BENEFITING: CHALLENGE ASPEN
Challenge Aspen Special Olympics Team is heading to the State Winter Games and then NASTAR Nationals
-- Special Olympics Colorado State Championships, Copper Mountain (February 28th)
-- NASTAR Nationals, Steamboat Springs (March 22nd to 26th)
For the 2015-16 ski season, Challenge Aspen increased programming for local residents. Challenge Aspen’s Special Olympics program for youth and adults has really taken off, with a total of 11 participants and more than a dozen volunteer coaches and chaperones. The youth team (eight athletes), also know as Mountain Niños and the adult team (three athletes) have been operating in the valley for a number of years, but with the support of Challenge Aspen, Aspen Skiing Company and Aspen Sports, participants have had more competitive opportunities and consistent training. The team has already traveled to Leadville, Colorado for the Western Regional Games, winning more than nine-1st Place finishes and eight-2nd Place finishes in the alpine slalom and giant slalom race events at Ski Cooper.
This team will be traveling to Copper Mountain this coming weekend to compete at the Colorado State Games on Sunday, February 28th. Eight of the eleven athletes will compete in both alpine events, hoping to bring home even more medals!
Practicing at Snowmass offers a huge advantage, with access to the NASTAR course! Training on the course has really helped athletes with both speed and confidence. As a chapter member of DSUSA (Disabled Sports USA), Challenge Aspen was informed of potential scholarships for youth athletes ages 13 – 24, to participate in a camp and the NASTAR Nationals, taking place in Steamboat Springs. Over the past month, teammates Chris Guay, Knoll Featherstone and Justin Jolley have been working hard with coaches, McCabe Mallin and John Przonek and are especially keen to compete in Steamboat Springs!
The team has been very fortunate this season with a donation from Special Olympics Colorado and in-kind donations of lift passes (Aspen Skiing CO), equipment (Aspen Sports) and coaches (Challenge Aspen). DSUSA is offering scholarships to attend the camp and the races at NASTAR Nationals, in Steamboat, but this doesn’t include travel, lodging, meals and coach expenses. In order to get this team and coaches to Nationals, your help is needed. Challenge Aspen is seeking $4500 and would be grateful for any donations big or small. YOU can make possibilities for Challenge Aspen’s Special Olympics team! ABOUT
CHALLENGE ASPEN: Challenge Aspen provides recreational, educational and cultural experiences for people with disabilities. Hosting year-round, adaptive recreational, educational and cultural opportunities they make activities accessible to people with any physical or cognitive disability. Challenge Aspen Military Opportunities (CAMO) was founded in 2005 and provides year-round experiences for injured service members. For additional details, please visit challengeaspn.org.
ABOUT NASTAR: NASTAR is the acronym for the NAtional STAndard Race and is the largest public grassroots ski race program in the world. More than 165,000 Nature Valley NASTAR racer days are recorded throughout the season at 115 resorts. Participants compete within their age and gender groups to win platinum, gold, silver and bronze medals. In addition, participants are ranked in their medal group and the top ranked racers qualify to compete in the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships. NASTAR was developed by SKI Magazine in 1968 to provide recreational racers with an opportunity to compete and to compare their scores with friends and family members regardless of when and where they race. The NASTAR handicap system is a standardized scoring program that provides participants with a tangible number that represents their ability. The NASTAR.com web site records each participants stats and ranks each racer at the host resort, in their state of residence and nationally. The NASTAR program has a successful partnership with the U.S. Ski Team as its premier youth racing feeder program.
ABOUT DSUSA: Disabled Sports USA’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA’s vision is that “every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their community.”
Thank you for your consideration!