If you head up to Eldora in Nederland, you’ll find Elevations Foundation grantee Ignite Adaptive Sports using snow sports to enhance the lives of adults and children with disabilities. Let’s take a look at this unique nonprofit and the impact they have on disabled individuals, their families and volunteers.
Now in its 44th year of operation, Ignite Adaptive Sports began in 1975 with a small group of passionate people who saw an opportunity to enhance the lives of individuals living with disabilities by providing access to Colorado’s great winter sport of skiing. From a modest start with 10 volunteers, 10 CU-Boulder students and a partnership with Eldora, Ignite has blossomed into a team of over 230 volunteer instructors who last year provided almost 1,300 lessons to over 350 individuals, including 82 disabled veterans.
Ignite works to promote a healthy, active lifestyle and a positive outlook for people with disabilities. The children and adults with disabilities who participate in Ignite’s adaptive winter sports program leave their private lessons with enhanced self-esteem, improved relationship-building skills and a willingness to take on new challenges in life. Check out what these Ignite families and volunteers have to say in this short video.
I am incredibly grateful for Ignite. The first time I went skiing with Ignite was unforgettable. I felt a sense of freedom, independence and strength that I hadn’t experienced in years since my illness progressed. Ignite has taught me how to advocate for myself, including asking for help when I need it. I hope that all disabled and children in our community who want to can experience snow sports.
– Marley Hamrick
With only one paid full-time staff member, volunteers are the lifeblood of Ignite Adaptive Sports. Highly-trained volunteers provide 100 percent of the organization’s lessons. Their lessons are individualized to each student’s needs. Volunteers get to share their love of snow sports, and often come away changed by the experience.
I am a product of an outstanding adaptive sports program. If it wasn’t for a staff member at Ignite seeing great potential in my abilities, I wouldn’t be the mono-ski instructor I am today. Now I get to return the favor.
– Dan Marshall, Bi/Mono Ski Team Leader, paralyzed in a plane crash in 2002, Ignite volunteer since 2004
Elevations Foundation is proud to support Ignite Adaptive Sports as they make snow sports available to everyone.
Please consider supporting Elevations Foundation as we continue to provide grants for impactful nonprofits like Ignite Adaptive Sports.