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Thursday November 1, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The UK's leading disabled snowsport charity is to open an adaptive ski and snowboard school in England after receiving its biggest ever donation.

The new Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) centre will be at the dry ski slope at Sandown Sports in Esher in Surrey.

It's possible thanks to a donation of more than £131,000 from the leading ski tour operator, Crystal Ski.

It's the biggest donation in the charity's 40-year history.

The three-time Paralympic medallist, two-time Paralympian and downhill World Champion Millie Knight and her guide Brett Wild joined the Chief Executive of DSUK Mark Kelvin for the announcement.

"We simply cannot thank staff and guests at Crystal Ski Holidays enough", the Chief Executive said.

A significant proportion of the money has come from skiers and snowboarders travelling with Crystal and choosing to donate £1 when they book their holidays.

It's been topped-up by guests donating additional funds by participating in activities during their holiday.

"We're delighted to support DSUK and to be able to help them expand their operation with the opening of the new snowsport school," said the MD of Crystal Ski Holidays, Chris Logan.

"A huge thank you to our customers for their generosity too.

"Our team is really passionate about the work DSUK does and many have spent time volunteering for the charity and seeing first-hand the support they provide."

DSUK donationA big cheque for DSUK




















Photo L-R: Brett Wild, Paralympic ski guide; Chris Logan, Crystal Ski Holidays MD; Sarah Henley, DSUK skier; Mark Kelvin, DSUK CEO; Millie Knight, Paralympic skier

Mark Kelvin said disabled people could gain huge benefits in participating in snowsport.

"Beyond the immediate physical and mental health benefits, snowsport brings a level of individual exhilaration and risk that many disabled people simply cannot get elsewhere".

It's a view shared by Millie Knight.

"I first started skiing at six years old when I started to lose my sight," she said.

"When I'm walking about in my daily life it's quite restrictive and quite slow and I rely on other people to help me to do things. I'm not in control.

"When I ski, I can choose the speed we go, and where we go, and that's really exciting for me."

DSUK announcement of new adaptive schoolAt the official announcement














Photo L-R: Geoff Parkinson, Sandown Sports ski instructor; James Sterry, DSUK Snowsport School Manager; Mark Kelvin, DSUK CEO; Peter Le Masurier, Sandown Sports CEO; Sarah Henley, DSUK skier; Alina Rennie, DSUK National Fundraising Coordinator; Rachel Davies, DSUK Business Manager

The CEO at Sandown Sports, Peter Le Masurier, said he was thrilled to be able to offer adaptive skiing at the dry slope.

"Making sport accessible for all, lies at the heart of what we aspire to deliver," he said.

DSUK will be running free taster sessions at Sandown Sports for any disabled people interested in skiing or snowboarding.

No previous experience is required.

To book your free session visit or call 01479 861272.

PHOTOS: @jamesnorthphoto

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