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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve tried to answer any questions you may have about volunteering for Whistler Adaptive. If we haven’t answered your question on our website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.



What do all the acronyms mean?

WASP refers to the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program. The Whistler Adaptive Sports Program is a not-for-profit society that provides year-round sports, therapeutic and recreational programs for people of all ages with cognitive, physical or sensory disabilities. We are a center for learning and sports excellence that has a local, regional, national and international clientele base. We encourage independence, self-confidence and self-motivation for all of our athletes and participants through outdoor recreation.

CADS - Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing – is the National Sports Organization for Disabled Skiing, and it is through them that we run certification courses. They set standards and protocol for all provinces.

CSIA - Canadian Ski Instructor's Alliance - The national governing body for able-bodied ski instruction. CADS instructors follow CSIA teaching methodology, using adaptive techniques and equipment with their students as needed.

CASI - Canadian Alliance for Snowboard Instructors - The national governing body for able-bodied snowboard instruction. CADS instructors follow CASI teaching methodology, using adaptive techniques and equipment with their students as needed.

Canada Snowboard is the national governing body for the sport of snowboarding. 

What do I have to do to become a volunteer?

There are four important things that all people must complete before they may volunteer with Whistler Adaptive:

  • Become a member of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program at a cost of $10 Join now online!
  • Complete a volunteer application form
  • Undergo a volunteer interview and orientation
  • Obtain a criminal record check from the RCMP

The best way to get started on becoming a volunteer is to contact us here. We can get you set up with the application form and answer any further questions you have. Depending on which program you wish to volunteer for, there may also be additional training courses required, such as first aid, CADS, CSIA, canoeing or kayak training.

What is the youngest age a volunteer can be?

You must be 16 years of age or older to volunteer with our athletes. Younger volunteers can gain valuable skills by helping in the office with administration work, event and camp planning and handing out brochures. Get in touch and let us know what you’re great at and what you hope to learn by volunteering with Whistler Adaptive.

What activities can I volunteer for?

The Whistler Adaptive Sports Program is a comprehensive, four-season organization.  As a winter volunteer, you can help with the Whistler Adaptive Ski and Snowboard Program on Whistler Blackcomb. You will work with children and adults who are visiting Whistler from around the world or returning locals or second-home owners. You can also volunteer with our local Sport Academy group by helping with Nordic skiing, yoga, swimming, strength & conditioning in the winter and kayaking, canoeing, rowing, biking, running, yoga, rowing, and at bonus activities and events.

Whistler Adaptive also recruits volunteers to help with competitive events and programs, camps for specific sports such as para-snowboarding and sailing for example, kids’ camps, fundraising events,  groups bookings by fellow non-profits and sport programming within our Para-sport stream.

Are there non-sport related volunteer opportunities?

Yes, we are always seeking individuals to volunteer for events, fundraising, marketing, administration support and more. Please email us or call 604-905-4493 to inquire to become involved with the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program.  

What fees are required to volunteer in the winter?

All Whistler Adaptive volunteers are required to become members for a $10 fee. If you wish to volunteer with our ski and snowboard program, you must also become a member of the BC Adaptive Snowsports. This $40 membership provides you liability insurance while you participate in activities with us. Register at www.bcadaptive.com.

When can I become a volunteer for Whistler Adaptive?

Whistler Adaptive is always happy to welcome new volunteers to our programs. We suggest that you get in touch with us a few weeks in advance of when you want to start coming out to activities, as the process of filling out  the application and obtaining the record check may take a bit of time.

Do I have to commit to a certain day(s) every week?

No, we understand that people’s schedules are flexible and fluctuate, while others are static. You can sign up for any days in advance. You can do several days in a row, if you like.

Can I volunteer if I don’t have a valid work permit/visa?

Given that there is no tangible (ie. lift tickets or season’s pass) employment benefit to volunteering with our Adaptive Alpine Race, Nordic Skiing, Kayaking, Hiking/Trail Rider, Hand-cycling/Biking, Yoga, Triathlon, Swimming, Rowing, Gymnastics or Canoeing Programs we welcome all volunteers with or without work permits or visa. We do require volunteers travelling from outside of BC to have up to date medical travel insurance.

