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Participate, Learn, Excel

The origin story of Rocky Mountain Adaptive

Participate, Learn, Excel

By Jamie McCulloch on May 19, 2022

Let’s start by taking a moment; taking a moment to imagine…

You’re skiing or snowboarding on a bluebird day. You’re kayaking on a stunning lake.

You’re hiking to the summit of a mountain surrounded by friends, sitting on top of the world, watching life unfold hundreds of feet below you.

In these moments how do you feel?

Over 20 years ago, a young girl had such an experience. The experience and thrill of learning to ski with her brother for the first time. She felt the wind in her face. She was surrounded by mountains. She experienced the feelings of accomplishment, joy and independence.

This girl’s name is Claire. Claire lives with Autism and she is my sister.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive was born out of a passion for outdoor mountain sports, and a desire to make them accessible to everyone of any ability. Rocky Mountain Adaptive developed because of my sister, Claire. And because of another young girl named Michelle living, and skiing with Cerebral Palsy.

Michelle’s father, Ian, said, “Jamie, I have been thinking about your dream, the adaptive ski and snowboard school. Let’s do it, but not just snow sports, let’s make every single sport and recreation activity in the mountains accessible.”

That dream became a reality thanks to a generous donation by Cullen McFadden’s parents. Cullen’s involvement in our programs gave them first hand knowledge of just how important these experiences are. Their belief in us was integral in making all of this possible.

At Rocky Mountain Adaptive, we believe that mountain sport and recreation positively impacts physical and mental wellbeing. And should be available to everyone.

Our continually growing community is made up of individuals of all ages and ranges of physical and neurodivergent abilities.

We’re an abilities sport organization. By working with each person’s unique abilities and strengths, by providing specialized adaptive equipment, professional instructors, and trained volunteer support, we remove the barriers to participation.

The RMA dream is to reach as far and as wide as possible, making sure that experiences that my sister Claire had all those years ago, are available to as many people as possible.

We invite everyone to join our community, to share in the next chapters of our story.

When people of all abilities join together to share their determination, their passion, their skills, their experience, and their time, amazing things happen.

With all of this support. With the belief of our community. With the resources to support our programs. Anything can be achieved. Barriers broken, goals realized, and mountains summited!

In loving memory of Matthew Hamer and Claire Gosling

Matt, dressed in a blue shirt and Jamie in a black jacket, both smiling with arms round each other

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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