Last March, David Doyle, a native of Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, realised a long-term ambition by going on a dream holiday to the snowpacked winter wonderland that is Mayrhofen, Austria. David was joined on the trip by fellow Sunbeam House service user Chris McGinn and both were accompanied by staff members Mick and Diarmuid. Directski.com generously sponsored the trip of a lifetime and Bray Lions Club also supported the alpine adventure.
‘It was so great to ski on real snow for the first time,’ recounts David who has spend many a day skiing on the dry slope in Kilternan, Co. Dublin. ‘It was really hard at first but by the end of the week it was really easy and I ripped it up!’ David spent the mornings in ski school and the rest of the day putting into practice what he had learned from his instructor. ‘By the end of the week I was bombing down red runs, no problem. My favourite part was going in and out of the bushes. I did fall a few times, but it’s no problem on real snow because you just jump up again and keep going. And the instructors are really helpful and a good laugh too!’
But it wasn’t only the skiing that made this holiday experience one to remember for David—it was the whole package put together by Directski.com. Vikki (David’s rep at his hotel) was on hand to ensure that David’s first trip to the Alps was one to remember. ‘Vikki was sound,’ says David. ‘She gave us lots of tips on where to eat and all that and she made sure the hotel was really comfortable because you’d be wrecked after a hard day’s skiing.’ David found loads to do in Mayrhofen once the sun went down and the ski lifts were closed.
‘Some nights we went out on the town for some dancing and other nights we just sat in the bar in the hotel and chatted with the other people in the hotel about skiing and stuff, everyone there was really nice and gave me loads of advice.’
David is now a self-confirmed adrenaline junkie and can’t wait to go skiing again, and he encourages other people with intellectual disabilities to go skiing—‘It’s a great laugh and something that everyone would love. They might be a bit scared at first of the lifts and stuff like that, but it’s easy to get the hang of it and it’s not even cold when you’re there!’
If you want to see a video of David’s trip to Austria, just put Snowbeam into Youtube and enjoy!