By Daniel Etchells

Disabled Sports USA will host the 27th edition of The Hartford Ski Spectacular ©Disabled Sports USAThe 27th edition of The Hartford Ski Spectacular, the United States' largest winter sports festival for individuals with physical disabilities, is set to welcome over 800 skiers to the Beaver Run and Breckenridge ski resorts next month.

Hosted by the Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), a national charitable organisation that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to "develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in sports", the week-long event from December 1 to 7 will feature participants from 42 states and four countries.

These will range in ability from first-time skiers to members of the US Paralympics Alpine skiing team.

Also attending will be survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, established athletes, young Paralympic hopefuls and wounded military from Great Britain.

Sponsors The Hartford, a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds, are a founding partner of US Paralympics.

The event's presenting sponsor is the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides grant funding to organisations to increase, expand and enhance the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities available for disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces.

"Learn to" programmes in Alpine and Nordic skiing, biathlon, sled hockey, wheelchair curling and snowboarding will be offered at the event.

The ski instructor academy, endorsed by Professional Ski Instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors, will offer training for instructors in the latest and safest adaptive ski and snowboard techniques for skiers with disabilities.

The Hartford Ski Spectacular will feature members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine skiing team ©Getty ImagesThe Hartford Ski Spectacular will feature members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine skiing team ©Getty Images

"We are again thrilled to partner with The Hartford with the support of US Department of Veterans Affairs and other generous supporters to offer this premier event and kick off the winter season," said Kirk Bauer, Executive Director of DSUSA.

"The Hartford Ski Spectacular is an ideal event for individuals with disabilities to get world-class instruction in skiing and snowboarding."

The Hartford Ski Spectacular also strengthens and expands adaptive snow sports programmes in communities throughout the US through training and education programmes for staff and volunteers at DSUSA chapters.

"The Hartford is proud to sponsor this life-changing programme that has launched the athletic careers of US Paralympic champions and supported wounded warriors," added Mike Concannon, executive vice-president of The Hartford's group benefits business.

"We are inspired by The Hartford Ski Spectacular participants who demonstrate courage, strength and determination as they achieve success."

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