With a $5,000 seed grant from Kevin & Laura Burkart in 2017 the SPLWSA founded the Shockwaves Adaptive Waterski Squad as a part of our 78 year old local waterski team. Kevin Burkart, himself an adaptive waterskier (left arm paralysis), was selected as the initial Program Director.
Adaptive waterskiing is for paras, quads, blind, those with neurological disorders, veterans, amputees and the mentally challenged. Adaptive water-ski equipment offers a unique opportunity for individuals with mobility, visual, or other impairments to experience the joys and benefits of water sports.
Utilizing the latest in adaptive equipment, tournament quality tow boats and individual instruction, the Shockwaves Adaptive Ski Squad creates an atmosphere that promotes independence and success no matter what the physical limitation might be. Creating water sports opportunities for individuals from all abilities and walks of life fulfills our mission.
If you are an adaptive athlete or you know an adaptive athlete or you'd like to volunteer we want you involved!
ON AUGUST 23, 2018 NICHOLAS BROWN BECAME OUR FIRST ADAPTIVE SKIER TO SKI IN ONE OF OUR SHOWS!
Very proud of you Nick! Thank you to Burt Johnson and Denise Hennen for making this happen!
And just for fun I included a photo of Nicholas meeting the Pope!
THE FLYING PAULO AND TIM FITZGIBBONS
At our Tuesday, August 22, 2017 clinic Paulo Felten did something remarkable - he went over the jump. Paulo has Arthrogryposis. This means he was born with joint contractures. He has limited use of his arms and legs, virtually no use.
Complete with motocross helmet, strapped to his sit ski, lined up with the jump by our amazing side skier Tim Fitzgibbons, Paulo flew. Congrats Paulo!
IN MEMORY OF LOREN "BUMP" WEUM
Loren "Bump" Weum was paralyzed July 4, 1987 while bare foot water skiing in a Shockwaves ski show at Lakefront Park in Prior Lake. He passed peacefully on October 20, 2017.
The Shockwaves Adaptive Ski Squad honors Bump's memory, $500 was raised from our ski team membership. Thank you for the inspiration Bump!
Special thanks to Anna for the beautiful images from this special Shriner's Day!
ELVIS LOVES ADAPTIVE ATHLETES!
Thurs, Sept 26, 2019 - Seeing an opportunity to give back, the Prior Lake Association landed on the idea of hosting a fundraiser for the Shockwaves Adaptive Ski Squad. This aligned with PLA's mission of creating positive and impactful water-based experiences.
Charlie's on the Water agreed to host the event and provide 10% of the evening's food and beverage sales as a donation (thank you Jeff and Traci Petschl). Local resident Rick Germscheid agreed to perform his Elvis tribute at no charge. Northern Tool owners Wade and Sue Kotula agreed to match raffle sales. And the PLA donated $1,000.
All in the event raised over $14,000 supporting adaptive athletes on the water. Collaboration at its best!
"Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for providing Ryan with such an amazing opportunity to water ski yesterday!! This was his first year and certainly not his last! It was so well organized, all of the volunteers were so helpful and energetic, and I love the fact that the rain didn’t seem to phase anyone! Thank you so much for putting on such an amazing event!!!"
Gillette social media lights up post-event
ULLR FOUNDATION GIFT
The ULLR Foundation is the philanthropic division of the ULLR Ski, Bike & Social Club. Its mission is to raise money to provide equipment and promote participation in skiing, biking, and other sports for physically and mentally challenged individuals of all ages.
On Tuesday, October 16, 2018 The ULLR Foundation presented a $2990 contribution that purchased the two new FreshStart adaptive waterskis from Liquid Access shown in this photo.
Thanks from all of the Shockwaves adaptive athletes!