General News:

Grampian going for gold at Special Olympics GB Nationals in Switzerland


A group of athletes with additional support needs who train at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports, run by registered charity Sport Aberdeen, will jet off to Switzerland this week to compete in a national competition.

Special Olympics Grampian Area (SOGA) will be travelling as a team, representing Grampian, to Crans Montana in Switzerland next week to compete in the Special Olympics GB National Alpine Skiing Competition (1-8 February).

SOGA train weekly as part of the wider additional support needs (ASN) programme at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports, run by Sport Aberdeen.

Each competition year, clubs have the opportunity to bid to host the Special Olympics Nationals Competition. Special Olympics Grampian won the bid to host this year and chose Crans Montana as the destination.

Sport Aberdeen runs an additional support needs pathway programme at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports for anyone from age four and over and partner with Special Olympics Grampian to provide opportunities for eligible athletes to take part in Special Olympics registered events.

Beth Woodall, Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports’ Senior Instructor, who will be travelling with the team to Switzerland on Saturday, said:

“We are extremely proud of all the participants on our ASN programme and especially excited for the Special Olympics athletes heading off to compete in Switzerland next week.

“We run ski lessons for individuals with additional support needs from first time beginners right through to competitive athletes and this range in ability and age is a fantastic way to inspire participants to push themselves.

“The sessions aim to offer an alternative pathway to our mainstream programme to provide everyone the opportunity to get involved with snowsports and experience the fun and sense of accomplishment that comes with it”.

Keith Gerrard, Sport Aberdeen Director of Healthy and Active Communities said:

“The great work that the staff at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports carries out indicates how Sport Aberdeen endeavour to provide opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity, regardless of age or ability. The range of coaching programmes available are vital tools in enabling everyone in the north-east to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Offering additional support needs sessions, not just as a separate pathway but as a means of entering mainstream programming and to progress onto a competitive level, is an incredibly powerful way of encouraging people to push themselves whilst highlighting the inclusive nature of sport. On behalf of Sport Aberdeen, I would like to wish everyone the best of luck for the upcoming Nationals!”

Adrienne Purdie, Special Olympics Great Britain Alpine Skiing National Competition Event Director, said:

“After 15 months of planning, the Grampian event committee are looking forward to hosting the Special Olympics GB Alpine Skiing Nationals next week in Crans Montana.

“90 athletes from 11 regions over Great Britain are travelling to Switzerland to compete. We are looking forward to a great week both on and off the slopes.”

The athletes competing train on a Wednesday, 19:00 – 20:00, at Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports, part of registered charity Sport Aberdeen. For more information on how to get involved or sign up to the pathway programme, please click here —- —— or email