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Bow Valley foundation continues funding for Rocky Mountain Adaptive

A Bow Valley foundation has renewed its partnership with Rocky Mountain Adaptive to continue funding the sport and recreational opportunities.
Rocky Mountain Adaptive Emily Pitchers, centre, in a wheelchair, Christina Ryan, right, and Kristen McMullen slide a curling stone together during a curling game for the inaugural Curling Day in Canada Festival at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in 2023. RMO FILE PHOTO

BOW VALLEY – A Bow Valley foundation has renewed its partnership with Rocky Mountain Adaptive to continue funding the sport and recreational opportunities.

The Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation committed to donating $465,000 over the next three years to Rocky Mountain Adaptive, a non-profit organization that provides accessible adventures for people living with physical and/or neuro-divergent challenges.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive has focused on transportation being a main barrier to accessing its programming. A portion of the funding will go to purchasing a wheelchair-accessible van that can fit five wheelchairs and has 15 seats.

“The Pauw Foundation and [Rocky Mountain Adaptive] have a shared mission to foster inclusion and empower everyone to experience outdoor activities,” said Cathy Geisler, executive director of the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, in a media release.

“[Rocky Mountain Adaptive] programs allow people of all ages and abilities to experience adaptive sports in the mountains. The accessibility van will help get participants to the ski hill, the trail, and to the water’s edge – what could be better?”

In addition to the wheelchair-accessible van, the funding will aid in creating four new multi-sport camps that are exclusively for women in adaptive sports.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive will hold one week-long women’s camp each season, which is starting this year. The goal is to increase accessibility and address barriers women face in adaptive sports.

“Funding from the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation is instrumental to build momentum at [Rocky Mountain Adaptive],” said Jamie McCulloch, executive director of Rocky Mountain Adaptive, in a media release. “Interest in our programs is seeing consistent growth, and the team is always coming up with new and exciting opportunities to ensure everyone can enjoy the great outdoors.”

The Pauw Foundation will also help facilitate free participation for people at Rocky Mountain Adaptive’s Try-It camps. The camps introduce people to winter sports they’ve never tried.

The Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation was established in 2013 as a private foundation. It is funded by profits from Banff Caribou Properties Ltd. and Banff Lodging Company to reinvest in Banff and the Bow Valley to support local projects such as Bow Valley Food Alliance and Canadian Rockies Public Schools’.

Rocky Mountain Adaptive offers adaptive programs such as skiing, rock climbing, paddling and several other physical activities.

“[Rocky Mountain Adaptive’s] passionate team and collaborative partnerships, creates a supportive community where everyone can thrive and experience the joy of outdoor adventure,” stated the media release.

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