Community Connections: Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports — STARS

Community Connection

The year 2021 marks the 14th year of Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports — STARS — serving youth, adults and military veterans with cognitive and physical disabilities in a variety of outdoor activities. We believe that through adaptive recreation we can positively impact the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. STARS programs help our participants discover the outdoors and teach skills to overcome health challenges as well as develop confidence, self-esteem and independence.

During 2020-21, our amazing staff and dedicated volunteers empowered 254 participants, enriching their lives with 1,552 lessons provided while ensuring that they had a fun, safe experience.

With frost on the ground in the morning, the transition to winter has begun for STARS, and we are busy planning our winter activities, which include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ski-biking and cross country skiing. We are excited for winter as we schedule programming for locals as well as visitors coming to the Yampa Valley. Local’s programs include All-Access for younger participants, Mountain-Access for those 19 and older, and Special Olympics. Registration is now open for those interested in winter activities.

New this ski season is the temporary location of our winter operations during base area construction at Steamboat Resort. Our Base Camp will be in the Sheraton conference center for this ski season with easy access to the slopes.

Another element of winter is recruiting new volunteers to assist with our lessons. Volunteers assist our instructors with our on-hill instruction, and no experience is necessary.

Last year saw over 2,800 hours of volunteer time helping empower and enrich the lives of hundreds of participants. All volunteers are provided a STARS uniform (new jackets this year) and also earn a free lift ticket to Steamboat Resort with each eight hours worked. If you have a passion for helping others and enjoy winter sports, we encourage you to contact to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

STARS mission

To empower and enrich lives through adaptive recreational activities.

The 2021-22 winter season is shaping up to be fantastic, and we thank our entire community for helping STARS succeed. Whether through participating, donating or volunteering, your partnership empowers and enriches the lives of so many youth and adults. We could not do it without you.

Gardner Flanigan is executive director of Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports.

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