Disability Snowsport UK skiers smash sit ski world record
A group of eight skiers from across the UK broke the world record for the furthest skied using seated equipment at the Chill Factore in Manchester on Monday 25th September, helping to raise money for ski charity, Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) in the process - with Holmlands on hand to help manage press and capture images on the day.
The team surpassed their initial target of skiing 44km within eight hours by completing 60.25km of distance in just over six hours; skiing a total of 399 runs in an attempt independently witnessed by volunteers from the local Bridgewater Trafford Rotary Club.
With the goal of raising £3,000 for the charity that taught them how to sit ski, we were tasked with securing media coverage for the event to help raise the profile of the challenge and encourage donations to the fundraiser.
Virginia Anderson, CEO of DSUK says “Bringing together eight people from eight different parts of the country, with eight different disabilities - who all share in the same passion for skiing is a truly incredible moment to witness. Each participant has benefited from lessons with our highly trained instructors and the aim of this challenge is to help encourage more people with disability or injury to take up snow sports and experience the physical, mental and social benefits that come with getting out on snow. We want to be delivering more lessons for more people at our centres throughout the UK, and encourage people to get in touch with us - and perhaps in years to come they too can be part of a team breaking a new World Record in adaptive sport.”
Virginia continues, “The event also brought together representatives from Snowsport England, Snowsport Scotland and Para Snowsport Wales - which is a significant moment for DSUK as a charity – as in order to survive and move forward from the impact of Covid-19 - we need the support of the British ski industry. Events like this help us to fundraise so we can continue to provide lessons, which ultimately enable us to empower people through snowsports. It’s amazing to see the confidence people gain on the slopes and how it positively impacts their day to day lives.”
We were able to secure 22 pieces of coverage for DSUK across broadcast, print and online media - throughout the UK media, including a news feature with BBC North West tonight, which you can watch below...
Will Macpherson, 34, from Harrogate, Amber Meikle-Janney, 24, from Huddersfield, Alex Macpherson, 17, from Chorley, Olly Jones, 39, from Llandyssil, Duncan White, 39, from Bishop's Stortford and Scott Jason Hillier, 37 from Bristol are among those who helped break the record.
Will Macpherson says, “Ever since I was a little kid I’ve been fascinated by the Guinness World Records and I’m so proud to be part of a team that’s set a new one. Everyone put in a great shift and played a key role on and off the slopes; skiing hard, but also having fun. Beating the record of 44km was our aim but to smash it by almost 20km with two hours still left on the clock feels really amazing.
“Skiing has become such a huge part of my life and brings me so much joy and freedom. I hope through what we have achieved, we can help inspire other people who have disabilities or have suffered injuries to give skiing a go. It’s all the more special to complete the challenge for a charity like Disability Snowsport UK too, who helped me learn how to ski. Their instructors are fantastic – very professional, understanding and patient - and I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about skiing to reach out to them and take a lesson at their local indoor centre or dry ski slope.
“I know it’s going to take a little while before the official confirmation comes through - but I’m confident we’ll get the thumbs up - and to become a world record holder in a sport I love so much, is a very special feeling.”
The achievement is now subject official approval by Guinness World Records, with the team hoping to gain their certificate before the start of the new ski season.
Take a look at some more behind the scenes images in the photo gallery below, with more on the Disability Snowsport UK website and social media channels - where donations can also still be made to the fundraiser via the event JustGiving page.