Getting to join his peers

'Ski coach' allows 8-year-old Cameron Buckle to ski

Published on March 22, 2017

Eight-year-old Cameron Buckle of L'Anse-au-Clair peered into a mirror with his mother, Dawn Letto, prior to a day of skiing at the Mount Nascopi Ski Club in Forteau.

With a bright smile on his face, Cameron Buckle of L'Anse-au-Clair is getting to hit the ski trails for the very first time.

The eight-year-old was recently able to join the Jackrabbit program in Forteau after the Mount Nascopi Ski Club ordered a ski coach for him - a device that allows Cameron to be pushed along on the ski trail.

Cameron suffers mobility limitations and is unable to walk. For a long time he had been unable to participate in the winter fun with all the rest of the young boys and girls his age.

But now, every Saturday morning, when the skiing lesson for the Jackrabbits is held, Cameron gets to experience the thrill of skiing, the cold winter breeze against his face as he glides along the snow, with everyone else.

With his mother always right behind him, pushing him along, he's been enjoying it to the fullest.

"He loves it," said his mom, Dawn Letto. "You see the smile on his face. He just enjoys being around his friends and getting involved with activities that they're involved in."

As a parent, Letto says she doesn't like to see Cameron missing out on things: she just wants to see him included, which using the coach allows.

"Usually in the winter months, Cameron doesn't get out much because of what he can't do," she said. "So this allows him to do what all of the rest of the kids are doing."

The idea to get the ski coach came from skiing instructor Sabrina Belben. After discussions with Letto about how Cameron could access the trails, she did some research and brought the idea to the attention of Mount Nascopi Ski Club president Darcy Hancock.

Hancock then reached out to Cross Country Newfoundland and Labrador and arranged to have a temporary coach for Cameron from Corner Brook.

And it just so happened that Cameron's dad, Chad Buckle, was in Corner Brook at the time. He stopped by at the Regional High School to pick up the coach and brought it back to his son in Labrador.

Cameron received it over two weeks ago.

While the current coach is temporarily borrowed from Corner Brook, the Mount Nascopi Ski Club is in the process of purchasing a permanent one for Cameron.

Letto was grateful for the work they've done in providing her son this opportunity.

She wished to thank Belben for facilitating the process and to thank Hancock and the ski club for following through and getting the coach for Cameron.

"It is very much appreciated, knowing that Cameron is included in different things."