Ridderrennet 2014

2018-10-16T09:33:45+01:00April 7th, 2014|

In the early morning of Sunday, March 30th,  2 student participants, 6 student volunteers  and 2 staff members departed from the College to Beitostølen, where the 51st Ridderrennet was to take place. Ridderrennet is an annual event allowing people with different disabilities to compete in winter sports, primarily cross-country skiing, regardless of their age, gender, country of origin, or physical fitness level. Here is a report from one of the students, Ismar Šabanović:

In the restaurant We were all very excited, and after a 6-hour drive, we arrived at our destination. The scenery was just amazing – snow, snow, and even more snow everywhere around us. A true winter wonderland. Our duties in the restaurant were mostly focused on helping anyone in need with getting their food, drinks, or just simply guiding people in and out of the restaurant. At first, it felt quite awkward for a bunch of newcomers to jump into the midst of the well-trained crew who were employed at the restaurant, but we quickly adjusted and found the work really enjoyable. The fun didn’t stop there – although we were quite busy helping out in the restaurant and preparing a small show for everyone, there was also plenty of free time to enjoy the sun and the snow. Cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding – we managed to try it all! During our time out on the snow, we saw many of the people we helped in the restaurant training for their races and it is really difficult to find words to describe how amazed we all were to see what the participants were capable of.

Now, reflecting back on what the competition participants from RCN achieved, I feel more and more proud of the fact that I study at the same place as them. Having been an alpine skier myself for about 10 years, it was just breath-taking seeing Yeison, a Columbian 1st year, trying alpine skiing for the first time and making amazing progress in only 2 days; seeing Jianjun, from China, going from his first time on skis to being a Ridderrennet racer and biathlon race bronze medalist. It was absolutely amazing.

Yeison. Master of the slopes!I believe I speak for all of us, participants and volunteers, in saying that none of us actually had any idea of how rewarding and fulfilling this experience would be.

As the organisers say, Ridderrennet makes the impossible possible! It is definitely one of those special weeks that will have a safe place in our UWC RCN memories.

Outdoor activity for all

2018-10-16T09:34:00+01:00September 2nd, 2013|

A weekend of outdoor life and activities for all, regardless of disability, on Erling Stordahl’s farm. “Fun and inspiring!” says Lakpa Lama, one of eleven RCN students who took part in the very first Ridderdagene (The Days of the Knights).

We all wander in the darkness. Some because they don’t see with their eyes, some because they don’t see with their thoughts. Most of us because we don’t see each other…

Erling Stordahl gradually lost his sight, and became fully blind at the age of 13, but proved to himself and to the world that people with disabilities can have a rich life and do great things in spite of – and sometimes even thanks to – At the farm their handicap. He said that “Life is what your thoughts make it into.” and “We all wander in the darkness. Some because they don’t see with their eyes, some because they don’t see with the thoughts. Most of us because we don’t see each other”.

RCN students have regularly attended ‘Ridderrennet’, the winter sports event that Stordahl initiated 50 years ago at Beitostølen, where people from all over the world, with different abilities, come to compete with each other and challenge their own, and others’ expectations. This year Ridderdagene was organized for the first time at Stordahl’s farm in Sarpsborg, South of Oslo. Ridderdagene is a bicycle race, but also a chance for people to meet over a weekend, and try out many outdoor activities. Anyone can try the activities and learn about how we can include all people in different kinds of situations.

Edwin Gonzalez and Yeison Santos from RCN participated in the race and came in as number 9 and 13 out of 17 participants in the 24.8 km long race (the short race was 3 km): very impressive results when you know that Edwin doesn’t have hands and has limited sight, and that Yeison has a foot prosthesis! All participants had “buddies”, who cycled along with them, either on a single or a tandem bike. Edwin and Yeison cycled with Nghiem Huynh and Modi Elisa.

So what did the other students and Fk volunteer Andrew Mkumbi do? They pushed participants up a hill during the race; they helped setting up the arena and the tents; they instructed people in activities; interacted and helped people that came to the farm during the weekend and got to know a team of very helpful scouts, who gave us a tent and food during the stay.

The accommodation was very simple – there were no 5-star hotels at the farm! – but, when the night came, the RCN delegation discovered that they were staying in a million-star hotel, and were in the good company of fine, kind and very inspiring people.

Our thanks go to all those who made it possible for us to attend this event – hopefully we’ll be able to do it again next year!