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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Children learn from blinded skier
Kevin Alderton skiing with his group
Kevin Alderton can see shapes if he stays close to the group
A former soldier who lost his sight when he was attacked, yet went on to set a speed skiing record of 100.94mph, has qualified as a ski instructor.

Kevin Alderton spent his first day with children from two Kent schools teaching them to ski, and telling them how he was blinded and how he coped.

He said the aim was to deliver "a powerful motivational message".

Mr Alderton had his eyes gouged when he tried to stop a gang attacking a woman. He was left with 4% vision.

During the training session at Chatham Dry Ski Slope, he said: "I saw an opportunity in June to take the course, and decided I had the technical ability and determination to get through."

120mph record hope

The Dartford man said: "Obviously they've got to ski within their abilities and I'm not going to let them ski outside their abilities, so it works for all of us."

He said he could see "shapes and shadows" as long as he kept close to the group, and could see what they were doing.

Mr Alderton was punched and kicked to the ground by about 30 men during the attack in London.

Afterwards he had nine operations in seven months to repair his detached retinas, dislodged lenses and a split cornea, but his sight as he had known it had gone.

He had always been a keen skier and was helped back into the sport by the St Dunstan's charity, which works with blinded ex-servicemen and women.

And when Kevin "Cannonball" Alderton went on to set his record at Les Arcs in France, he was guided on the slope via radio speakers in his helmet.

He has now told BBC South East he plans to try to improve on his downhill speed skiing record this winter - with a target of 120mph.


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