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THE ANNUAL PUBLICATION OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOLS SNOWSPORTS ASSOCIATION Welcome to this edition of Schools Snowsports magazine. We hope you’ll find plenty of articles of interest in this edition, from schools alpine events to article on fitness and also news from schools snowsports. It’s been a busy year for the NSSA with the inception of the National Schools Squad last season which is growing for this year with a number of training events and selection for the International schools open champs (see pages 48 and 49) running at Easter. It’s great to be involved in, what for many of these children, is a first experience as part of a national squad. At the NSSA we continually work toward adding value to schools membership of the organisation with deals and member offers from retailers to access to specific gap courses, race insurance and currency cards (full details on Pages 6 and 7) A benefit of the membership is 3rd party insurance for UK events through Snowsport England. This insurance is especially welcome to many schools who, without it, cannot take part in the National Schools Races. It removes any uncertainty for many schools and gives peace of mind to teachers and school team organisers.

NSSA squad and training, how we select and the plans for the squad. There are articles from some of the sports national governing bodies on initatives such as the Futures Project, Items on fitness from one of our gap partners at Diamonds Training Centre and instructor courses with IASI. We’ve pinned down an ex trainee who is now an Easyjet pilot to write an article on how ‘failure’ can be used to learn from and create success further down the line. Amongst all the upbeat article and information there is also a sombre note regarding the tragic circumstances around GB park and pipe team member Ellie Soutter and the fund set up by her father to help other athletes. In amongst all of this is information on insurance, currency cards and other offers from NSSA Partners. I hope you enjoy this edition and would welcome any feedback or, if you would be interested in contributing to the next edition, please contact us on office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk Phil Brown Chair of the NSSA

Amongst the articles in this edition of the magazine, you’ll find information on the



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THE ELLIE SOUTTER FOUNDATION British snowboarder Ellie Soutter took her own life after missing a flight to British ski and snowboard training, her father believes. The snowboarder died on her 18th birthday in July 2018 with her body found in a remote woodland near her French home. Her father, Tony, has since spoken out about the pressures on young athletes so early in their careers and revealed Ellie’s history of mental health issues and stresses of elite sports competition may have been a factor in her decision to take her own. He added that the missed flight to meet up with the squad, meaning she could not train, could have acted as a trigger for her suicide. “Ellie wanted to be the best and not let anybody down,” he said speaking to BBC South East. “Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad. “She felt she’d let them down, felt she’d let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there’s

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a lot of pressure on children.” He also called for action to help other young athletes, who could be silently struggling with the same problems his daughter was as she faced the pressures of elite competition. “Mental health awareness needs to be really looked at and made more public. I have lost my best friend, my total buddy. She was my rock.” Her family have set up a foundation in her name to help young winter sports athletes needing financial support. Ellie Soutter was one of the most progressive Junior Female Snowboard Athletes of Great Britain. Ellie became Vice champion of the world in the Junior Freeride World Tour in 2017. She was winner of a Bronze medal for Team GB at the 2017 European Youth Olympics and was tipped to be one of GBs strongest contenders for the 2022 winter Olympics amongst other numerous podium finishes throughout Europe and the southern hemisphere. As a junior athlete coming from a family without substantial wealth, Ellie often had to miss out on competing and

training through lack of funds. She felt and understood the constant pressure to obtain the necessary funds for her training and events. A full season of required training to maintain this level of competition was in excess of £30,000 annually. At this time, as a Junior GB athlete, there is minimal or no funding for travel or accommodation and athletes have to pay a subscription for coaching. We have decided to form The Ellie Soutter Foundation in her memory to help and assist other young winter athletes in similar circumstances. If you would like to check out more info about Ellie’s past achievements (results, photos, etc) see the links below: Website: http://www.elliesoutter.com FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ EllieSoutterSnowboarder/ Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/elsoutter/ Thank you for your time and we hope you will support the fund in helping other young winter athletes.

