Neveplast makes ski facilities accessible to people with disabilities

Neveplast installed in cable cars in Ponte di Legno-Tonale: Inauguration on December 8, 2019

Accessibility: This is the buzzword with the opening of the 2019/2020 ski season in Alta Val Camonica. On December 8th 2019, took place the inauguration of Neveplast which guarantees accessibility to persons with disabilities in the cable car at Ponte di Legno-Passo del Tonale.

An innovative idea developed to facilitate access to ski facilities for skiers that ski with the help of single or double skis.

A path made of Neveplast Np70 surface was studied to facilitate access to the ski facilities. This material allows for skiers with disabilities to slide with special skis and wheelchairs and to easily climb the cable car just as other skiers do.

The project, which is the first of its kind, was conceived thanks to the experience of the Pontedilegno Ski School in collaboration with SIT S.p.A. and the commitment of the Bresciana Community Foundation (Fondazione della Comunità Bresciana).

The inspiration for the project comes from the dream of Sentieri Accessibili, an innovative start up coming from SciHando project, an organization bringing together adolescents with disabilities, both physical and mental, with winter sports.

“Our mission”– states Gianfranco Missiaia, founder of the Pontelegno Ski School and involved in Sentieri Accesibili- “is to break down the architectural and logistical barriers and to try and create a world fit for all, even for people with certain disabilities. We started with a small idea but now our project has become big. We have to network, sensitize as much as possible. Starting a month ago, you can find an app online that organizes accessible ski tourism in Val Camonica, from hotels to tourism in general. We have the responsibility to leave our next generation with a world more accessible for all. We start with the mountains and with winter sports”– concludes Gianfraco- “because our environment and our accessibility must be understood to 360 degrees.”

The partnership with Neveplast started with an idea from the director of the Pontedilegno Ski School, Mauro Lazzarini, who knew of the business company from Bergamo, and was searching for a way to allow even people with disabilities to ski the Passo del Tonale using the cable car.

“The accessibility of the cable car in Ponte di Legno-Tonale, thanks to Neveplast, is the first step of a project that will include the whole Lombardy region, parks and all of the facilities in the area, in designing facilities for people in wheelchairs.”- says Mauro Lazzarini who, together with his team, also organized the technical project- “This is a pilot project that we’re happy to claim but we are also eager to replicate it in other ski resorts areas.”

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the first to enter the cable car in Ponte di Legno Tonale was none other than the president of Sentieri Accessibili, Walter Martello, who demonstrated how sliding on Neveplast with the monoski makes skiing easier for him as for all the persons with disabilities. “For all of us who were a part of this project, this is an important signal of attention” thanked Walter, “To gift autonomy to those people less fortunate is the best way to help us. Through passion for skiing we find the motivational and recreational strength and making us as independent as possible through ad hoc projects like the one Neveplast developed restores our dignity”.

The Neveplast Np70 material is placed in all the strategic access points of the cable car: boarding and landing, in the middle exit on both sides and inside some cabins in a 1:10 ratio. To further facilitate accessibility, two “Chair Stations” that work as gateway between the snow and the floor were also built. Here is possible to entry with wheelchairs and monoski to easily change from one to the other autonomously.  

Central to the project is the idea to allow skiing and winter sports to be more accessible to all, with facilities used by all, a message that Neveplast shares since the start of the foundation 20 years ago.

There was great satisfaction from Neveplast at the inauguration, as heard from by Cesare Locatelli, sales manager, “We are so happy to have made possible this project” stated Locatelli- “The mission of Neveplast is to spread the word of winter sports, starting from cities, to make skiing easier and more accessible to all, from the season to the environmental conditions with particular attention on the characteristics of every skier.

Ski slopes with Neveplast material are perfect for the teaching and training of ski and snowboard for persons with disabilities. The fact that one can find Neveplast slopes close by the city center and urban areas make them easier to reach compared to ski resorts in the mountains. An added benefit for those who practice winter sports and for those with disabilities who practice winter sports who can train every day of the year instead of waiting for snow in the mountains.

Neveplast is a special plastic material that is eco-compatible, completely recyclable, doesn’t contain harmful substances towards the environment, and has been awarded a certificate of positive environmental effect. It consists of an innovative synthetic surface that allows one to slide, simulating the real conditions of the snow. 

At the inauguration, the mayor of Ponte di Legno, Ivan Faustinelli, the president of Sentieri Accessibili S.r.l. Walter Martello, the vice president of Sentieri Accessibili S.r.l. Paolo Badiini, the director of Pontedilegno Ski School, Mauro Lazzarini, the president of S.I.T., Mario Bezzi, the president of Consorzio Pontedilegno – Tonale Michele Bertolini, the president of SIAV (owner of the cable car facilities) Diego Cenini and the sales manager of Neveplast, Cesare Locatelli were all present.


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