Joany Badenhorst's Mobility Clinic on the Snow Story
I strapped on my very first snowboard in 2013 and for the first time in a very long time, I felt free! Ever since that day, I have dreamt of ways to share this incredible experience on the snow with others.
My journey hasn’t been easy and for the most part I had to learn all the tricks of being an amputee snowboarder alone, with no real help or guidance. Some days, it was a real struggle, but I did it. My journey learning and training to snowboard in the snowy Mountains left me feeling so empowered, with so much appreciation for my body and a willingness to push past any other barrier life might put in my way.
On 26-29 July 2019, Össur gave me that exact opportunity I wanted to share with others. Together with Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA), we hosted the first ever Mobility Clinic on the Snow held in Thredbo, NSW, and what an incredible few days we had.
Össur encourages a life beyond limits, and this Mobility Clinic on the Snow went beyond that. It wasn’t just about living a life without limitations, but creating an inclusive environment that enabled and supported all of its attendees to live an extraordinary life. Along with a fantastic team we had attendees from all different ages and abilities coming together and tackling this Clinic, day by day and turn by turn. I saw these athletes return to the snow after amputation, some snow warriors coming back to support the team and some feeling the grippy ice for the very first time.
It was everything I had dreamt of and more, being surrounded by a willing team, doing a sport I adore and in the most beautiful setting of all, a snowy escape.
The days we spent together weren’t easy and the DWA guides pushed us to the max. The athletes were giving it everything they had while learning the basic skills of skiing and snowboarding, preparing themselves for the bigger, steeper slopes at Thredbo. It was touching to witness the athletes never giving up, supporting each other, and becoming part of something bigger, something so unique and special that left me wanting more.
The Mobility Clinic on the Snow was so incredible to be a part of, to share in everyone’s triumphs and tribulations, working together and working hard. We all made a way for ourselves to do more over those three days and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s opportunities like this on the snow, together, that make me so appreciative of the community I get to be a part of. It opened my eyes to more and allowed me to help others dream big again, and I can’t wait for the next Clinic.
Bring on 2020!