THE NATIONAL SCHOOLS SNOWSPORTS ASSOCIATION The NSSA is an organisation set up for schools, Colleges and Universities and is aimed to be an information hub for snowsports for these organisations. We offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for schools etc. interested in snowsports activities or wanting to get involved in competitions from novice level upwards. We’ve recently been developing the partnerships and offers available to NSSA member organisations to add value to the membership. Amongst other things, we have offers and deals from retailers, brands, insurance companies and currency exchange partners. This list of all current partners and deals can be found at the end of this article and also on our website, www.schoolssnowsports.co.uk. In the longer term, The NSSA will look to work with more organisations within the British snowsports arena along with more schools, colleges and universities and will work to introduce training grants,

bursaries and funded instructor courses etc. for both individual performers and schools teams or squads. We are affiliated to Snowsport England. There are already several organisations affiliated with the NSSA to deliver training and run events for school ski teams and also for schools interested in freestyle events, something newer for schools to take part in. The NSSA endorse numerous events through the year, both UK and alpinebased, and pass details of these events to member schools with recommendations of training and race support for these events. The association are more than happy to work with all educational organisations and to answer any questions on schools’ snowsports from both member and non-member schools. The board of the association comprises of a number of highly experienced individuals from the wider UK snowsports arena, with UK snowsports and school competition expertise, including coaches, teachers and active members of the UK travel industry. The Chair of the NSSA is Phil Brown, a former national team head coach who helped form the NSSA after working with a number of schools and realizing that nothing like this existed. He says ‘There was no clear entry point or pathway for schools snowsports athletes. What the NSSA aims to do is change this, making us a ‘one stop shop’ for schools snowsports and working with existing bodies such as SSE and the regions to bring about this change, making it easier and clearer for schools and individuals to find their way into and through the sport at school level’. For further information or membership enquiries, please contact the NSSA at office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

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NATIONAL SCHOOLS SNOWSPORTS ASSOCIATION SQUAD Last season, the NSSA ran a pilot National schools squad programme. Members were invited to training events and camps and receive squad kit. Moving forward, this school year sees this squad develop with numerous camps to Landgraaf and the alps for the selected squad members to choose from. Selection for invitation to the squad is simple and transparent. Those who win medals at the named UK indoor events have been selected. These are the ISA National Champs, The National Schools Indoor Open Champs and the BISS National Indoor Champs. This means that it’s very clear how a racer can be selected for this prestigious squad with no ‘behind closed doors’ selection meetings.

JOINING THE NSSA AND THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP The NSSA has set up membership with benefits for the pupils attending the member school. Schools Membership, Full – at the time of printing, the deals and offers available to schools are listed below.

Training events include trips to Landgraaf as well as trips to Pila in Italy during the season. All those selected will be sent an invitation asking if they wish to take up their place on the squad with those accepting being considered for places at the International Schools Open Champs at Easter 2019. If you have any questions on the squad and selection, please contact us on office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

Ski Bartlett - Retail Partner - 10% off retail Ski Racing Supplies - Retail Partner - various % off retail Head Skis UK - Brand Partner - 20% off retail (must be bought through Ski Bartlett) FairFX - FX partner - Free currency card and great rates Summit Goggles - Brand Partner - 15% off retail Solutions 4 Feet - 10% off MPI Brokers - Insurance Partner - Specific insurance packages WellSnowsports - Retail Partner - 10% off retail Briko - Brand Partner - 15% off retail from Wellsnowsports Croc Skis - Brand Partner - 15% off retail from Wellsnowsports Skiers Edge - Equipment partner - 15% off retail Bag Solo - Luggage partner - 15% off retail Snow and Rock - Retail Partner- 15% off in store and online Cotswold Outdoor - Retail Partner - Retail Partner – 15% off in store and online Discounts with Ski Racing Supplies Discounted instructor courses with Ski Definition and IASI In addition to all of the above, third Party Liability insurance for the schools ski team members for UK events and schools membership of Snowsport England. For further information on membership, please contact us on office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

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BURGESS HILLGIRLS Impulse Racing have been coaching my school team, Burgess Hill Girls, and I for 2 years now. When we started, we were a team with no racing experience but with the coaches encouraging, constructive feedback, and expert techniques, we soon began to get to grips with this technically challenging and competitive mountain sport. Thanks to these coaches, we have achieved numerous placings in various competitions over the last 2 years. Last season, my team and I travelled up to Landgraaf indoor ski centre, in Holland, for a second time, with the Impulse team. After our long journey on Wednesday, we were ready to start our training on Thursday morning, starting early to make the most of our sessions and to have a quiet piste. Over our stay of two days, we trained for 16 hours with the coaches, doing both technical training and gate training. In our technical training sessions, separated into two groups, we did some useful yet challenging drills. One of the drills we practiced was the superman drill, which is done without poles. To complete this we had to push our inside hand onto our hips, and point our outside hand down the slope (so we kept our upper body facing down the hill and were slightly pitched forward rather than leant back), creating the upper and lower

