Skiing for a cause

Sophomore+Kathryn+Allyn%2C+formerly+a+competitive+racer+for+the+Windham+Mountain+Resort+team%2C+will+begin+volunteering+for+the+Adaptive+Sports+Foundation+program+which+provides+ski+and+snowboard+lessons+for+adults+and+children+who+have+physical+and+emotional+disabilities.+Courtesy+of+Kathryn+Allyn+%2717

Sophomore Kathryn Allyn, formerly a competitive racer for the Windham Mountain Resort team, will begin volunteering for the Adaptive Sports Foundation program which provides ski and snowboard lessons for adults and children who have physical and emotional disabilities. Courtesy of Kathryn Allyn ’17

Sophomore Kathryn Allyn, formerly a competitive racer for the Windham Mountain Resort team, will begin volunteering for the Adaptive Sports Foundation program which provides ski and snowboard lessons for adults and children who have physical and emotional disabilities. Courtesy of Kathryn Allyn '17
Sophomore Kathryn Allyn, formerly a competitive racer for the Windham Mountain Resort team, will begin volunteering for the Adaptive Sports Foundation program which provides ski and snowboard lessons for adults and children who have physical and emotional disabilities. Courtesy of Kathryn Allyn ’17

Whether it is volunteering in a foreign country, playing for a championship team, or creating a new club at school, many Convent of the Sacred Heart Upper School students take their community service and sports commitments to high altitudes. Sophomore Kathryn Allyn takes this phrase quite literally as she combines her passion for skiing and community service on the slopes.
This year, Kathryn will begin work as a volunteer counselor for the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) at the Windham Mountain Resort in upstate New York.
According to windhammountain.com, ASF is a non-profit organization associated with the Windham Resort, and also has affiliations with charities including the American Red Cross, Disabled Sports USA, and Wounded Warrior Project. The organization supports children and adults with physical or cognitive disabilities by giving ski and snowboard lessons. The program also provides ski racing and competitions for its winter participants, and sponsors lakeside activities for summer athletes.
As a former competitive skier, Kathryn seeks to instill her skill and appreciation for the sport in her students.
“With the many years of my skiing experience, I hope to share what I have learned with the coaches and students at the Adaptive program,” Kathryn said. 
Kathryn began skiing at age five at the Windham Mountain Resort in upstate New York. Her father, former moguls competitor on the United States Freestyle Team, served as her inspiration. She joined the ski-racing program on the mountain at a young age, and, until last year, competed for the resort’s team.
As a training ASF volunteer, Kathryn is currently practicing for the upcoming season and learning how to teach the participants simple ski and snowboard techniques. Her brother took part in the program last year, and encouraged Kathryn to pursue a volunteer position as well.
 “I’m excited to meet new people at the Adaptive Program, including the coaches and the students,” Kathryn said. “Skiing is a part of me that I know will never leave.”
While working for ASF, Kathryn will take extra precautions before accompanying her students to the slopes. At the beginning of the lesson, she will receive a folder explaining the students’ conditions and their level of skill on the slopes. She will then take more advanced skiers to the hills right away, and help beginners learn the sport by teaching them the basics on bunny hills.
Although Kathryn will be a teacher, she believes that she will also learn a lot about leadership from her students.
“Some people tend to come to me and say ‘you are such a good person for teaching these people with disabilities,’ and they put me on a pedestal,” Kathryn said. “But people should really be putting the students on the pedestal because they are so brave for doing things that are so challenging for them.”
Kathryn’s newest venture will not only give her work and volunteer experience, but also help her form new friendships on the slopes.
– Sarah Jackmauh, Co-Content Editor