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Q&A with the Staff – Tom Alcorn, Program Coordinator

October 18, 2017 | Staff, Telling Stories


WHY ARE YOU HERE?

I’ve always had a personal connection to the ski industry, to the people who are physically active with disabilities or otherwise, and a connection to that philosophy. I truly believe in the mission and philosophy for getting people out to do physical activity and recreation. Many people have barriers, whether it’s financial or simply the commitment, but everyone should have the opportunity to overcome those barriers.

HOW DID YOU GET HERE? HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS TYPE OF WORK?
A few personal connections led me to Vermont Adaptive. I had a family member with a disability who was still very active, and I was a caregiver for someone who had Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Both of those experiences got me interested in the helping others and it seemed like a good fit.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH ON THE JOB?
What makes me laugh is when someone figures out that they can do something that they had no idea that they could do. They’re surprised by that and the joy they get out of that is awesome to watch. Other people’s excitement and joy makes me laugh.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE ORGANIZATION?
My hope is that Vermont Adaptive is strengthened by more volunteers statewide and to build upon our group of volunteers so that our veteran volunteers can pass on their knowledge to the new and upcoming generation of volunteer instructors. Our older generation of volunteers has a lot of knowledge to impart to younger people, and not just the techniques they use for teaching, but so much more wisdom on a broader scale.

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR ADAPTIVE SPORTS?
I want adaptive sports to continue to be mainstreamed into the professional arena of sports. For instance, the Olympics highlighting disabled athletes is a step in the right direction and watching more adaptive athletes compete in typical pro and semi pro sporting events. It’s a start but we need more.

HOW DO YOU STRETCH YOUR LIMITS?
I try to remember the participants and families that we work with take a leap of faith with us and so I need to bring that level of effort and commitment as well. It’s all about motivation—how can I motivate them, which in turn motivates me.

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
Boredom.

SKI OR SNOWBOARD?
Ski.

BIKE OR PADDLE?
Paddle.

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