Snow sessions for the deaf

Sonny McAnulty during a Snowbility course at The Snow Centre
Sonny McAnulty during a Snowbility course at The Snow Centre

Nearly 100 people are booked in to take part in a deaf-friendly sports session at Hemel Hempstead’s The Snow Centre on Sunday.

There will be skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing at the free event, which will run from 10.30am to 4pm. It is open to deaf people of all ages and abilities.

Sonny McAnulty during a Snowbility course at The Snow Centre

Sonny McAnulty during a Snowbility course at The Snow Centre

Organiser Amanda Masterman said: “You’ll take part in fun, skills-based snow sports coaching activities, led by fully qualified instructors.

“Full communication support will be provided.”

Snowbility is the brainchild of ski development coach Richard Fetherston. It was set up with the aim of using snow sports coaching to help people with additional needs, such as autism, deafness, dyspraxia and visual impairment, as well as all forms of rehabilitation challenges.

It benefits participants not only developing their ability on the slopes, but also helping them with their self-esteem, social interaction, balance and confidence.

Mr Fetherston said: “The local support shown to our programme has been fantastic.”

Lesa McAnulty’s son Sonny took part in last year’s Snowbility programme at the Snow Centre at a time when he was 10 years old.

Lesa said: “Sonny is visually impaired and I am absolutely amazed how he has taken to skiing with Richard and the team.

“The first few lessons prepared him for his school skiing holiday where on arrival he was put into the ‘advanced group’!

“Since then he has skied with Snowbility regularly. Sonny is a lucky child to have found a sport that puts him on an even playing field with fully sighted people. For his self-esteem this is fantastic.”

> To learn more, visit www.snowbility.co.uk