2016 Adaptive Water Ski Clinic
For the third year in a row, the Urban Systems Foundation Kamloops team has supported the Adaptive Water Ski Clinic. Luke Hamilton leads the branch’s involvement in this initiative.
“I was originally approached by a friend, Paul Dixon from the Kamloops Water Ski Club, about whether the adaptive clinic idea would be something that the Urban Systems Foundation would consider supporting,” says Luke. “I presented it to the Foundation’s core team in Kamloops and received overwhelming support to proceed. We started planning the event and held the first clinic in August 2014.”
Each year, this successful event has grown bigger and better.
“This year had a total of 20 participants over two days and had a waiting list of people that wanted to attend,” Luke reports.
The Adaptive Water Ski Clinic is a program that assists people who want to try out watersports that normally they would not be able to easily access.
“The clinic needs many volunteers to be safe and successful,” says Luke. “Every year, we seem to get better at delivering the event and much of this success is through strong support from the Kamloops branch and the volunteers.”
At this year’s event on June 25th and 26th, volunteers alongside Luke included: Teresa Dickmeyer (and her son), John Dumbrell (his daughter and friend), Lisa Clark, Travis Pahl, Lindsay Tithecott, Deanna Erickson, Tristan Giles, and Tim Lehman.
On a dock at Shumway Lake, volunteers helped participants in and out of their wheelchairs, into the sit-ski, and in and out of the water. They prepared and cooked food for the participants, helped organize equipment (sit-skis, life jackets, towels, drinking water) and performed all of the site clean-up at the end of each day.
The occasion had an especially memorable moment for Luke: evidence of how volunteering can positively impact people’s lives.
“One particular participant who has attended all three events told me that this event changed his life by giving him the opportunity to try something that he hadn’t been able to do for over 20 years since his injury,” shares Luke. “He has since joined the water ski club, bought some of his own equipment and travels to Florida to train in the winter with a similar clinic.”