Adaptive Snowsport Festival Next to Start in NZ
22 Jul 2009  
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Skiers and boarders with disabilities are gathering at Cardrona Alpine Resort outside Wanaka this week for the start of the Cardrona Disabled Snow Sports New Zealand National Championships and the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) Adaptive Snowboard World Championships.

World Snowboard Federation
Adaptive Snowboard World Championships
30 July 2009, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka, New Zealand



Cardrona Disabled Snow Sports National Champs
Hit the Slopes Beginning Sunday

Week-long Adaptive Snow Sports Festival features events for both recreational and elite skiers and snowboarders

WANAKA -- July 22, 2009 -- Skiers and boarders with disabilities are gathering at Cardrona Alpine Resort outside Wanaka this week for the start of the Cardrona Disabled Snow Sports New Zealand National Championships and the World Snowboard Federation (WSF) Adaptive Snowboard World Championships.

The competition for disabled skiers and snowboarders is one of the highlights of the week-long Adaptive Snow Sports Festival, from 26-31 July.

This year’s festival will feature the World’s first-ever Adaptive Snowboard World Championships event, a slingshot snowboard cross event.

The festival also includes the New Zealand National Championships for alpine ski racers and snowboarders with disabilities, with competitions scheduled in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super-G.

The New Zealand Adaptive Team is led by Wanaka’s Adam Hall, 20, recently named the Snow Sports New Zealand Snow Sports Athlete of the year for 2008/2009.

Hall, who is the No. 2-ranked slalom racer in the world, accumulated 13 medals, including silver and bronze at the International Paralympics committee (IPC) World Cup finals, and a silver at the World Championships over the past year.

The festival and championships are the highlight of the adaptive snow sports winter calendar, offering instruction and coaching for recreational skiers and boarders alongside the elite level competitions.

This year’s event also features a ‘Have-A-Go Nordic’ day at Snow Farm. The festival culminates in an awards dinner recognising the achievements and successes of participants and members, and celebrating 32 years of Disabled Snowsports in New Zealand. 

The festival is supported by trained volunteers from some of the  eight Adaptive Programmes based at New Zealand's ski fields, including Cardrona Alpine Resort.  Cardrona is sponsor of the National Championship races.

“Building on the success of last year’s event, this year promises to be an amazing experience for both competitive and recreational skiers and snowboarder, with many young people participating for the first time,” said Libby Blackley, Adaptive Manager for Snow Sports New Zealand, the governing body for snow sports in New Zealand. “The beauty of this event is that it caters to competitive athletes, as well as all those who want to improve their skills or have a try at competing.

“Snow sports offer a unique opportunity for people  with disabilities to feel the same freedom and exhilaration that able-bodied skiers and snowboarders experience. For many participants, it’s a life-changing experience,” said Blackley.

The Adaptive Snow Sports Festival runs from the 26th – 31st July at Cardrona Alpine resort. The festival is the highlight of the adaptive snow sports winter calendar in New Zealand, offering instruction and coaching for recreational skiers and boarders alongside the elite level competitions.

Adaptive Snow Sports New Zealand is a member of Snow Sports New Zealand. Snow Sports New Zealand is the official governing body and National Sports Organisation representing all snow sports in New Zealand. www.snowsports.co.nz

Schedule:
27/7 9am-2pm Nationals Super Giant Slalom Ski (Cardrona)
28/7 9am-2pm Nationals Giant Slalom Ski + Snowboard (Cardrona)
28/7 6pm World Champs Welcome + Awards Ceremony (Oakridge Resort, Wanaka)
29/7 9am-2pm Nationals Slalom Ski (Cardrona)
29/7 11am-2pm (Recreational) Have a go Nordic (Snow Farm)
30/7 9am-2pm World Championships Snowboard Cross (Cardrona)
31/7 6:30pm Adaptive Snow Sports NZ Awards Dinner $50 (Oakridge Resort, Wanaka)

ABOUT ADAPTIVE SKIING/BOARDING
Adaptive skiing or snowbaording refers to a modified version of the sport, which adapts in equipment, rules, and technical specifications that enable persons with physical disabilities to participate in both recreational and competitive activities. Athletes compete based on their functional ability, allowing athletes with different disabilities to compete against each other.

ABOUT THE WORLD SNOWBOARD FEDERATION
The WSF is the only international organisation dedicated exclusively to the development and support of snowboard at all levels, including competitive as well as training levels, snowboarding for disabled, and initiatives for riders of any age. The WSF is a network of international snowboard associations which cooperate all over the world aiming at the development of this sport. Le nations members of the WSF find in it an inspiration source and a support to their activities. The WSF can create added value for all those who practise snowboarding at an international level and it offers ideas, manuals and initiatives. As a result, members are united in a widespread organization with the same objective, that is the progression of snowboard at all levels. www.worldsnowboardfederation.org

Media contact:

Kristy Quin
Snow Sports New Zealand
Ph:   +64 3 443 4085 ext. 3
kristy@snowsports.co.nz 



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