New car, New Zealand, New challenges
By Jane Sowerby
I was honoured when asked to become a Ford Motability Ambassador and to take on the challenge of promoting the benefits of Ford Motability. My introduction to the Ford family was at the Motability Roadshow in Gloucestershire, where I had the chance to talk to other disabled motorists about the Motability scheme and their options. Being mobile and getting back my independence was of the utmost importance to me after I first had my accident, so I found the experience extremely rewarding.
At the end of July, my new Ford S-MAX arrived. It totally lived up to my expectations, having the space of a people carrier while still retaining a sporty feel. The S-MAX perfectly suits the demands of my hectic sporting lifestyle. As disabled skiers, we have to carry around a ridiculous amount of ski kit! I also wanted something big enough to fit my handbike which I use a lot during the summer.
Unfortunately, I only had a few days to test out my new car before leaving it for a while. On the plus side, however, I was leaving it so I could fly out to New Zealand for some on-snow summer training. So I loaded up the S-MAX to drive to the airport – one sit-ski, three pairs of race skis, ski tech gear, one large ski bag and one wheelchair – and I still had room to spare!
New Zealand was incredible. We had two weeks of training in Mount Hutt, but unfortunately got to find out why the locals lovingly nickname it Mount Shut! High winds forced the resort to close for a few days; when it opened though we had some excellent training. Then we headed to Mount Dobson – the smallest, friendliest ski resort I’ve ever been to.
Our last stop was Queenstown – adrenaline junkie heaven! We wanted a dose ourselves so took on the challenge of the ‘Canyon Swing’ – where you launch yourself off a platform on the edge of a cliff 109 m above the Shotover River.
You freefall for 60 m then swing into the canyon, I highly recommend it!
So now I’m preparing for the start of the most important season in my skiing career, as the countdown to the Winter Paralympics 2010 continues.
Our biggest fundraiser this year to help get us to the Paralympics is the British Disabled Ski Team calendar. The capacity of the S-MAX was tested again when I picked up 63 boxes containing 2,000 calendars – the car met the challenge no problem.
I’m so happy with my new S-MAX, am grateful for this opportunity to work with Ford and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with them.