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body seperation. At the same time this encouraged us to naturally roll our skis onto our edges. These are both vital but also difficult techniques when it comes to racing, so it took a lot of time and regular critiquing from the coaches. After a few demonstrations and explanations from the coaches, we first practiced this drill using GS turns, as it was easier, and then moved on to slalom turns, ready for the course. As a fairly new team, working on our racing techniques using drills, before skiing in gates, is really effective, as we are introduced to how our skis should feel, and what we should be doing in order to create that feel. The coaches understand that it is difficult, and always motivate us and give us confidence to improve. In our gate training sessions, we carried over our practice on drills, to the course. As a team, I think we have improved the most because of this. I say this because as a new team, especially our less experienced members, skiing with gates can be quite daunting, and naturally, it can be difficult to understand what our skis should be doing and what our body position should be. But using the drills on the course, which we had practiced before, allowed us to focus on the feel of the skis, and the techniques we should be using to complete the course successfully. The coaches were constantly critiquing us and offering new tips for each individual

They would occasionally ask us to try the course without the drill, but then if we struggled, put the drill back in, in order to restore confidence for some and consolidate the way it should feel for us. During some of our technical and gate training sessions, the coaches would film us, so that they could analyse our skiing more closely, and so that we could do a self assessment with their guidance. This form of feedback is really useful as it allowed us to see what we were doing well. Along with their guidance and instruction, it encouraged us to understand our own style and what each of us needed to do in order to improve. The coaches always worked together with us and were interested to hear our own feedback and what we felt was effective. In conclusion, the days we spent at Landgraaf with Impulse were so beneficial for the team, not just technically but also in the confidence of each skier. The coaches were always encouraging, and approached the sessions in a positive way, and getting the best results from each us. I look forward to the upcoming competitive season of training with them! Lucy Page Captain of Burgess Hill Girls Ski team


Many of us encourage young people to participate in sport because of the positive qualities we believe it fosters. The ability to work as a team, have respect for others, grit and determination are all admirable and desirable qualities in an individual. We believe these attributes begin to form what we call character, and this has become a factor which is now often described as highly desirable in elite sport. Most recently we have seen a new and young England football team described at length by their character; what struck me was the apparent fondness and respect they have for each other as people, and as players, plus their ability to maintain composure as well as their willingness to play freely showing the sheer pleasure they have for their sport. This undoubtedly has been led by Gareth Southgate and the sport psychologist Pippa Grange and it was inspiring to see how these young men had discovered what they as individuals could bring to their team, yet where no single individual viewed themselves as having greater importance than another, or the team. Understanding the positive qualities and strengths associated with one’s

character can be transformational and can also contribute hugely to athletic performance. Taking the time to consider your strengths is useful; what ways are you able to think, feel and behave in a way that allows you to perform optimally? These qualities in an individual’s character can be perceived to be as valuable as technical skill but arguably these strengths can allow a person to extend beyond merely the ability to cope with the challenges of high-performance sport which can be critical to survival in the environment. Elite sport can have a detrimental impact on athletes’ well-being by promoting a focus solely on the sport which can encourage a narrow identity and the sheer competitiveness can be anxiety inducing. However, research suggests clear positive relationships exist between using one’s character strengths and well-being, thus knowing one’s strengths and being able to utilise them could lead to an improved sense of well-being and potentially performance. Furthermore, I encourage athletes to understand their character strengths to maximise their potential ahead

of entering the world of work after sport. This can be an additional tool in the career coaching process which allows an individual to better identify which career they may wish to pursue; specifically, what types of work and environment would be of interest. Along with assessing one’s values it can help the right choices to be made and subsequently a more fulfilling and enjoyable work life. Identifying strengths can be done through a variety of strengths-based profiles but also through good conversations with a person that knows you well. I would encourage everyone to think about their strengths, assess whether they are used in work, family life and every day interactions and experiment how using them can enhance experiences. Most importantly taking the time to reflect on how they can be optimised could lead to some realisations around how to enhance your own well-being. Dr. Arabella Ashfield BSc, PhD | Senior Performance Lifestyle Advisor British Cycling & PL Research Lead, English Institute of Sport