Note: The Whistler Adaptive Ski and Snowboard program operating at Whistler Blackcomb does require a valid work visa. 

Am I considered an employee of Whistler Adaptive or Whistler Blackcomb?

You are considered a member and volunteer of the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, and as such, you are expected to follow Whistler Adaptive’s policies and procedures.

Note: The Whistler Adaptive Ski and Snowboard Program operating at Whistler Blackcomb has its own policies and procedures, which you are expected to follow.

How do I sign up for activities or programs?

Each week we will send out an email to all of our volunteers detailing the week’s activities. This email will give detail on locations and times of activities, what to bring, and other special upcoming events. Volunteers simply need to respond to this email with their availability for that week’s activities.

What is a typical day like?

Days with Whistler Adaptive vary widely. Our programs range in length from an hour to a full day. An alpine ski program can either last a full day or a half day and in these cases there will be time given for breaks and food. After all the participants have arrived and any equipment has been set up, drills, activities and games will make up a majority of the day. Other activities including canoeing and running only last one or two hours.

Am I responsible for helping participants go to the bathroom or administer medication?

You are responsible for accompanying any guest who needs assistance to the washroom. You are not responsible for performing any toileting with them. You are not responsible for administering medication. Should a guest require toileting or medication, they must be accompanied by a care-giver.

What if I cannot make one of the programs I said I would volunteer for?

We understand that many of our volunteers have busy schedules, and cannot always know for sure when things will come up. In these cases, we appreciate that you give us as much notice of your absence as you can.

I don't know anything about individuals with a disability. Can I still teach?

Yes, we will train you to work with different disabilities. Whistler Adaptive offers comprehensive training across all of our sport programs. You will be asked to complete sport and disability specific training for each program and population you will be working with. To work with individuals with a cognitive disability, you will be asked to complete our Working with Cognitively Challenged Learners Level 1 course. This course is completed online by watching a series of videos on different disabilities. You will also be provided with information specific to the disability you are working with. Whistler Adaptive Ski and Snowboard Program you will be able to access the client profile, through the WASP extranet. You are encouraged to read all you can about the nature of the disability prior to the program. The best way to learn is to get out and do it! You can also have a look at Resort Municipality's website for details on all that Whistler has to offer for individuals with a disability.

Where do the clients come from and what kind of disabilities do they have?

Our program participants range from individuals who live within the Sea to Sky Corridor (Whistler, Squamish, Mt. Currie, Pemberton) to visitors from the Lower Mainland, all over BC, across Canada and around the world. We worked with children as young as 3, plus teens, adults or seniors. They may have physical disabilities (amputation, paraplegic, quadriplegic, MS, cerebral palsy etc.), have a cognitive disability (autism, ADD, downs syndrome etc.) or a sensory disability (vision loss, hearing loss). They may have acquired an injury or been born with their disability. Although Whistler Adaptive is a fee for services organization, we do offer bursary assistance to individuals who are not able to afford the program prices. 

Would I be sent out on a program alone?

No, our intent is to have any first time volunteer matched with a returning volunteer in the lead role. Once you have gained experience with working with athletes and helping with programs, you may be asked to take the lead role. 

Do I have to have my own equipment?

Yes, for these programs you will need your own alpine, Nordic or biking equipment: Whistler Adaptive Ski and Snowboard, Alpine Ski Race, Cross-Country Skiing, Mountain Biking.  For other programs, we will supply the appropriate equipment.

Do I have to pay for my own lift/trail tickets?

No, on the day you are volunteering a complimentary lift/trail ticket or day pass is provided for you.

Do I provide my own transportation?

Yes, you are responsible for your own transportation to and from activities. Many volunteers have been able to work out a carpool.

What are the benefits of volunteering with Whistler Adaptive?

  • Develop skills and experience working with individuals with a disability
  • Get training, related certifications and more experience in a variety of sports all year round
  • Free lift/trail ticket/gym/pool access on the days you are volunteering on the x-country trails, in the pool, in the gym or in the alpine
  • Social gatherings and special events
  • An opportunity to meet and work with a terrific bunch of people.

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