“The camps aim to give youngsters an opportunity to not just take part in the sports but compete at some of Europe’s most well-known and popular snow sport venues."
Organised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) with funding from the European Union and the Foundation for Global Sports Development, the 18 month long circuit will see youngsters aged 10-17 years take part in five three day long camps where they will learn and practice the skills required to take part in alpine skiing, nordic skiing and para-snowboard.
In addition the youngsters from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain will receive two days of educational workshops per camp covering a variety of topics including the Paralympic Movement, anti-doping, the media, nutrition and equipment and technology.
Sylvana Mestre, Chair of the IPC Alpine Skiing Sport Technical Committee, said: “It is vitally important for the growth of the Paralympic Movement and winter sports in general that we get more youngsters involved.
“The IPC European Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit aims to do just that and give youngsters with an impairment their first taste of the three winter snow sports in the Paralympic programme – alpine skiing, nordic skiing and para-snowboard.
“The camps aim to give youngsters an opportunity to not just take part in the sports but compete at some of Europe’s most well-known and popular snow sport venues.
“Hopefully the experience the youngsters will have over the next 18 months will inspire them to stay involved in para snow sports and who knows, in years to come, we may see them compete at future Paralympic Winter Games.”
Dr Steven Ungerleider of Global Sports Development said: "We have witnessed the positive impact programming such as the IPC Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit can have on youth confidence, feelings of acceptance, and teamwork, and we are honored to support the IPC in such a worthy cause"
"The IPC's Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit has the opportunity to inspire a new generation of para-athletes and we are honored to be part of such an invaluable youth program"
The first three day camp takes place this weekend in La Molina, the Spanish venue that next month will host the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
At the end of March, the youngsters will travel to Rogla, Slovenia whilst the final camp of 2013 will take place in Landgraaf, the Netherlands.
In 2014, the fourth camp of the circuit will be held in Germany’s Ski Area Gotschen in Bischofwiesen and the fifth and final camp of the European Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit will be staged in Sestriere, Italy the resort which staged the 2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships.
Throughout the circuit, which also involves the European Paralympic Committee, results and rankings from each event will be published on the website of the IPC European Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit.
The full schedule for the IPC European Para Snow Sport Youth Circuit is as follows:
- 27-31 January 2013: La Molina, Spain
- 28 March – 1 April 2013: Rogla, Slovenia
- 17-21 November 2013: Landgraaf, the Netherlands TBC
- 5-9 January 2014: Ski Area Gotschen in Bischofwiesen, Germany TBC
- 23-27 March 2014: Sestriere, Italy TBC