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FOR YEARS THE ATHLETES FROM THE GB PARK & PIPE SKI & SNOWBOARD TEAM HAVE TRAVELLED ACROSS THE WORLD TO TRAIN IN PURPOSE-BUILT FACILITIES, SUCH AS CAMP WOODWARD IN THE USA AND FREESTYLE ACADEMY IN LAAX, BUT NOW THEY ARE SET TO GET THEIR OWN, AS GRAYSTONE WILL OPEN THEIR FLAGSHIP ACTION SPORTS ACADEMY IN MANCHESTER IN DECEMBER. Graystone founder, Kevin Gray, is well known throughout UK school snowsports as the manager of outstanding club hotels in the French resort of Les Menuires for the last 20 years. The Gray family and team have helped tens of thousands of people make progress in their skiing and snowboarding and they have built an enormous network of partners and friends within UK schools. These partners return year after year and testify to the quality of experience, catering and care that are delivered at L’hotel Skilt. There is a unique history and family perspective on snowsports, which has fuelled Kevin’s drive to build the radical Graystone facility in Manchester. This all started back in the 80s as a competitor on the dry slope ski racing circuit. Kev’s wife Sue, a snowboarder has always preferred freeriding to the competitive side of the sport, however it’s the Gray children who now train and perform on the global stage as juniors. Kev has supported his snowboarding son through his education as French national team member and his daughter to British Championship ski success. He has seen first-hand the quality of coaching and facilities that are available in Europe and around the world and he has also become aware that these facilities are missing in the UK. It was during a trip to the Woodward training centre in Pennsylvania that the Graystone Action Sports Academy idea was born. Graystone Action Sports Academy is a 35,000 sq ft facility which will include

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a skate plaza and bowl, trampolines, ramps, foam pits, sprung floor area, halfpipe, parkour terrain, digital media studios, classroom, dance studio, climbing wall and eatery/bar. The arena will house the UK’s only ‘Big Air to Foam/ Resi’ for riders to practice their big air tricks into a huge 50ft foam pit. There will also be spaces for Ninja Warrior, cheer, dance, videography, photography and music recording. The Academy will be the perfect facility for action sports enthusiasts with coaching, training and space to express themselves in a range of sports including skateboard, BMX, parkour, scooter and climbing and of particular interest to us here at Schools Snowsports Magazine, freeski and snowboarding using skis and snowboards on wheels, which allows riders to practice and learn new tricks year-round. Facilities like this have been popping up across the globe in recent years, meaning elite level British athletes have needed to venture abroad to hone their skill, but the opening of Graystone now means British riders can use world-class facilities on home soil. The Academy will be open to everyone, whether they are beginning an action sports journey or they are a sponsored athlete looking to push things to the next level. An academy like this has been highly sought after by a number of the sport’s governing bodies as well as by elite athletes. Olympic bronze medals from GB Park and Pipe athletes Billy Morgan

and Izzy Atkin at the 2018 Olympics and Jenny Jones at Sochi 2014 means freestyle skiing and snowboarding are truly alive and kicking in the UK. Ambitions for more medals at Beijing 2022 means Graystone will be pivotal in nurturing the next generation through GB Park and Pipe’s innovative grassroots pathway programme, Futures Project (for more info turn to page 40 who will be using the facility as a key part of their off-snow development programme). In the wake of his medal success in Pyeongchang, Billy Morgan has been clear about the future for UK action sports, “it all comes down to facilities... and we need more if we want to push the sport further”. The 35,000 sq ft indoor arena isn’t just for the cream of the crop however, and will be open to people of all ages, from beginner to professional, and will use the very best facilities and unique training methods to accelerate progression levels for individuals in the action sports they love. Anyone will be able to use the facility on a Pay & Play basis, and there will also be day camps during school holidays and after school clubs. They’ll welcome visitors from Manchester’s four universities, 800 primary schools and 275 secondary schools and engage with sports clubs and organisations


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throughout the UK to offer them cutting edge facilities and to work with the Greater Manchester community to inspire local young people into action sports. The Manchester-based outfit have also set up the Graystone Foundation in collaboration with STANCE where they’ll be opening doors for young people who have previously been shut out of action sports. Schools Snowsports Magazine spoke with Graystone co-founder Ben Livingstone, who says action sports should be available to all young people who wish to practice them, but barriers to entry unfortunately mean they’re not: “These barriers include lack of equipment, money, confidence and safe spaces. The Graystone Foundation will provide kit, coaching and facilities to young people while promoting their enjoyment of action sports and all the associated benefits of physical and mental well-being.” Ben also says another role of the Foundation will be to identify youngsters from this programme and enable their progression through a scholarship, which will include the full benefits of free access, coaching, world-class training facilities and performance pathways.

