The group was founded in 2001, with training sessions held at the Ackers Ski Centre in Birmingham every fortnight. All of our Special Needs athletes belong to a Special Olympic Group within the West Midlands. The trainers are all qualified ski instructors (who give their time free of charge) and are led by Keith Parish who is the group's Head Coach.
The number of athletes have steadily increased and we now have 45 skiers training regularly throughout the year. In addition to the sessions in Birmingham, we have a week of training on snow in Italy every year. We host the West Midlands Special Olympics Open Ski Championship in October, with competitors taking part from England, Scotland and Wales. Three of our skiers were selected for the GB team that competed in the 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho - returning with two gold and three silver medals. Our group was asked to organise the Special Olympics Great Britain National Championships in January 2012. One of our athletes, Clare, represented team GB and won two bronze medals at the World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2013.
It is anticipated that the number of skiers will continue to rise as more people hear about the group. This is something we hope to achieve more efficiently with the creation of a Facebook group and also this website. We will continue to train regularly and to encourage our skiers to compete in Special Olympics competitions in England and Wales. We also encourage them to enter mainsteam ski races in the Midlands.