By Jack Copeland
Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra is well known for its enthusiastic and effective training program. Each year the professional staff at DSES trains 200 new and returning volunteers. Training prepares instructors to provide lessons to students with any and all disabilities at Mammoth Mountain. DSES believes that no one should be left behind simply because of a disability.
Last year DSES hosted two South African interns for the winter: Dean Stephenson and Daniel de la Harpe. After our winter, Dean went back to South Africa to teach disabled skiers at Africaski, South Africa’s only ski resort. There Dean taught paraplegic and quadriplegic students to ski using sit-down ski equipment. It was the first ever sit ski lesson on the continent of Africa and an eye opener for everyone. Stephenson was able to bring many of his students to a level of confidence and competence that allowed them to ski independently down the main slopes of the resort. According to Mike Todd, Ski School Manager at Africaski, Stephenson’s work with disabled skiers proved inspirational for disabled and able-bodied skiers alike and he learned it all here, in the Eastern Sierra.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning to ski or in volunteering for DSES contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.934.0791.