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Action sports are filtering into the mainstream and Tokyo 2020 will see skateboarding, freestyle BMX, sport climbing and surfing all make their Olympic debuts. Snowboarding and freeski are already firmly established in the Winter Olympics and the recent addition of Ski Big Air to the 2022 Beijing Games further highlights the need for facilities such as Graystone if Team GB is to fulfil its goal of ranking in the top

five medal-winning nations by the 2030 Winter Olympics. Graystone Action Sports Academy will be an elite training facility for GB Park & Pipe and will support the progression of the technical performance of our Olympic athletes and maximise opportunities for talent spotting and cross-pollination between culturally harmonious sports.

MERCHANT TAYLORS’ SCHOOL FLEDGLING SKI PROGRAMME I got into ski racing whilst I was at Southampton University Officer Training Corps, it was fantastic opportunity to improve my skiing, building on my technique, control and precision. So, When joining Hurst College back in 2013 as part of the Outdoor Education Team, I was delighted to find that the school had a ski race team. We entered into both the indoor day events held at Hemel Hempstead as well as the ISSSC event in Les Deux Alpes before Christmas each year. Having the opportunity to take our students to these great events for the consecutive 4 years, I saw the huge benefits it offered the students. They became more confident each day/ year with some going on to choose it as a GCSE/A level option as part of PE. In April 2017 I was offered a job at Merchant Taylors’ School to start the Outdoor Education department alongside one of my Colleagues, Jason Firestone. I was upset at the thought of not being involved with ski racing, but how wrong I was! When discussing ski racing with one of my colleagues, Kev Sharrock (ex-Army Racer) and Jason, we decided to ask

the school if we could set up a ski race team. After some nail biting on our part, fortunately, this was approved and we quickly learnt how popular this was with the students (and jealous parents!), with over 100 students signing up and coming to our first presentation. We then spoke to the year 7/8s at MTS prep and they were delighted to be included.

the MTS Boys and we look forward to working with them in the years to come. Rosie Caulfield Assistant Head of Outdoors Education – Merchant Taylors’ School

Since then we have worked closely with BISS Racing and they have provided several full days of training for 60 boys. These days were highly successful, with all the boys showing great improvement under the tutelage of the expert coaches. We entered 3 teams into the ISA National indoor Championships at Hemel back in April 2018, where, despite the team having never competed before, we came away with some good results and getting 3rd in under 21s. Next year we will be running a school ski club on Thursday afternoons with the BISS team to help prepare our development squad for future events. We are very lucky to have the BISS team close by and able to provide training for

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PROUDLY WORKING TOGETHER TO TURN YOUNG LIVES AROUND Since 2003, snowsports youth charity Snow-Camp have supported over 9500 inner-city young people through their innovative snowsports-based youth programmes. Now a nationally-recognised charity with programmes running in London, Scotland, the North West, the Midlands, Bristol & Cardiff, it’s now the charities vision to change the lives of thousands more young people with snowsports in these regions over the coming years, with BISS Racing behind them every step of the way! We asked Dan Keeley – Snowsports Community Manager – to tell us more about Snow-Camp’s #Switch180 Campaign and how the BISS community can play their part to help turn young lives around. WHAT’S THE #SWITCH180 CAMPAIGN ABOUT? Giving young people positive opportunities can turn their lives around. Snow-Camp’s #Switch180 campaign aims to highlight the critical importance of supporting our young people at this key time in their lives and shows that we must do more as a society to provide the right opportunities for young people today, through SnowCamp’s programmes or otherwise.

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In many ways the #Switch180 campaign marks the start of the next big chapter for Snow-Camp as we grow the impact of our programmes in the regions we’re now operating whilst bringing as many of our supporters as possible along for the journey. WHY FOCUS ON THIS ISSUE? We conducted our own research in partnership with YouGov in December 2017 which showed that 71% of young people feel they need more support from society to help them to achieve their potential. 76% of young people believe that the lack of positive opportunities puts young people at an increased risk of falling into crime and

antisocial behaviour. And that’s where we come in. Positive opportunities such as SnowCamp can motivate and inspire young people to achieve their potential, reducing the risk of falling into crime and antisocial behaviour and inspiring them towards rewarding and successful futures. The statistics make it all too clear why our work is needed and we how our partners such as BISS play such an important role in helping us deliver our vision. HOW BISS ARE PLAYING THEIR PART Our partnership with BISS has been evolving year-on-year and it’s in 2018/19

With every £100 paying for one new inner-city young people to benefit from our beginner programmes, you really will be helping to turn young lives around.

that we’re taking things to a new level, working even closer with the team to get our young people involved BISS events plus developing new initiatives that will have an even bigger impact on those we support, be that through joint fundraising initiatives or raising awareness about each other’s work. We couldn’t be prouder to work closely with such a passionate team who believe in our work and the power of snowsports to changes lives. HOW THE BISS COMMUNITY CAN PLAY THEIR PART. We would love to hear from any teacher, parent or pupil would like to fundraise towards our work, either individually, as a team or as an entire school group.

