Volunteer physios set up disabled ski club

A group of Scottish physios have set up a low-cost skiing club for disabled people in the Cairngorm mountains.


New volunteers at a training day in Glenshee last month

The physios, with orthotist colleagues, from NHS Tayside worked as volunteers to develop the facility at the Glenshee ski centre near Balmoral.

Run under the umbrella group Disability Snowsport Scotland, the team have trained five British Association of Snowsports Instructors (BASI) level 1 adaptive instructors, and one level 2 instructor.

Clients are assessed for five different categories of adaptive skiing: visually impaired; mono-skiing; bi-ski; learning disability; and three or four track.

Louise Whitehead, a vascular physio who helps run the scheme said: ‘The majority of disabled clients or those with a learning disability can be accommodated. For instance, a client who has paraplegia may use a mono-ski, a transfemoral amputee may ski three track – basically on one leg using outriggers. A young person with autism would likely physically ski the same as their peers but require one-to-one support.’

Paediatric physios Alison Currie and Gilly Higgins, along with orthotists Kenny and Lesley Moyes helped set up the group.

The sessions cost just £20 for skiers, which covers the cost of lift passes, but this winter has proved too warm for much skiing.

‘Unfortunately the weather has not been too favourable this winter and the snow has come and gone a few times due to the unseasonably mild spells,’ Ms Whitehead said.

More information can be found by emailing dssglenshee@gmail.com


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