At Thredbo there are some pretty amazing skiers, snowboarders and other extreme riders. I know about sit-skiing, but never really seen it all in action. Let me tell you.. Sit-skiing is insane and totally not what I expected. Recently the Starlight Foundation got in contact with me and asked if I could help out someone who’s wish was “To Enjoy the Snow” at Thredbo. It took me all of about 2 milliseconds to decide that I wanted to do everything I could to help make this person’s wish come true. Her name is Kate and this is her story. Interview by Alister.

A – What’s your name and where are you from? K – I am Kate and I am from Tamworth

A – How long did you spend in Thredbo? K – I spent 6 days in Thredbo but only 4 days skiing.

A – What did you like most about Thredbo? K – Thredbo was a great resort that had a lot to offer with many places to explore and new things to experience.

A – What was your best moment in Thredbo? K – There were many great moments as each day presented something new!! My funniest moment was when on a turn both shoes went flying off!

A – Haha, how did it feel to get into the sit ski the first time? K – This was actually my second time in a sit ski so it felt good to be able to experience it all over again. I was very nervous, scared and excited.

A – I remember your instructor Kenton was really excited to be going out there with you. Did you expect him to take you on all the jumps and through the rider-cross? K – He was very excited and my advice to him was just do it! I will say no but will want to do it so just do it! I told him the extreme activities I did during my last experience and knew his goal was to outdo that experience and make this one even better and more extreme!!

A – You mentioned you’ve been in a sit ski before. Where and when was that? K – In Perisher during my year 11 school excursion.

A – How did The Starlight Foundation get in contact with you? K – At the end of last year I went to Ryde Royal Rehab and my social worker Helen mentioned the possibility of me applying for a starlight wish..we applied and I was approved. From there Nicola, from Starlight, got in touch with me and appointed a volunteer, Kirstin, to get to know me and find a suitable wish…

A – That’s pretty awesome.. What was your wish exactly, and why did you choose it? K – My Starlight wish was ‘To Enjoy the Snow!!’ I chose it because since my previous snow experience I have wanted to return but never had the opportunity. It takes me away from the struggles of my disability and is so much fun.

A – Do you think one day you’d like to take sit skiing to the next level and do it without an instructor? K – Yes! It is my ultimate goal, dream and the achievement would mean a lot to me.

A – Awesome! So you’ll be back next year then? K – I hope to come back!!

A – Let’s hope so! Not many people have been in a Sit Ski.. Can you describe what it’s like? K – This is the hardest question of them all!

A – Haha! “Scary”, “fast”, “extreme”, “crazy” are just some of the words that come to my mind! Would you agree? K – It’s like sitting in a bucket, and it forces you to lean forward. It’s really tight and straps hold you in. It is a weird feeling to be really tight but it makes me feel safe and secure. I put full trust in my instructor. It’s extreme, scary, can go quite fast. You lean with the sit ski to help make it’s turns.

A – When you’re with an instructor like Kenton, do you have much control of the sit ski? K – I like to leave it in the instructors hands because I feel we have more freedom to do jumps and pick up speed. It helps if I do lean with the sit ski and put my hands out. I didn’t use outriggers but they do help.

A – Does skiing offer something for a disabled person that other sports don’t? K – Super hard question!!! Sit-skiing is a great and enjoyable adaptive sport that offers the opportunity to be as involved as much or as little as you want…you can just sit back and enjoy the ride with an instructor doing all the work or you can get to the level of doing it on your own. A sit-ski is seen as something ‘cool’ and that able bodied people would even like to try whereas a wheelchair isn’t seen as ‘cool’ and most people wouldn’t want to try it for fun. In addition to that, I don’t feel like people stare at me being in a sit-ski whereas I am starred at a lot in my wheelchair. I think to its about finding the right sport for the right person just like able bodied people. Personally, sit-skiing is my favourite sport to play.

A – I see! That’s pretty awesome. Skiing is definitely my sport of choice too. Did you have a favorite run at Thredbo? K – Each day was a new adventure and I liked them all. Friday Flat got a bit tedious as we spend more time on the chairlift than skiing… we even skiied over a waterfall hahaha!

A – Thanks a lot Kate, it was great to have you come to Thredbo and enjoy yourself! We all hope to see you next year! K – Aw my pleasure! That was fun and I couldn’t stop laughing at myself! Thank you again for all the wonderful photos!

A – You’re very welcome!

You can help the Starlight Foundation make more wishes come true! You can donate or volunteer via their website.