More people with a disability can follow in the footsteps of their Paralympic winter sports heroes with Minister for Sport and Recreation Damian Drum announcing a $2.5 million Victorian Coalition Government investment in a new accessible athlete base at Falls Creek.

Mr Drum joined Member for Benalla Bill Sykes and Disabled WinterSport Australia president and chairman Jim Blackburn to announce the funding towards the new 40-bed facility at Howmans Gap Alpine Centre.

“For over 35 years Disabled WinterSport Australia have been at the forefront of providing people with a disability the chance to experience and develop their full potential in winter sports at Australia’s alpine regions,” Mr Drum said.

“The new accommodation will not only open up more opportunities for people with a disability to participate in Disabled WinterSport Australia programs but will support an important training facility to encourage athlete development.

“This fantastic new facility will incorporate universal design principles and allow guests the maximum opportunity to get the best out of their winter sport experience.

“By investing in quality and multipurpose sport and recreation projects we can encourage a new generation of Paralympic heroes to reach new heights and emulate the feats of Sochi Paralympic alpine ski stars Jess Gallagher and Toby Kane,” Mr Drum said.

The Victorian Coalition Government’s investment in the project is from the Strategic Sporting Infrastructure Program.

“Over the past four years the Coalition Government has invested $84 million across a range of programs in more than 600 community sports facility projects like these, resulting in over $433 million in new local sporting infrastructure for Victorians,” Mr Drum said.

Mr Drum thanked Disabled WinterSports Australia and project partners the YMCA for their efforts to get the project up and running.

“I encourage our all-abilities winter sports enthusiasts to take advantage of all the new accommodation and sporting options available at the new facility once it’s ready for the 2016 snow season,” Mr Drum said.

By Disabled WinterSport Australia and theState Government of Victoria
Posted: 10/9/14

Photo with thanks to Sport the Library