Rocky Mountain Adaptive (RMA) located in Canmore, AB and operating throughout The Bow Valley, has been an integral part of keeping my entire family active in the mountains. My daughter participates in their winter 10-week ski program. Where she is able to have a one-on-one ski lesson for 2 hours each week with an (over)qualified instructor. She is now cruising down the green and blue runs at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise, independently! When summer arrives to this part of Canada, she can be found on local lakes, learning to paddle her own kayak, or hiking trails with support from some extremely wonderful staff and volunteers. The staff of RMA are phenomenal, the heart of this organization however is its vast number of volunteers.
RMA’s vision – “A world where there are no limits to adaptive mountain sport & recreation.”
In the winter months when attending ski lessons with my daughter, I have met one day or multi-day participants who are here in the Canadian Rockies for a holiday from the UK, USA and Australia. Sometimes it is as simple as an escort around the hill for minimal support, loading or unloading on the lifts, a visual guide for a visually impaired person, to full on support in a sit ski.
Families travel from Calgary and Edmonton to participate in this adaptive ski & snowboard program. This program allows families to all spend a day at the resort, enjoying what the mountains have to offer. The benefits of recreational opportunities for those with cognitive or physical impairments or delays, are numerous, social skill building, independence, physical activity, and confidence building.
Read more about their winter program in these blogs found on their site:
As the weather turns warmer here in the Rockies our sights are set on other mountain sports, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking or frisbee golf to mention a few. There are opportunities that last a few hours, a day or are multi-week programming. We have seen growth in confidence, independence and physical strength in our daughter through learning to paddle her own kayak on numerous mountain lakes. As well as learning to enjoy hiking at an easier pace with her peers. There have been numerous opportunities to teach others, that we all have abilities, through corporate team building days (with larger corporations), on hiking adventures with RMA participants and employees from the corporations. It is also amazing to see a team of people come together to assist a person in a trail rider to reach a destination typically only able-bodied people achieve. RMA has brought together those with and without a disability, demonstrating ability of all through recreation everyone’s abilities.
Look at some of the great summer adventures that have been supported by RMA:
The volunteers and staff of RMA are always enthusiastic and prepared to support their participants emotionally or physically. The program is also affordable for all and often provides a much needed and deserved respite for parents or caregivers. These programs are only possible through the support of a few corporate sponsors, fundraising and volunteers.
RMA runs only two large fundraisers a year, ForeAbility, a golf tournament in the fall, and my personal favourite is, ShredAbility, the spring fundraiser . ShredAbility is an all mountain scavenger hunt, where participants of all abilities move all over the mountain, searching for clues that lead them everywhere in Sunshine Village Resort. It also allows everyone to experience what it may be like to navigate with a visual impairment or physical one, through fun challenges along the way. Costume wearing is encouraged, as life is meant to be fun.
If you can please help us raise some funds for Mountain Fitness Training’s, ShredAbility team, MFT Fit Fanatics.
We are excited to have Kim Karn and Neil Graham participate in ShredAbility to support RMA, if you can please support them with a donation.