Disability Wales Ski trip features on Bulgarian TV


Josh Morris

A trip for disabled skiers to Bulgaria, organised by a Ruthin man got more than they bargained for when their exploits were covered by national TV.
Disability Skiing Wales are based at the dry ski slope at the Great Orme in Llandudno, but their now yearly trip out to hit the slopes in Bulgaria caught the imagination of locals who organiser Vic says couldn't have been more welcoming.
The group were seen on main state broadcaster BNT as well as commercial channel Nova TV. They were also joined by Bulgarian disability parachutist and tennis player Vladimir Gurov.
Vic Rollinson, 69, said: "It was a bit surreal, just a bit with the TV crew. We couldn't have everyone on the telly as they all wanted to ski but we gave the crew the use of a sit ski for a couple of hours, the guys enjoyed it very much.
"In fact one of the guys who owned a sit ski has left a sit ski in resort as the staff at the resort were so helpful as if our guides were getting tired, they donated their ski equipment and staff time to our members which was unbelievable,
"The resort itself was fantastic, the snow was great and I look forward to next year.
Sharon Beverley-Hughes, 55, from Colwyn Bay took her son Brad, 30, who has severe Cerebral Palsy out for his first winter holiday.
Sharon said: "We'd never ever skiied on real snow before and to see him enjoy it was amazing.
"The people the skiing school were fantastic, they asked if they could train some of the Bulgarian ski instructors with Brad, one was really funny, him and Brad were mates by the end of the holiday.
"It's something you can't put into words, Brad was beaming the whole time, his face told the whole story. And the speed as well, the faster they went he more excited he got, even in and out of the trees."
The group were also joined by three eastern Europeans, one of whom drove for hours to join them on the slopes.
Vic continued: "We had this one Bulgarian with us, he was diagnosed with cancer of the spine which then went to his brain. He was operated on and lost the use of his legs and lower half of his body.
"He was unbelievable, he'd not long written a ski manual for the Bulgarians, he was very good on the sit ski.
"We were joined by another famous Bulgarian, Vladimir Gurov.
"We also had a guy from Macedonia drive for six hours to meet us. He dived into a pool and broke neck six years ago. We were all amazed by his ability on the sit ski.
"Two of the guys also came down the biggest black in the region run which they call 'The Wall', the first sit ski to come down there.
"We had families from all over Wales, it was fantastic. All in all there were 76 people in the 10 days that we did.
"There was a good mix; nine sit skiiers, around 10 standing disabled people with down syndrome or autism and so on. It was a very good trip, it went exactly as it should have."

See full story in the Free Press

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