Extending from that work, in March, Senior Research Fellow Dr. Chris Kay and Technical Advisor Graeme Morrison were invited to assist on the first snow sports trip run by The Rugby Football Union’s Injured Players Foundation (IPF). The IPF charity supports severely injured rugby players and worked with Disability Snowsports UK to run this trip.
The trip relied on using a variety of standing and sitting snowsport equipment to ensure all the participants not only developed their physical skills but also did so autonomously and independently. This approach has been central to successes reported by evaluations of the BattleBack centre outcomes. The have been reported in Dr. Suzanne Peacock’s 2017 PhD, ‘Adapted sport and adventure for recovering military personnel’.
Graeme Morrison described the overall approach: ‘Delivering outdoor opportunities to people with disabilities is never easy; we continually strive to normalise the situation and the sport for those taking part. The main learning point for me on the IPF course is that sometimes this can be achieved by simply letting everyone be themselves, both participants and staff, as this clearly removes barriers with minimum effort.’
Dean Holder, the IPF Welfare Officer commented: “It was great to have Chris and Graeme come and assist on the Injured Players Foundation ski trip. The IPF have been working with CGO for over a year now. In June 2017 CGO designed and delivered a bespoke three-day programme for eight injured players and their families. The course was hosted at the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre and focussed on inclusive sport, adventurous activities and personal development. Another course is planned and will be taking place in June 2018.”