Robbin Gibson to Succeed Joe Hurley as Executive Director of the Bart Adaptive Sports Center
Manchester, VT - July 24, 2023 — The Bart Adaptive Sports Center today announced that Robbin Gibson has been appointed Executive Director, effective September 1. Robbin joins Bart Adaptive from the Stratton Winter Sports Club, the organization that manages the mountain’s competitive alpine ski, freestyle, and snowboarding teams. She will succeed Joe Hurley, the founding Executive Director of Bart Adaptive, who is retiring this fall after 21 years of distinguished service.
Bart Adaptive provides nearly 600 lessons in year-round adaptive sports to children, adults, and veterans with disabilities at three mountains – Bromley, Stratton, and The Hermitage Club – and surrounding areas in Southern Vermont. A dedicated staff and 80 volunteers provide people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy outdoor sports, including skiing, snowboarding, cycling, golf, hiking, and martial arts.
Robbin Gibson joined Stratton in 1998 as a coach, progressing to Program Administrator and Program Manager before assuming the Program Director role in 2017. She began her career as a ski instructor at Bromley and has held a PSIA Level 3 Certification in Alpine Skiing. In her role at Stratton, Robbin has been responsible for 300 athletes, 60 staff, and the financial management of the organization. Robbin and her family reside in Jamaica, VT.
“I am sincerely grateful to the Board of Directors for entrusting me with the role of Executive Director,” Mrs. Gibson said. “I thank Joe Hurley as his visionary leadership and tireless dedication have been instrumental in shaping the organization. I am honored to carry on this mission, build upon the foundation he laid, and take the program forward with pride and determination. My vision is to expand the reach of our programs, enhance accessibility, and empower individuals with disabilities to fulfill their potential. I am eager to collaborate with the staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and broader community to develop innovative strategies, forge new partnerships, and secure the resources that will enable us to provide even more impactful services.”
Daniel Mon, President of the Bart Adaptive Board, commented on Robbin’s appointment: “Her leadership qualities, vast experience in winter sports, and passion for helping others stood out during a national search process,” Mon said. “We believe Robbin can build on Joe Hurley’s highly successful tenure as the founding Executive Director and bring our mission to even more athletes at Bromley, Stratton, and The Hermitage Club. We look forward to working with Robbin and celebrating Joe’s many accomplishments in the coming months. I would like to thank the staff, Board, volunteers, and our Advisory Board who have all been so generous with their time during this exhaustive search process.”
As Robbin moves into the world of adaptive sports and earns her certifications, Bart Adaptive will strengthen its on-snow instruction and training by retaining Augie Young as a part-time Director of Training, beginning in December.
Augie is a leading adaptive ski instructor who has served in multiple roles for PSIA, including as Alpine Examiner, Adaptive Examiner, and Head Coach of the Eastern Division’s Adaptive Educational Staff. He began his instructional career at Windham Mountain’s Adaptive Sports Foundation where he volunteered from 1993 until 2018. Augie holds PSIA Level 3 Certifications for both Alpine and Adaptive Skiing. He will help coordinate Bart Adaptive’s volunteer and staff training in addition to conducting lessons.
For more information on the Bart Adaptive Sports Center, please visit
www.bartadaptive.org or on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Bart Adaptive Sports delivers accessible recreation opportunities Author Isabel Wissner - Bennington Banner
MANCHESTER — “The only limits that people have are limits they set themselves,” says Joe Hurley, Executive Director of Bart J. Ruggerie Adaptive Sports Center.
The Sports Center provides an opportunity for children, adults and veterans with physical and cognitive disabilities to enjoy outdoor sports, including skiing, snowboarding, golf, cycling and more. The center was created in honor of Ruggerie, a ski enthusiast who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on New York City’s Twin Towers.
“A lot of times with adaptive [sports], there’s a saying that ‘If I can do this, I can do anything,” said Hurley.
“For them to be able to get on a bike and conquer three miles around, it may lead them to say, ‘Gee, if I went to work a couple times a week, I can do this because I can ride a bike. I can do this.”
The father and daughter duo — Betsy Hurley who was born and raised in Bennington, is an administrative assistant at the program — who lead the program arrive at Dana Thompson Park in the morning with a trailer filled with a variety of adaptive, hand and foot-powered cycles.
Kieran, a participant in the program, began attending the Adaptive Sports program seven years ago.
“When he started, he was riding back and forth in the parking lot,” said Joe Hurley. These days, he can do two entire laps around the Dana Thompson Park on a TerraTrike. With the help of volunteers, Kieran has also been able to participate in standup skiing, as well.
“One of our largest challenges is making sure we can get enough volunteers,” said Betsy Hurley.
Volunteers are a vital part of the program – the program currently has about 75 volunteers who are critical in providing supervision, lessons, and support to participants.
Another participant on Tuesday morning, Lydia, biked around on a standup mountain bicycle, with volunteer Hope following closely behind, both seeming to enjoy the silence and sunny morning at the park.
Participants come to the program for a variety of reasons, including for fun, strength-building, confidence and community.
“For some, it’s about the camaraderie of seeing the same people every week and seeing peers,” said Betsy Hurley.
“Some of them stay connected,” added Joe Hurley.
The Bart Adaptive Sports Center was born when Ruggerie’s family approached Joe Hurley about starting a program for people with disabilities to learn to ski at Bromley Mountain.
“His family wanted to make it so that people with disabilities had the same opportunity to ski, like Bart did at Bromley, after they saw me sitting inside waiting for my dad to finish up another lesson he was teaching,” said Betsy Hurley.
She has competed in many sports, including Alpine Skiing in The World Games in 2000 in Anchorage, Alaska, winning a bronze medal for the USA. She was inducted into the New England Wheelchair Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Bart Adaptive Sports Center’s current Summer Program meets on Tuesdays in Manchester and Thursday in Bennington from 10 a.m. to noon.
The 13th Annual No Limits Golf Tournament is Sept. 19 at the Stratton Mountain Golf Course.
For more information visit their website www.bartadaptive.org or reach out via email email@example.com.
Adaptive sports enter creating new opportunities
PERU — “I think sports heals a lot of things,” said Bart J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center executive director Joe Hurley.
The sports center based on Bromley Mountain focuses on providing people with cognitive and physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in sports.
Individuals who never thought it would be possible to play sports are given the opportunity to do so through Bart Adaptive Sports Center.
“What it does is increase the opportunity for them to be able to do things that they never thought they could do,” Hurley said.
Those sports include snowboarding and skiing during the winter. Last year, the program was able to offer more than 500 adaptive ski and snowboarding lessons to those with disabilities.