Aroostook County –  As part of its ongoing commitment to encourage healthy lifestyles and improve the well-being of all County residents, TAMC has joined in the effort to bring adaptive winter recreation opportunities to people in the area with physical disabilities.

NO LIMITS, an innovative collaboration of the Nordic Heritage Sport Club and Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, will officially launch a Nordic ski and snowshoe program in the coming winter season thanks to the drive of committed volunteers and support of lead community partners, including TAMC.

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“People in Aroostook County cherish recreational opportunities,” said Dr. Jacqui Lowman, founder of NO LIMITS.  “Up until now, a segment of the population has been left out: people with physical disabilities. Not anymore.  Through the partnership of TAMC and other leading County organizations, coupled with the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, hundreds of people in Aroostook County and surrounding regions of Canada with some form of disability will now have a local venue where they can enjoy winter recreation opportunities.”

According to Lowman, there are hundreds of people in the area with some form of disability.  Up until this coming winter season, accessing recreation opportunities like this meant traveling hundreds of miles.

“When you factor in family, friends and those whose lives they touch—well, this is an issue that reaches everyone. Most are unaware of the possibilities or unable to travel so far to take advantage of them,” added Lowman.

The collaborative effort is made possible through the partnership that NO LIMITS and the Nordic Heritage Sport Club have developed with Maine Adaptive, which brings more than 30 years of experience to the table. Maine Adaptive will train volunteers and screen and schedule participants. Use of the Nordic Heritage Center site means that adaptive winter recreation will finally be easily available in Aroostook County and in western New Brunswick.

“TAMC could not be more pleased to join in partnership with NO LIMITS to expand opportunities to all County residents to be active, especially during the winter months,” said TAMC President and CEO Sylvia Getman. “This extends our ongoing commitment to support such initiatives across the region and in all four seasons.  As is frequently the case in The County, the work of NO LIMITS is the result of a group of individuals coming together, identifying a need, dedicating their time and talent to make it happen and partnering with others to realize a dream.”

The rollout in winter/spring 2015 is the result of several years’ work. It started in fall 2012 as a project for an UMPI class taught by Dr. Lowman. Along the way, it has continued to build momentum.

“So many people have supported us,” said Lowman. “The Nordic Heritage Steering Committee and Maine Adaptive bought in early on. But we still needed support for the adaptive equipment and training. We are so fortunate that organizations like TAMC have stepped forward to join us. Thanks in part to their support, we will be able to launch in the coming months.”

Every Friday afternoon this snow season, participants will have free Nordic skiing or snowshoeing lessons. Afterward, all those involved will gather for a meal in the main lodge.

In addition to TAMC’s partnership with NO LIMITS and the activity it will support on Fridays for individuals with physical disabilities, Saturdays this winter will be an exciting time to be outdoors on skis in Aroostook County for youth. TAMC is once again partnering with local ski organizations to promote an active, healthy lifestyle for County kids while instilling interest in a life-long activity that is affordable, social, challenging and fun. More information will be released in the coming months as a new season for the youth program nears.