Disabled Skiers Association of BC brought their Building Our Best Program to Mount Washington


Story By Fannie Smith (DSABC) – Photos By Susan Hughes

February 3, 2013, (ISN) – The Disabled Skiers Association of BC in collaboration with the Mount Washington Ski Club and the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports brings adaptive ski racing to the island in their 2nd annual Building Our Best Race Series.

Mount Washington, BC – The Disabled Skiers Association of BC brought their Building Our Best Program to Mount Washington Alpine Resort for the second year in a row January 30-February 3, 2013.

Members of The Disabled Skiers Association of BC gearing up for the 2nd Annual Building Our Best Race Series – Photo by Susan Hughes

The Building Our Best program was initiated in 2003 in response to the recognized gap in athlete development between the recreational skier and the high performance athlete. DSABC recognized the opportunity for organizational and personal growth achievable through such a program as Building Our Best (BOB).

Melissa Pemble taking a time out between runs – Photo by Susan Hughes

“The BOB program has been revamped in the last couple of years to meet many needs, and fill gaps throughout the whole program in BC. We look at addressing the need to provide more opportunities for all our members to participate in a race, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, whilst at the same time training coaches, officials, and ski racers. It is also designed as a tool to discover potential future BCPAST athletes.” says Fannie Smith, High Performance Manager for DSABC.

Melissa Pemble showing great form all the way to the finish line – Photo by Susan Hughes

“We wouldn’t be able to offer our members this opportunity if it wasn’t for the help of the Mount Washington Ski Club (MWSC), the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS) and their many volunteers. They always welcome us with open arms and put on a top notch event for us” says Jim Dixon, Executive Director for DSABC.

Athlete Development Coach Sue Greenberg and Melissa Pemble from Mt. Washington  enjoying a beautiful day on the slopes – Photo by Susan Hughes 

The two day race camp preceding Saturday and Sunday’s races included a new sit-skier from VISAS, Don Nesbitt and two young athletes which have already caught the eye of the Development Coach, Sue Greenberg, including local Mount Washington racer, Melissa Pemble.

Athletes celebrate on the mountain with medal presentaions after a fun filled day of racing – Photo by Susan Hughes

The sun made its presence known and all DSABC racers were all smiles during the Grand Slalom race on Saturday morning. Don Nesbitt could be heard cheering as he crossed the finish line, his first race after only 20 days on snow. Vancouver Island’s Melissa Pemble won Gold in both her GS Races. Sunday morning the racers returned on snow for the Slalom race including 2 Senior BC Para Alpine Ski Team (BCPAST) athletes, sit-skier brothers Ben & Jeff Thompson from Deep Cove, BC. Their ever present sibling rivalry always makes for a good showdown on the mountain!

The 4 day event concluded with an Awards Banquet at the Mount Washington Alpine Lodge.

For more information on the Building Our Best Program and the Disabled Skiers Association of BC, please visit their website at www.dsabc.ca.

The Disabled Skiers Association of BC has been delivering adaptive snowsports program throughout BC since 1973. Their programs, from the grass roots level to the BC Para Alpine Ski Team aims at introducing individuals with cognitive and/or physical disabilities to the freedom and therapeutic benefits of skiing and snowboarding.