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DWA – Resort Services Program, Mount Hotham Winter 2017

DWA – Resort Services Program, Mount Hotham Winter 2017

Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) is, once again, bringing their inspiring Resort Services Program to Mount Hotham.

The program is an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to have the chance to ski and snowboard recreationally and independently, with the option of assistance from volunteers who have undergone specific guide training.

DWA is a national sporting organisation body responsible for adaptive winter sport in Australia. DWA supports adaptive skiing and snowboarding for people with all forms of disabilities from physical, cognitive to vision impaired.

Traditionally, DWA has run camps for disability groups out of Howmans Gap near Falls Creek and Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre in NSW. The camps have allowed disability groups to experience this adaptive style of skiing while providing a unique supportive introduction to adaptive snowsports.

DWA has worked closely with Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board to develop a Disability Visitors Guide, which provides information about the resort and access features for people with disabilities.

DWA’s Resort Service Coordinator Philip Knight said that there was a lot of opportunity for individuals with disabilities to participate in snowsports and that the program offered great support.

“We recognised the opportunity for DWA to expand what we do by supporting people with disabilities to participate in skiing independently and recreationally with their family and friends, rather than at a camp, by providing information specific to the resorts,” Mr Knight said.

 “First thing is providing information such as how to get around the resort and the car park, and accessible facilities. Second, we provide adaptive equipment for members to use such as sit skis, and third we provide volunteer guides for them to access if needed.”

During the two years of activity, DWA Resort Services Program at Mount Hotham has been successful which is reflected in a doubling of participation in 2016 compared to 2015.

Not only has there been an increase in participation of people with disabilities skiing, but also in the number of DWA volunteer guides. There are currently around 20 local Mount Hotham adaptive snowsports guides who are trained and actively guide with DWA members over the winter season.

To become a volunteer Adaptive Snow Sport Guide, DWA offers specialised training with certification recognition. There is no charge for the training, with the exception of joining DWA as an associate member for $50 per annum.

Mr Knight said that being a guide was a rewarding experience and a chance to be part of a “fantastic community of people”.

“We provide training programs - if people are interested in volunteering you need to be a high intermediate skier or snowboarder and then you need to undertake the training over the weekend – you have to be an associate DWA member to do that,” Mr Knight said.

“Our guides are there to support people with adaptive skiing (sit skiing, three tracking – skiing for amputees, vision impaired skiers and all other types of disabilities).

“We have people with very different needs – in fact everyone is unique, so we have to consider carefully the match up with a guide and the type of adaptive skiing equipment they will need.

“Some of our clients may have a cognitive disability and they don’t require any equipment, just a DWA guide to be with them to support and motivate them and help them achieve their objectives.

“After you have completed the new guide training you will be introduced to guiding experiences as opportunities arise, in a very supportive way, through pairing up with experienced DWA guides until you gain experience and confidence as a DWA adaptive snowsports guide.

“We also offer other more informal opportunities for training and skills development to our guides throughout the season. For example, to refresh your skills for particular equipment types prior to a guiding event,” he said.

New Guide Training for Mount Hotham starts Saturday 1 July 2017 – Sunday 2 July 2017, with a reserve day on Thursday 6 July 2017.

To register for training to become a volunteer Adaptive Snow Sport Guide, visit

For more information about DWA’s Resort Services Program at Mount Hotham contact Phil Knight on 0412270764.


10 May 2017