A young disabled Huddersfield skier was part of a team which set a new world record.
Amber Meikle-Janney was in a team of disabled skiers which has just set the record for the greatest distance skied by a team of seated skiers.
The 24-year-old from Almondbury was the only woman in the eight-strong team who set out to do 44km in the relay event in eight hours but they smashed it by notching up 60km in just six hours.
The event, organised by Disability Snowsport UK, was held at the Chill Factore next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester which is the UK’s longest indoor ski slope. It was also a fundraiser and has so far brought in more than £2,200 which will help more disabled people to get into snow sports.
Amber, who has been a member of the British Para Snowsport development team, suffers from a rare neurological condition called hereditary spastic paraplegia which affects the lower limbs and core strength.
It can surface at any time in life and Amber was first affected with it when she was 13. Up until then she had lived a normal life, including learning to ski when she was six.
Despite her condition which means she now uses a wheelchair full-time, Amber wanted to continue skiing as a sit skier because it gives her a feeling of freedom, speed and independence.
She said: “In my daily life I’m a full-time wheelchair user and that has limitations but when I’m on snow and in the mountains I’m free.”
Amber uses a sit ski which are skis with a moulded bucket suspended above them that she sits in with a shock absorber below the seat to make the ride more comfortable.
Amber is the daughter of Paul and Sally Meikle-Janney and she has a younger brother, 20-year-old Alfie, who is a third year student at the University of Nottingham. Paul is a director at the famous Dark Woods Coffee in Marsden.
Sally said: “People are born with hereditary spastic paraplegia but the symptoms can surface at any time in life and with Amber we think it was sparked by a growth spurt when she was 13.”
Amber, who went to Rowley Lane Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Lepton and then King James’s in Almondbury, now has her own business making hats and covers for stoma bags which can be bought on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AmbersHandmadeHats or her Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/ambershandmadehats
Disability Snowsport UK chief executive Virginia Anderson said: “This monumental effort is not just about setting records, it’s about breaking down barriers and making snowsports accessible to all.
“Through this challenge the entire team hope to raise awareness of the incredible opportunities offered by Disability Snowsport UK. They want the world to know that no disability can hinder the pursuit of joy and adventure.
“This team is helping us as a small charity to share the enjoyment of snowsports with many more disabled children and adults across the country. We are certain they will inspire others to have a go too.”
People can donate until October 14 in the wake of the team’s achievement to help others get into snowsports at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/dsukmonoski
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.