the challenges and keeping high spirited throughout the day.

“It was so amazing to have Paralympian David Smith MBE join the teams to help with the run contribution. He really got involved and the teams really were inspired by him and his story. 

"Everyone who took part was great and the event would never been as successful without them. Thanks again to everyone who raised funds on the day for Disability Snowsport UK.”