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What is London Track 3?
The London Track 3 Ski School has been a volunteer non-profit organization since 1987 and is a leader in providing downhill ski and snowboarding programs for children and adults with physical, cognitive, visual, and hearing challenges. London Track 3 offers a six-week adaptive teaching program for its skiing and snowboarding students.
What does adaptive skiing mean?
Students are assessed by their instructors to determine how to ensure that this a positive ski learning experience. Students will be asked about their level of mobility and observed how they move. They will be asked about other sports they may play, their strength, flexibility, areas of weakness, and endurance. This information will guide the instructor in determining what level of adaptive ski instruction is required. Adaptive ski instruction uses teaching aids such as tethers and hula hoops to more advanced adaptive equipment such as outriggers and sit-skis. Outriggers are crutches with skis attached (for an amputee this makes 3 tracks in the snow – hence the name Track 3). Sit-skis are essentially a wheelchair on skis that can be skied independently by a student possessing the necessary upper body strength. Instructors support the student as mobility needs require. Some students require no adaptive equipment and the instructor teaches basic skiing skills while providing the cognitive support required for safe skiing. While snowboarding is offered at London Track 3, students may need to be evaluated to ensure that the added strength and skill requirement for snowboarding is met.
When does the Track 3 Program run?
The Track 3 program usually starts the second week of January and runs for 6 weeks. Students indicate their initial preference for a chosen weekly session time. The session times available are Monday – Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. There are approximately 100 students and 220 instructors in the program. On occasion, it may be necessary for the student to be offered an alternative session time to best optimize student and instructor pairings. The Track 3 Student / Instructor Pairing Team will try to be as accommodating as possible. Space in the program is limited based on the number of available instructors. Towards the end of the season, London Track 3 holds a fun/festive day called “Boler Blitz”. This optional fun ski day hosts all members of the Track 3 program and provides our students and instructors an opportunity to ski with other students and instructors in different sessions of the program.
Where do we ski?
The London Track 3 Ski School is located at Boler Mountain on Griffith Street in Southwest London. The building is an accessible ski chalet located near the main ski building at Boler Mountain. Students are able to meet their instructors, put on their equipment, and leave and return from the hill as well as socialize with their instructors, family, and other students. At Boler Mountain, the Snow School lift lines are for the exclusive use of the Boler Mountain Snow School, not Track 3 students – the only exception being for Track 3 sit-ski students. Track 3 students and their instructors will use the regular lines at all times.
Who will be my student’s instructor?
Instructors are volunteers who donate their time, energy, and love of skiing to the program. These instructors are provided with a comprehensive training program that has been developed to provide the skills and knowledge to work with our students. While most instructors are adults, we do accept instructors 14 years of age and above. Junior instructors and Assistant instructors are generally paired with adult Instructors. In most cases there will be two instructors paired with each student, however, this is dependent on the student’s needs.
What does the program cost?
The program costs $250.00. There is opportunity for a reduction in fees if pledge funds are raised at our Annual Fundraising Event, The Halloween Haunting Run. Fees are paid via credit card on registration or cheque in advance of the program start.
What is the minimum age for a student to enter the program?
The student needs to be 5 years of age to enter the program.
How do I get started?
Go to www.londontrack3.ca and register on the link for Student Registration and choose Ski, Snowboard or Sit-ski registration. You will be asked to complete a student application form with information about the student’s health history including height and weight, medications, precautions and athletic ability. You will be sent a confirmation email. We recommend that you register early to be kept “in the know” for the upcoming ski season. You will also need to sign an Insurance Waiver and a Photograph Waiver.
Why do I need to sign an Insurance Waiver?
All students and Track 3 volunteers are required to have a signed insurance waiver on file prior to their participation in the Track 3 program. Participants skiing at Boler Mountain through the regular ski program also need to complete an insurance waiver. The waiver essentially states that you recognize that skiing can be an inherently dangerous sport and that if you are injured you will not commence litigation.
What do I need to bring to the hill?
All students are required to supply their own helmet and warm ski clothing. Ski equipment will be provided for the student. A pre-season equipment fitting session called “Boot Fit” will be held in the late fall. Students will be measured for height and weight and shoe/boot size. Ski boots or snowboard boots will be fitted at this time. If the student requires a sit-ski this fitting may be done at this session or on the first ski session. Ski passes will be provided for the student instruction session when on-hill with the instructor.
How can I help this to be as positive an experience as possible for my student?
Please provide as much information as possible about the student on the registration form. This information guides the student/instructor pairings. When the student meets their instructors, please provide any additional information to the instructors that would help in gearing the teaching methods to the particular student’s needs. When arriving for the lesson, the student should wear layers of non-cotton winter clothes and bring their helmet. We recommend bringing a fresh pair of mid-calf socks to the chalet and changing into these just prior to the lesson to prevent moisture and cold feet. We also suggest that the student use sunblock. Even if it is a dull day there is lots of reflection on the hill. Bring a water bottle, a snack, and a positive attitude! It is possible that hot chocolate/ cold drinks and snacks may be available at the student session. Let the Session Coordinator and your instructor know if there are any food allergies. Prior to the first session, the instructor will generally call the student to schedule a specific meeting time and introduce themselves. Please call the ski school if the student is going to be late for the session. With each lesson the student will set goals for the lesson that match the student’s desires and what the instructor knows about the area and conditions of the day. The lessons will start on the flat snow with skills and drills. Students move to different areas on the mountain depending on their ability. Lessons typically last from 1.5-3 hours with time for warm-up and rest breaks. Instructors encourage students to socialize with other students and instructors during the session. It makes it all part of the skiing / après-ski experience!! Parents or caregivers will be given a time to meet their student following the lesson. Parents or caregivers need to remain at the ski hill during the student lesson.
What happens if my student is unable to attend?
Instructors look forward to their weekly sessions with their students. If you cannot make your session time, please let your weekly Session Coordinator and Instructor know well in advance. It is possible that you can make up your session with your instructor on an alternate Track 3 session on a mutually agreed upon date. We strive to ensure a student receives six sessions each season however in the event of student absence, it may not be possible to reschedule.
I can’t ski, but I would like to be involved in the program. Are there volunteer opportunities for non-skiers?
Yes, we have several positions that can be filled by non-skiers including volunteering to help organize special events, fundraising, equipment-room assistance and as a session or an assistant session coordinator. Training is provided for these positions.
I can ski and am wondering about joining the Track 3 program as an instructor. Can I do this?
Yes, we would be happy to have you join the program as an instructor or assistant instructor. Please ask a member of the Training Team to provide more details. Our training sessions are held prior to the start of the student sessions. If it is partway through the student sessions, it may be possible to provide some preliminary training mid-season.
Email from the Track 3 goes directly to my Spam box. What should I do?
Go into your email contacts and make email@example.com a contact. Now your filter will recognize this email as friendly.
Who do I call if I have more questions?
Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are scheduled for a specific session, you can ask your Session Coordinator more specific questions.