John Klonowski (Challenge Aspen adaptive ski instructor) came to Desafío Bariloche at a very special time for us, he participated in our annual free and voluntary adaptive ski program, which we have been doing for more than 30 years. Participating of this program are people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities, from institutions from Bariloche like Crearte, ADAM and Los Buhos, totaling over 50 participants daily for 2 weeks. Through donations, partnerships and volunteers, we are able to provide participants with transportation to the mountain, ski clothes and ski gear, lift tickets, instructors, and a snack before returning home. Due to John’s extensive experience, he was able to help out everyday with all of our participants, showing us new techniques with a very caring and gentle touch.
John was also able to bring with him a snow bike as an adaptive teaching tool, which was generously donated to Desafío by Challenge Aspen at the end of the exchange. Following the spirit of the Sister Cities program of making a difference in the world through the exchange of people, ideas and cultures, we organized a clinic on the ski bike for adaptive instructors from Fundación Todos Podemos from Villa La Angostura, Esquí Adaptado Esquel and Esquí Adaptado El Bolson as part of our annual adaptive skiing gathering. The gathering included the clinic, and an afternoon of practice with all kinds of adaptive skiing equipment like mono skis, bi skis, three track and ski bike. We also were able to get together the next day and share an “asado” (traditional meal in Argentina), and generate a space to share ideas and plan for a sustainable future for adaptive skiing in Argentina.
Overall this exchange, as expected, reinforced the importance of the Sister Cities exchange program, that creates opportunities to learn in a caring and positive environment, while connecting people of different cultures with common aims, goals, and hearts.
Looking forward to plan the next exchange!
Paul Wray- Martín Saccomanno- Joaquín García Jurjo
Fundación Desafío Bariloche- Executive Committee