President of the Hi Arribarem Association Didie Rusterucci: “In January 2014, our Association began to cooperate with the French company that manufactures customized chairs for people with disabilities (GM System). The chairs are specifically adapted for outdoor activities, including skiing. The same firm offers training to the pilots who control these wheelchairs too, and last year 14 members of our association were offered the full training course.
In December 2014 we organized a charity concert in which famous French violinist Marie Cantagrill performed. With the money raised from the evening, the Association was able to buy the first customized chair.
During the winter season 2014-2015 in Arinsal, and thanks to the cooperation with the management of the ski resort Vallnord, we successfully held 3 ski events with the participation of people with disabilities. Each event was attended by 3 to 5 people wanting to make a descent.
In June 2015, the English Association in La Massana (“International Club of La Massana)” expressed interest in the organization of such events and in September of last year we held a charity sports day “Fun Pal” at the Pal ski station, thanks to which the Association was able to purchase two additional chairs. In December of last year, thanks to the financial support from this English Association, we managed to continue training our pilots.
During the ski season of 2015-2016 we planned 6 trips into the mountains – two in January, February and March.
This year 7 people with disabilities have been able to participate”.
photo: Hi Arribarem