Tom Liolios and the Training at the Adaptive Snowsport Festival
Wow, what a week that was. The pilot "test run" for the Adaptive Snowsport Festival was a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, it can be best summed up in one moment:
Although I had delivered some training earlier in the week, most of my time was spent supervising and coordinating the four clinics we had running under Training and Education portion of the festival. It was whilst performing these enviable duties, that I found myself at the base of Smiggin Holes on a cold, yet sunny afternoon.
Directly in my sight was the delivery of the Level 1 Trainer course and assessment. The legendary Jim Blackburn, and the famous Megan Clark (DWA Trainers) were delivering the course to the eager, hard-working trio of Penny Griffin, Alison Gargan and Kathleen McNamara (all three of whom were to graduate two days later as new DWA Trainers). The course was going swimmingly and right on schedule. Further afield, towards the array of fun and friendly terrain that epitomises the land we call "Smiggs", I caught a glimpse of another seasoned DWA Trainer in Richard Standish, guiding one of our members with a Vision Impairment in a dance that seemed too text-book-perfect to be true. While I was soaking up this unexpected visual treat, I heard some commotion behind me which sounded like a cacophonous mix of laughter, banter and an expression towards something that was "sick" and "epic". You guessed it - snowboarders. Not just any snowboarders however, these were the sample race team, coached by the cool and collected Pete Higgins and Randall Joseph, both DWA Trainers of high distinction. They were preparing (in their own special way) to hit the slopes of Perisher via Smiggs, and continue their race program with the enthusiastic gang of snowboarding DWA members, some of whom we may well see on our screens at a Winter Paralympics in the future.
And if all that wasn't stimulating to boiling point, it was the message I received requesting some advice on another aspect of the festival, the great folks at the Special Olympics training quietly plugging away down the road at Thredbo resort.
It was at this point that I took a breath, and reminded myself that this was not extraordinary. This was not exciting to the extreme, not inspirational, motivational, incredibly rewarding. This was a day at the office. This is what we do. DWA. Three letters. One afternoon. One moment.
...None of which I will ever forget.
Tom Liolios is DWA's Technical Director of Training and Education, any questions or queries about in engaging in the Training and Education program you can contact Tom directly at email@example.com