You may be aware that the Charity that was Whitworth Water Ski Centre for the Disabled, sadly lost its lease to operate at Cowm Reservoir.
It was a great shame to see the centre close in 2012 as the previous operators had contributed so much to our sport, especially for skiers and riders with disabilities. Thankfully the Centre’s owners United Utilities plc. have been unwavering in their support and wanted the continued use of the facility for our sport. To this end they invited informal tenders from interested parties who would operate the centre.
Inspired by the achievements of the Social Enterprise operating at Ski Rossendale (http://www.skirossendale.co.uk) we proposed that we would like to create a similar venture for waterskiing at Cowm Reservoir.
Our Proposal won the tendering process and The Water Ski Academy was born with the following aims and objectives.
· Water skiing is a healthy, family orientated outdoor pursuit to be enjoyed by all regardless of age, ability, race or gender.
· Our Social Enterprise will promote the sport and provide a facility which is safe and accessible.
· We want to create a Centre of Excellence but also encourage community participation.
· To create a “Water Ski Academy” that is a valuable resource to the sport and the local community.
· To see affordable water skiing return to Cowm Reservoir.
· To once again offer the services of the Centre to people with disabilities, schools & colleges, youth groups and othercharitable organisations.
· To train current and future British Team Skiers both disabled and able bodied.
· To train and develop Coaches/Instructors, Officials, Judges and Boat Drivers.
· Our aim is to ensure an economically viable and stable organisation.
· Encouraging regular users and club members back to the centre.
· We will endeavour to work closely with United Utilities, Whitworth Town Council, Rossendale Council, Lancashire CountyCouncil, British Water Ski and Wakeboard (BWSW), British Disabled Water Ski and Wakeboard (BDWSW) SportEngland and Sports Coach UK.
· We will adhere to stringent safety guidelines adopting the BWSW’s and BDWSW’s codes of conduct for all aspects of the sport.
· We are fully insured via BWSW’s recommended insurers.
· All our operations are fully risk assessed and recorded.
· All activities are under the supervision of qualified and competent people.
· All drivers, instructors, cable operators are BWSW qualified.
· We are working very closely with the Malibu Boat Company http://www.malibuboats.co.uk/ to ensure that there are always reliable, well maintained,top quality boats on the water.
·At this point it is only right to thank United Utilities plc. for their continued support of our sport and to acknowledge their contribution and support for this project.
We also need to thank certain people who have helped us bring this to fruition.
Firstly a huge thank-you must go to George & Tim Hazelwood at The Malibu Boat Company http://www.malibuboats.co.uk/ because without their support this venture would not of been possible.
Also for their input and advice we need to thank John Battleday at JB Ski Thorpe http://www.jbski.com/, Andy and Julie Finley at Three Sisters Ski Club www.three-sisters-waterski.com, to Trevor Leagas the Chairman of the British Disabled Water Ski and Wakeboard Association http://bdwsa.org/ and to all the staff at British Water Ski and Wakeboard http://www.bwsw.org.uk/home/, especially Rachel their Development Officer.
Last but by no means least we would like to thank Dave Fuller at Ski Rossendale http://www.skirossendale.co.uk for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.
So with Honorary President, Dr. Janet Gray M.B.E. (former World Disabled Champion) as our figure head http://www.janetgray.co.uk/ and BWSW-NW Chair & Former British Squad Member Nick McGarry at the helm The Academy is ready for Action.
We are offering coaching courses to organised groups as well as individuals and we are open Dawn until Dusk 7 days a week.
We are offering a membership scheme to people who want to use the centre on a regular basis as well as being open to the general public on a “Pay & Play” basis.
All our Drivers and Coaches are BWSW qualified and we are offering training and assessing for others wanting to achieve these qualifications.