New adaptive sports camp to launch in Whistler
Live it! Love it! partnering with WASP to offer adventure to young people with spinal cord injuries Recreation
July 14, 2011
Many people have bungee jumping or paragliding on their bucket lists, and 20 young campers with spinal cord injuries who are in wheelchairs will be able to cross the adventurous activities off their lists next month in Whistler.
A new adaptive sports foundation, Live it! Love it! (LiLi) has recently launched in Whistler in partnership with the Whistler Adaptive Sport’s Program (WASP) and a three-day, adrenaline-filled camp is set to begin in the resort on Aug. 25.
LiLi is a foundation that helps people with disabilities get back outdoors, allowing them to participate in recreational activities that push the boundaries of typical sports and the limitations of a disability.
Izzy Lynch, the founder of LiLi, said rather than concentrating on the more “traditional wheelchair sports” such as wheelchair basketball, LiLi will take campers zip lining, paragliding, snowmobiling, bungee jumping and much more.
Lynch and her boyfriend Jeff Scott have always been outdoorsy people, but all that was threatened when Scott was in a serious snowboarding accident in April 2010. He injured his spinal cord and is now in a wheelchair.
“We were totally overwhelmed (by) his new disabilities and thought ‘oh my God, is this the end to our life in the outdoors?’ And the more we talked to people, we found there are so many opportunities to do whatever you want,” she said.
While in rehab at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, Scott and Lynch met Chelsey Walker, executive director of WASP. She helped Scott move to Whistler in order to maintain an active lifestyle with his disability.
“In the year that followed we were able to help Jeff find housing as well as get him back to sports. And through the year, Izzy and Jeff came up with the idea for the foundation and they wanted to work with existing programs like the Whistler Adaptive in order to help set up these camps,” Walker said.
The camp will be based out of the Whistler Athletes’ Centre at Cheakamus Crossing and the activities will be held all over Whistler — wherever adventure can be found. The camp is by invitation only and the campers are referred from GF Strong and other wheelchair organizations across B.C.
“It’s for people who are freshly injured — you must be within five years of your injury. We want to help people who are dealing with their new life. It’s a scary thing and you need a boost to get back into a positive state of mind,” Lynch said.
WASP, a non-profit society that offers recreational sports and activities for people with disabilities, is heavily involved with LiLi by providing equipment, expertise and guidance.
“We will have their equipment, their instructors and we will be using their programs to complete the vision of our camp,” Lynch said.
Lynch said she hopes the foundation will grow much bigger in the coming years with an entire team of adaptive adventures as well as an interactive website that follows the participants and tells their stories.
“The idea of the foundation is turn it into a bit of a Make-A-Wish Foundation. People will offer grants and people can apply online and they can design their dream adventure. We will do what we can to provide a support team and finance,” Lynch said of the future.
One of the most recent grants was $25,000 from the Keg to help get the August camp on its feet. For more info on Live it! Love it!, visit liveitloveitfoundation.com.