Skiing at Heol Goffa has taken place for over 20 years, this has taken the form of a weekly session at the dry slope at Pembrey and a yearly trip abroad to ski on snow. The school has also given its students the opportunity to compete in ski races as part of the Special Olympic Organization at area level and both National and International level.
Skiing presents a physical challenge which encourages students to learn new forms of movement and balance and also helps build the confidence to pursue an active lifestyle. When abroad it can help develop environmental awareness, the students learn about an environment different from the one they live in. Skiing can aid the Personal and social development of pupils, through skiing they may experience challenge, develop a sense of responsibility for their own safety and that of others, develop their self confidence. While skiing abroad they learn about the culture and customs of another country, they also put in to practice the self help and life skills which they are developing in school. Over the past 20 years students and staff have skied in France, Austria and Italy. The students have competed in National Games in Scotland and in Italy and have represented Great Britain in America, Japan and South Korea.
May 2018: The following article appeared on the Snowsport Cymru website -
Ysgol Heol Goffa is a Special Needs School in Llanelli which caters for children who have severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities from all over Carmarthenshire. We caught up with Peter Welton from Ysgol Heol Goffa and found out what kind of impact skiing had at the school.
"For the last 26 years skiing has become an integral part of our School, many of our pupils have benefited from skiing and from our annual visit to Zauchenzee in Austria. Not only have they developed their skiing capabilities but also it has contributed to their personal and social development for example experiencing different cultures and improved confidence and self-esteem.
We have also participated in many prestigious skiing events. Our pupils have been winning medals for over 20 years, including the British Championships held in Sierre Chevalier, France in January 2016 and the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria last year. This has been a unique experience for our pupils.
In the British Championships in France, Heol Goffa pupils represented Wales and brought home a range of medals. From this, two were chosen to represent GB in the World Winter Games in Austria. Tyler won 2 Gold medals and Ruth won 1 Bronze and a 5th ribbon in her division – a tremendous achievement based on the coaching and skiing opportunities made available to them. The School was also represented on the Olympic coaching staff as the Head of Delegation at the World Winter Games was our recently retired deputy Head Teacher, Alex Williams.
We regard our commitment to skiing as an essential part of our varied curriculum, teaching our pupils a sport which develops their physical fitness and makes considerable demands on their physical, emotional and intellectual skills. Skiing is an enjoyable activity which also enables them to develop their social skills while coping with a week away from home.
This year we have had more pupils taking up skiing than ever. At present there are 20 pupils regularly attending sessions at Pembrey Ski Slope. Staff and volunteers have also upskilled and have achieved status as Alpine Ski Course Leaders. Following training organised by Ski4All and Disability Skiing Wales two staff are now Adaptive Ski Instructors, able to take pupils skiing using adaptive sit skies - this will enable greater number of pupils the chance to experience skiing.
Skiing is a sport which our pupils have been able to compete with not only their peers and other Special Schools, but also mainstream Schools. With the help of a dedicated staff, volunteers, Ski4All and Pembrey Ski Slope staff it is an opportunity which we intend providing for our pupils for many years to come."
Other details are on the weblink:
Pembrey Ski-slope photos...please scroll down the page. If you want a larger version,
please click on the small photo.