An adaptive water ski clinic for disabled skiers will hit the water tonight.
Taking place on the east end of Stafford Lake, the Learn To Waterski Camp in partnership with Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta will allow seven disabled athletes to test their skills in the sport.
“It’s a Learn To Waterski Camp for disabled athletes who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity,” said Jason Beekman, one of the hosts of the clinic. “There’s a lot that goes into adaptive water skiing and a lot of volunteers and equipment. Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta has really stepped up to ensure this Give It A Go program for our adaptive athletes is well underway this year. This is the first year we’ve really had this kind of partnership province-wide.”
Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta is running numerous clinics this summer across the province in an attempt to give everyone an opportunity to try water skiing regardless of physical boundaries.
Tonight’s clinic will be the first one held at Stafford Lake, said Beekman, who has taken part in earlier clinics in Calgary alongside his brother.
“It all boils down to what each athlete’s disability is,” said Beekman. “From there, we fit them in to what their best opportunity is to get them on the water. The ones we did in Calgary, we had a couple of quadrapalegics, so they’re in a sit-ski where the rope is attached to the sit ski and we have two skiers ski beside them and guide them and get them moving on the water and feel it out. We’re getting the feel of being on the water and the experience of skiing and we’ll see what the limits and the boundaries are.”
Beekman said the seven athletes registered were the maximum they could have.
“When registration opened for our clinic we were full within a day,” he said. “If this one goes well we would definitely be open and willing to host another one. There has been a lot of hard work by the volunteers who will be showing up there, but a lot of hard work by Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta and a few people who have really pushed this program forward. It’s nice to see it being received so well.”
Roughly 20 volunteers will take part in tonight’s clinic in various capacities.
The volunteer roles fill up just as quickly as the athletes.
“It’s going to be a mix of everything,” said Beekman. “I’m going to have people in the water helping keep the athletes supported and stable. There are a few of us who alternate for side skiing and we have a couple of helpers in the boat and a couple helpers on the dock plus we’ll have somebody cooking snacks. Once we got everything confirmed by Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta, I put out a personal Facebook post and within half an hour I had 20 people asking what they can do and how to help.”
As for future events, Beekman said it depends on what Water Ski Wakeboard Alberta wants to do at the Stafford Lake site.
“But there still are three more planned for the site up in Calgary which are scheduled and ready to go.”
Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter