Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Voices Blog

SCIO Adaptive Waterskiing Day

Making waves this summer!

The summer heat was on at SCIO’s annual Adaptive Waterski event. As the temperatures rose under the summer sizzle, so did the excitement of many participants, who experienced firsthand the exhilarating experience of gliding across the water. Coaches and professional water-skiers were on hand to support and provide their expertise to first-time skiers who were initially a little nervous but soon loved every moment. 

 Under the guidance of Christopher Holden, a Paralympic Coach, instructions on what to expect and how to keep safe, along with immense support from cheers from the sidelines, the nerves of the first-time skiers subsided quickly. 

This year’s SCIO Volunteer Award recipient and waterski enthusiast Jake Thomas was behind the boat’s wheel and listened as skiers yelled: “Hit it.” Within seconds the motorboat revved up to speed as skiers with hands holding on tightly to the rope and positioned on the wakeboards soon felt the rush of wind in their hair as they zipped around the lake. These first timers looked like pros! 




Instantly the skiers garnered so much more than just experience, the opportunity to speak with the Canadian adaptive waterski team, who were also on hand training for their upcoming tournament and shared their lived experiences with participants. 


A few of this year’s participants shared how they had never been in the water swimming for a long time or were, in some cases, reluctant even to consider trying water skiing. But those thoughts changed when the freedom to try something new allowed them to explore a unique opportunity without limitations.  


A few comments from the first timers: 

Navi had a change of mind when it comes to sports after her experience.


“I was nervous. I have never done this before. But I am really glad I did it. It was a lot of fun. Something I will do again and find places I can. Which is unusual because I really don’t like sports,” said Navi Khasiyeva. 


Andrew shares his experience water skiing.


“Going in I actually told the coaches I have a fear of water, so I was a little nervous. But in terms of coaching, they were very calm and clear with their instructions. They bring a lot of experience to the table. All of that fear melts away as you get into the water and get comfortable. It was really good! You just live in the moment,” said Andrew Kooger.  








A huge thank you to: Water Ski & Wakeboard Ontario  (WSWO) & Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada (WSWC), Jake Thomas and his team of volunteers – who are made this day possible!


Special thanks to Wright Rehab who are helping to sponsor the food & drinks!


Dr. Stuart Howe CEO SCIO presents Jake Thomas award in recognition of Jake’s support and volunteering with SCIO.

Skiers, we have you on film! Judging by the enormous smiles and the number of times many went around the lake; this first time undoubtedly will not be the last. 

“Hit it!” 

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