DEXTER, Iowa- Diamond Head Lake played host to a unique event designed to help those with a mobility disability get to water ski.
James Shoemaker began Another Way Sports after his daughter Suzanne learned to water ski, even though she has cerebral palsy, and cannot walk.
“She has cerebral palsy, that doesn't matter or stop her from doing anything,” said James Shoemaker. “She’s played basketball, rugby, she does 5K's and 10k’s she runs and track in school.”
“I’ve lived on the lake all my life so skiing is something I always wanted to try,” said Suzanne. “About three or four years ago at Waterloo I got a chance to try it at their clinic and I really enjoyed it.”
Another Way Sports has raised some funds to buy a sit ski, and other equipment so others with mobility impairment can try to water ski. The sit ski is used, along with two volunteers on skis on either side of the sit ski to give stability on the water. Volunteers help to signal the boat as to when the skier is ready, and assist getting into and out of the water.
Suzanne Shoemaker started out that way, she now does not need any assist to get up on skis, other than getting her into the chair on the ski. She gets up and skis by herself.
“I would like to go to nationals next year that they have which is 2018,” said Suzanne, commenting on an adaptive ski tournament. “Would do slalom and I would be going to trick skiing.”
She has yet to master the trick skiing, but is looking forward to learning that aspect of water skiing.
“What we really need is more participants more disabled people who want to try water skiing,” said James Shoemaker. “People who love water skiing and water sports come out and help for the day.”
If you would like to come, or bring a family member out to try adaptive water skiing, you can check the Another Way Sports website for information.