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Uk Celebrities Support National Ski--Thon For Disabled Skiers

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

UK sporting legends and TV personalities took to ski slopes across the country today (18th May) in aid of Disability Snowsport UK's (DSUK) national ski-a-thon.


Michael Hughes and Jamie Andrew joined teams at SNO!zone Scotland at Braehead to complete the required 666 runs per team in just six hours to raise money for skiers with disabilities.


When Michael (Mikey) Hughes was 23, he lost his sight whilst undergoing an operation and has now been blind for 10 years. Mikey works as a radio producer for a blind radio station called Radio Insight and in 2007 was part of a team that won a Sony Radio Academy Award. He is extremely proud of his career and feels privileged to be doing what he does.


In January 1999, mountaineer Jamie Andrew and a climbing partner were trapped for five nights on the storm bound icy summit of a French mountain.  Jamie, despite suffering hypothermia and appalling frostbite, survived.  Days later all four of his hands and feet were amputated.  Since losing his hands and feet Jamie has achieved some incredible feats.  He has learned to walk again, taken up skiing, run a marathon, and remarkably, returned to climb once more in the mountains that he loves so much.  He is also the co-founder of '500 miles', a charity which provides aid and care for amputees in deprived parts of the world.


Skiers and snowboarders of all abilities hit the slopes for DSUK, which enables people with disabilities to ski alongside able-bodied skiers. Amongst those who took part were soldiers who have been seriously injured during service in Iraq and Afghanistan.


"Our team have all benefitted from learning to ski, despite the loss of limbs. They are delighted to be taking part in the DSUK ski-a-thon and consider it to be an amazing charity which helps people with all disabilities to experience the thrill of skiing," commented Sally Mendonca from The Combined Services Disabled Ski Team, which has entered two teams into the event.


DSUK also supports the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST), the international racing arm of the charity who has recently arrived back from the 2010 Paralympic Games.    


"DSUK supports skiers across the board, from grass-root beginners to elite GB racers. The charity continues to provide snowsports experiences to people with all disabilities. It is life changing for some, a feeling of independence for others and a thrilling adventure for everyone. DSUK also scouts for talented new members to join the national team, who one day could fly down a race course representing their country. For me it does not get much better than that," commented Sean Rose, World Cup Gold medalist, Winter Paralympian and British Disabled Ski Team number one.


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Notes to Editors


For interviews or to report live on the day please contact Sophie Wood on SophieWood@disabilitysnowsport.org.uk or call 0161 749 2290.


Famous faces taking part at each location:


Braehead - Jamie Andrew and Big Brother contestant Mikey Hughes

Hemel Hempstead - Graham Bell and Sir Steve Redgrave

Milton Keynes - Heather Mills, Mark Foster and Leon Taylor

Tamworth - Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards

Manchester - Mike Summerbee



About Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK)


Established 30 years ago, DSUK is a people-centred organisation with a unique sense of purpose: that anyone, regardless of their disability, can take part and enjoy the thrill of snowsports. It enables those with a disability to experience the joy of skiing alongside the able-bodied, and their work is acknowledged and applauded throughout the world. DSUK provides:


  • A network of 13 local adaptive skiing groups
  • Schools and youth programmes
  • Adaptive snowsport schools in Scotland, Manchester, Castleford and Hemel Hempstead
  • Training for volunteers, instructors and ski-centre staff
  • Support for the British Disabled Ski Team
  • Overseas activity weeks in Europe and America
  • Advice, information and support.