Special Olympics Australia Wintersports program is a national program whereby we provide athletes with the opportunity to learn to ski and snowboard as well as train and compete in alpine skiing and snowboarding competitions.
Special Olympics Australia 2019 National Wintersports Games will be held from 22 – 25 August 2019.
The Special Olympics Australia National Winter Games are held every 4 years and athletes from New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia compete in two disciplines: skiing and snowboarding.
The 2019 Games are the third annual games and will be held in New South Wales at The Adventist Alpine Village. Previous National Winter Games were held during 2011 in New South Wales and 2015 in Victoria.
The National Games also act as a selection event for the next Special Olympics Winter World Games to be held during 2021 in Sweden. Australia has competed at the past two World Games. Five athletes participated in Korea 2013 and 12 athletes took part in 2017 Austria.
Over 40 athletes are expected to compete in this year's National Games with the Opening Ceremony to be held in Jindabyne, NSW on Thursday 22 August.
Saturday 24 August is Race Day at the Perisher Valley Resort (Front Valley). The race is part of the annual NSW Interschools competition, and is also supported by Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA)
Participant camps provide a fully supported Wintersports experience. Participant camps include fully supported on and off snow support, ski equipment hire, lift pass, lessons, accommodation and meals.
These camps are focused on fun, creating an environment to realise a positive learning experience for everyone from the first-timer that has never seen snow to the seasoned skier that is looking to have a week or weekend away with friends and to meet new people.
Development camps provide training opportunities for athletes wishing to develop their skills in preparation for competition. This program provides a pathway for competition and aims to teach race-specific skills. Athletes participate in small training groups, receiving alpine skiing and snowboarding coaching to enhance ski technique and provide racing practice through a specifically developed training program for Special Olympics competition.
Minimum skiing ability and independence standards apply for participation in SOA Development camps. Athletes will need to demonstrate they meet these standards, either from past involvement in the program at a recreation camp, or relevant case. These standards are:
- Confident blue terrain skier, linking parallel turns
- Able to ride the lift without assistance
- Able to put on own ski gear/equipment without (or very minimal) assistance
- Requires limited off-snow care in performing daily routine (e.g. general hygiene, eating, etc.)
All camps are for learning and development of athletes in both skiing and snowboarding.
Participant Camp 1: 22 July - 26 July 2019
Participant Camp 2: 29 July - 2 August 2019
Development Camp 1: 12 August - 16 August 2019
Participant Camp 3: 20 August - 25 August 2019