A group of skiers are attempting to claim the world record for the furthest skied using seated equipment.
They’ll be making their attempt at the Chill Factore indoor snow centre in Manchester on Monday 25th September – as part of a bid to raise vital funds for the charity that enables them to ski, Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK).
The team includes Alex Macpherson, 17, from Chorley who was born with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and also has learning difficulties; Amber Meikle-Janney, 24, from Huddersfield who was born with hereditary spastic paraplegia (a rare neurological condition which mainly affects the lower limbs and core strength) and Will Macpherson, 34, from Harrogate who suffered a spinal cord injury following a bicycle accident in 2004 – with the trio competing alongside five other sit skiers from around the country as part of the challenge.
The target for the team is to surpass 44km skied in eight hours by descending the 180m long slope (the longest indoor real snow slope in the UK), equating to the group skiing an average of 38 runs per hour.
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/dsukmonoski
Karen Macpherson, Alex’s Mum says, “Skiing brings such a big smile to his face and it’s a sport that provides him with so much freedom and independence, away from the daily confines of his wheelchair. I remember receiving Guinness World Record books as a kid at Christmas and to think Alex might actually be in a future edition, makes me feel so proud. I hope that through this challenge Alex can raise more awareness of the incredible opportunities that exist through disability snowports, and let people know that no disability can stop people from having fun!”
Amber, who uses a mono ski says, “I first started skiing when I was six, but when I was 14 my body would no longer allow me to stand by myself, and that’s when I came across mono skiing. I love the freedom it gives me. I like the speed, the adrenaline and the independence. In my daily life I’m a full-time wheelchair user and that has limitations – but when I’m on snow and I’m in the mountains, I’m free.”
Will says, “Following my accident, my vertebrae compressed and I was left with no feeling or movement from the chest down. After approximately seven months, I began to redevelop signals from my brain but the accident left me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. It was a very difficult time but 10 years ago I discovered DSUK and the thrill of sit skiing – and I’m now able to enjoy the mountains in a way I once feared I may never be able to experience again.”
Virginia Anderson, CEO of DSUK says “We are aiming to raise a minimum of £3,000 from the world record attempt. All donations will go directly towards enabling people with all types of disabilities to take part in skiing and snowboarding at adaptive snowsport schools throughout the UK. We exist to help people like Alex, Amber and Will and through their efforts, we are certain they will inspire others to have a go too. By taking on this incredible challenge, the team are going a long way in helping us as a small charity to share the enjoyment of snowsports with many more disabled children and adults across the county.”
Tom Roffey, General Manager at Chill Factore says, “We are proud to support this amazing event which not only showcases the adaptive skiing community but also raises money for more disabled people to enjoy the thrill and life-changing benefits of snowsports”.
The world record attempt starts at 12pm on Monday 25th September and will be independently witnessed by volunteers from the Bridgewater Trafford Rotary Club.
Images credit: Cameron Hall
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