Snow Sports Used To Combat Disabilities And Mental Health Issues In The UK


Snow sports are acting as a valuable life-changing tool for people with additional needs and mental health problems.

Since its launch in 2011 Snowbility has helped over 10,000 people to gain from both the physical and psychological benefits of skiing and snowboarding.

With a slogan, “It’s cool to be different,” the company welcomes students from all walks of life, backgrounds and with various needs and problems, including learning disabilities and autism, and encourages them to get involved with winter sports.

Snowbility, which was founded by keen skier and ski development coach Richard Fetherston, is based at The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, an indoor real-snow slope 20 minutes outside of London. It offers the opportunity to learn in the safe and stable environment of the indoor centre throughout the year, providing many of its students with an experience they might otherwise not have felt confident enough to try.

“We aim to enrich the lives of our students, parents, carers and teachers we work with, by giving people with additional needs and rehabilitation challenges the opportunity to develop both emotionally and physically through skiing and snowboarding,” said Richard.

The carefully selected and experienced team at Snowbility are all qualified instructors and are either BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) or IASI (Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors) registered.

“We have a team of fully qualified ski and snowboard instructors with the knowledge, experience and passion to provide tailor-made coaching for a wide range of complex physical, psychological and mental health needs, including learning disabilities, autism, dyspraxia and deafness,” said Richard.

Snowbility’s approach to teaching skiing and snowboarding technique is integrated with other skills such as social interaction, confidence, self-esteem, concentration and motivation. The flexible coaching methods used by the team help every student in a different way.

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