Ignite Adaptive Sports’ mission is to provide integrated recreational opportunities for people with disabilities that will foster independence through the acquisition of lifetime skills.
Established in 1975, Ignite Adaptive Sports is the second oldest adaptive program in Colorado. Thirty-eight years ago, a small group of passionate people saw an opportunity to enhance the lives of individuals living with disabilities by providing access to Colorado’s great winter sport of skiing. In 1975, the program began when this dedicated group of volunteers provided lessons to 10 disabled students from the University of Colorado. With advances in adaptive sports equipment technology, a reduced stigma associated with disabilities, and our passion to serve people with disabilities, Ignite has seen tremendous growth and support from the Colorado community and sponsors.
Since our inception in 1975, we’ve grown into a 200+ person volunteer force that collectively works over 18,000 hours per year, providing over 1,000 individual lessons to 200+ people per year. Ignite is the only comprehensive program located along the Front Range accessible by public transportation and third largest adaptive program in Colorado. Ignite is a member of Disabled Sports, USA and the Professional Ski Instructors of America/American Association of Snowboard Instructors. (PSIA/AASI)
What We Do
Ignite Adaptive Sports provides safe, fun and affordable instruction in alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing to people with cognitive and physical disabilities to enhance their quality of life. We provide over 1000 lessons per season, from January through March, on Thursdays to Sundays. All lessons are private and include specialized equipment and a trained instructor. Some lessons may include more than one instructor based on the students’ needs.
Who We Serve
The 200+ students who take advantage of Ignite have special needs that cannot be met by traditional teaching methods. We offer lessons to individuals of all ages and turn no one away due to their disability or ability to pay for our services. We have also established a Veterans Program, accounting for 25% of our lessons, to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and a positive outlook on life for wounded or disabled service men and women. During lessons, students not only enjoy their time on the mountain, they also build confidence that they can apply to other areas of life.
Who We Are
Our program is the result of the committed efforts of 200 volunteers who serve as snowsport instructors, equipment technicians, program managers, schedulers, record-keepers, fundraisers and on the Board of Directors. All volunteers receive thorough training both in the classroom and on the snow to provide a safe, fun and educational experience for students. Over 75% of our lead instructors have PSIA/AASI certifications in addition to training provided by Ignite. Some volunteers have disabilities, or children with disabilities, but most of our volunteers say they participate because they want to share their skills and love of the sport. In 2013 Ignite created three new staff positions including the Executive Director, Development Director and Marketing Director.