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Two Local Nonprofits Team Up to Offer New Learn to Skateboard Sessions for Community Members with Disabilities



BURLINGTON, Vt. (Aug. 17, 2020) — The Chill Foundation and Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, two nonprofits with roots in Vermont, are excited to announce a new adaptive skateboarding program for people with disabilities. The unique program consists of three sessions where participants with varying abilities receive specialized instruction in skateboarding from coaches with assistance from participants’ companions as needed. This joint program is open to all ages but focuses on participants ages 10-18 with developmental or cognitive disabilities. With COVID-19 in mind, additional protocols are in place to protect the safety of all participants, caregivers and staff from both organizations. The program is free to participants and gear and equipment is provided. Masks and sanitation stations plus other health and safety measures are provided and in place as well.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vermont Adaptive to bridge the boardsport and outdoor opportunity gap for young people with diverse abilities,” said Rosetta Weber, Director of Programs for Chill. “By prioritizing inclusive, diverse and equitable spaces to promote meaningful experiences for youth from marginalized communities and intersecting identities, we look forward to growing our partnership with Vermont Adaptive and with other organizations doing similar work in our communities throughout North America.”

Chill and Vermont Adaptive have a long-standing relationship, from sharing a seasonal home at Bolton Valley Ski area to providing paddle sports in Burlington. The two organizations cross paths regularly and serve similar communities.

“With all the skate resources around and the relatively easy access to equipment, it was a natural fit for our two organizations to collaborate to expand our expertise,” said Norm Staunton, Director of Operations for Vermont Adaptive. “It’s been a passion project for both organizations for more than a year. Skateboarding is another sport, like snow sports, water sports and biking, where once you are out recreating, the adaptations become less important and real social and sport inclusion can occur.”

Space in this new program is limited to six athletes (with companions, as needed) and will take place with Vermont Adaptive and Chill staff at a local outdoor skate park in Essex (exact location confirmed with participants once registered). The three sessions will be Wednesdays, Aug. 12, 19 and 26, from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Registration is required at www.vermontadaptive.org/return-to-play.

This program may be the first collaboration between Chill and Vermont Adaptive, but it won’t be the last. As both organizations learn and adapt to the new challenges at hand, the opportunity for future programs will grow stronger.

All other Vermont Adaptive, Chill, and state COVID-19 Response protocols apply to this program. See Vermont Adaptive’s Return to Play plan at https://www.vermontadaptive.org/return-to-play/ and Chill’s COVID-19 Response at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/579bcdf6e3df287f0062b4cb/t/5ed94713ce71c45b7b51f23c/1591297812410/Chill+Program+COVID-19+Response.pdf for more information.

To learn more about the adaptive skateboard program and future opportunities, visit vermontadaptive.org or chill.org.


About Chill

Chill is a positive youth development program where boardsports become a vehicle for empowerment. Revolving around a core value-driven curriculum, Chill programs consist of experiential learning activities, reflection, and discussion, paired with boardsport lessons. Chill operates in 16 cities throughout North America and internationally, and has served more than 25,000 young people since its inception. Chill made the transition from a private to a public charity in May 2019. For media inquiries, contact Dave Wadleigh (davewa@chill.org)

About Vermont Adaptive

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. In addition to sports, year-round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and emotional/behavioral disabilities. Sports and recreational opportunities include alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, mountain biking, sailing, rock climbing, horseback riding, Veterans programs and retreats, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve athletes from all over the world at three winter locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton, as well as statewide in a variety of locations including the Burlington waterfront during the summer and warmer months. For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

FOCUS KEYWORDS: Chill, Burton, Vermont Adaptive, skateboarding, adaptive sports


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