Stephen attended a course in January 2011. He was injured in a motorbike accident in 2008 and has a C5 complete injury.
Prior to this, he had a career in the Royal Navy and socialising with his shipmates was very important to him. Two weeks before attending the skiing course in Sweden, he was given his discharge date from the service and was wondering what the future held for him.
The course exceeded his expectations by far. The skiing was amazing; the instructors were excellent; “I couldn’t fault them, they were very friendly and knowledgeable.”
The whole experience was so positive that Steve now plans to take his wife and two young children to Sweden skiing, and he has already discussed this with the ski instructors at the resort.
Seeing what other people can do with a little help made him realise that he could do anything. It was a moving experience. He felt comfortable in the group and found everyone easy to talk to and a good laugh.
A big motivation for going on the course was to see what it was like flying after injury. Once he arrived in Sweden he sent a text to his wife to tell her it was easy and that they could go ahead and book a holiday in Cyprus!
Steve described the nurse that worked with him as “spot-on.” He had been slightly apprehensive about not meeting her before the course, but she called him and this put his mind at ease. He said he would recommend anyone to go on a course including his PAs so they can see what can be achieved.
There have also been other benefits. Stephen now feels more confident socialising with people and has more friends to broaden his social network beyond the navy. Before the course he rarely left the house. Now his confidence has improved so much that he wouldn’t give it a second thought.
Back Up organise two annual specialist skiing courses in Åre, Sweden for people with high level injuries. With one on one instruction delivered by Totalskidskolan, the courses are designed to build confidence and independence, and give people the opportunity to learn to ski kart. The courses are open to all people with high level injuries. The groups are led by volunteer group leaders, and comprised of 5 participants with spinal cord injury, a care team of 6 spinal cord injury trained nurses and Personal Assistants (PAs) and 3 General Course Volunteers.
We run an annual ski kart taster day at Bracknell, which is a great opportunity for people to come along and try the ski karts, taking place in September.
Email the Courses Team or ring them on 020 8875 1805 to register your interest.
We will be recruiting for Winter 2012 courses in September 2011. Look out for dates and application forms!