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New Year Brings New Opportunity

Hope for RMA and its programs

New Year Brings New Opportunity

By Alana MacLeod on January 6, 2021

It’s a new year and with it comes new hope. New hope that this pandemic will soon be over with the news of a vaccine now in the beginning stages of distribution. New hope in the power of positivity and in each other. New hope that better things will come.

One Tuesday afternoon as the sun already began to set behind the peaks, I was standing at the top of Standish at Sunshine Village Resort in my skis with an instructor and a participant who’d long since formed an absolutely remarkable bond. Program Manager & Instructor, Kim, is very much a reflection of RMA and what it means to be a part of it. She’s patient, kind, easily evokes giggles from even the shyest of humans, and puts everything she has into what she does. The participant, Jacoba, having freshly turned 11, has been riding the slopes with Kim for five years. And it is very clear the two share something special.

RMA instructor in blue jacket smiles under a red mask

Accompanying the sounds of our skis swishing in the fresh powder was laughter as Jacoba navigated the terrain beautifully, having just incorporated ski poles into her skiing. Kim followed at a safe distance while constantly encouraging Jacoba, giving her tips here and there, and ensuring a safe, fun experience.

Of course, things have been different for RMA with new restrictions at almost every turn this season, but Kim and Jacoba rode the mountain that day allowing the difficulty of the year to live momentarily in the background.

Kim in blue looking at Jacoba in a pink helmet

What Kim and our other instructors do and the impacts they have is simply immeasurable. During a pandemic that’s brought on a plethora of mental health concerns as the world continues to struggle with what we once perceived as normal slipping away, what RMA does is ever more important.

The impacts of recreational activities on mental health have been studied time and time again, with countless affirmations that recreating outdoors lowers stress levels, increases cognitive function, and boosts creativity. The list of its positive effects go on, and at a time like this, it is integral to our own well being that we seize the opportunities to explore the outdoors as they come.

At RMA, we will continue to offer adaptable experiences in the beautiful Rocky mountains as long as we possibly can. We live for that laughter echoing off the peaks, for those new goals being met, and for ensuring our little slice of the world is just that much more accessible for all to enjoy.

Instructor on skis looks uphill at guest who is encouraged to ski down

Inspired by this Story?

If this story has inspired you to get involved in adaptive sports, we have a large range of accessible adventures available to you.

Join In the Fun

Want to join the fun and give back? Volunteering with Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a great way to support your community while assisting others.

Struggling with Mental Health?

If you are struggling with mental health, there are many great resources in the Bow Valley. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

Make a Difference

You can make a difference to the growth of adaptive sports by donating to the Clairey Lou Memorial Fund & Matthew Hamer Legacy Fund. Thank you.

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