Non-profit brings limb-different children to Bogus Basin to learn to ski, snowboard

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 01:11:16-05

Most kids - at some time or another during their childhood - find themselves on the court, the field, or the rink taking part in team sports. A non-profit organization visiting the Treasure Valley this weekend is making sure children with limb-deficiencies are no different.

NubAbility aims to give limb-different children an outlet to explore any sport they wish. A summer camp in 2017 featured wrestling, dancing, basketball, soccer, football -- you name it -- and this weekend 22 kids from all around the country will hit the slopes of Bogus Basin learning to ski and snowboard.

"We just want to show not only these kids, but their parents, that they're capable of doing anything that able-bodied kids are capable of doing," Boise-based NubAbility coach Dorian Willes said.

Willes, with a prosthetic right leg from the knee down, knows firsthand some of the struggles these kids face, inspiring him to help them overcome any obstacle that comes their way.

"More often than not, kids that are missing an arm, or are missing a leg, they kind of get pushed to the wayside and people think that they can't do it," Willes said. "So we're just coaching them and training them, and giving them the confidence and the abilities to go out and compete in mainstream sports with able-bodied kids."

Instead of just taking no for an answer, Willes says it's just about a few simple small adjustments.

"Whether they're missing an arm or a leg, it's just all about adapting and finding the little tweaks we need to make in order for them to be able to do this," Willes said.

The coach learned at camp last summer the hard work pays off when each child reaches that pivotal moment when the light goes on and they realize they can do it. And this weekend that light switch will flip from the highest peaks of the Treasure Valley.

"You know there's no better feeling than when you get up on the mountain and things start to click and you're flying down the snow and shredding, and I really wanted these kids to experience that," Willes said.
Bogus Basin is supplying the kids with all the gear they need, including lift passes, helmets, ski, and snowboards. The fun starts on Friday and the kids will hit the slopes each day through Sunday.