Over the past 5 years, we’ve had several amazing school ski groups collectively raising fund for Snow-Camp during their winter trips – our favourite being a group of 65 pupils who took on the challenge of skiing continuous loops of a dedicated ski slope one afternoon entirely in fancy dress. In this particular case there were 65 pupils rocking their onesies on the snow! With one dedicated fundraising page set-up by Snow-Camp, the pupils, teachers, parents and family members really got behind the campaign and collectively raised over £850 towards our work. Just incredible and a great example of ‘putting the fun in to fundraising’. So whether it’s a fancy dress school ski run, an individual or a team challenge, we would love to hear from you, with all funds raised helping to turn more young lives around with snowsports.

To get involved, please contact Dan Keeley directly by emailing dan.k@ snow-camp.org.uk or by calling 01273 241383 or 07803 876455. Thank you. To find out more about Snow-Camp and the #Switch180 Campaign, visit www.snow-camp.org.uk/switch180

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SUMMER TRAINING USING MULTISPORTS AS A TRAINING TOOL Skiing is a fabulous sport , activity and hobby all at the same time. Ask any ski instructor what they do on their day off and you can guess that the answer is; “ski”. But when training starts the fun does not need to stop. Certainly, when training becomes year-round and the planning long-term. The classic idea is that children need to be on the glacier or, even, making the long trip to the southern hemisphere during their summer holidays, with some sessions in the gym and specific exercises when back home. But is this really what creates a champion? Skiing, and only skiing? In a recent interview with Marcel Hircher he stated: “I think there is too much stress and focus on that [Summer skiing]; you don’t become champion at 12 years old and in any case not just by skiing extensively on the glacier during the summer; which I never really enjoyed anyway. Yes, it’s true [I won a lot as a child] but it was by practicing all-round sports, not just by focusing on skiing, at least until a certain age.” Spending time training doesn’t necessarily means practicing a single, specific movement. Skills can be transferred across (with correct training

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and time) from one sport to another, and one sport can develop a skill as well as, if not better, than could be developed in the discipline where it is needed. You will hear sports being referred to as ‘early specialisation’ and ‘late specialisation’ which determines when athletes should be focusing on one sport only to reach the elite levels. Very few sports are truly early specialisation, gymnastics being one, due to the physical factors and peak performance ages, which is 16 for an elite female gymnast. Skiers peak much later, generally in their twenties and therefore are late-specialisation. So don’t cut out other sports! Where coaching become decisive and where the good coaches distinguish themselves from the average ones is being able to plan ahead of your athlete’s mind and working today to pick up results tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and beyond, without burning your athlete out because “glory can’t wait”. This where a good coach will look at the summer, at the athlete, their likes, other interests, hobbies and come up with a summer training plan. We’ve highlighted just a few but the options are endless. SPORTS FOR SKIING – RUNNING AND CYCLING Running and cycling are probably the most common ways for people to train for skiing. It’s worth mentioning that many coaches in a lot of sports have abandoned long steady pace sessions. Instead, interval training (IT) has become the method of reference to build a better endurance. Short periods of high intensity followed by periods of active recovery have been found to be more

efficient in cardiovascular improvements than prolonged, steady paced efforts. Getting out on a bike means the terrain already alters the training by itself, but a workout can be easily constructed whilst the athlete is enjoying the environment. The 400 meters in athletics is possibly the closest match to skiing in terms of the energy system required. The “queen of disciplines” requires activation of all 3 energy systems (anaerobic lactacid and alactacid + aerobic). One way to get some training in the summer could be just by joining the local athletics team! After a few training sessions and a mock circuit race you will realise why it’s called “the death lap”… SPORTS FOR SKIING – HOCKEY Field hockey is a team sport requiring quick reactions, continual sprints and the ability to read the game and make decisions. Can it help a skier? Consider the common body posture for playing field hockey; low crouched position, hands in front of the body holding the stick, head up and body weight going forwards. Sound familiar? As hockey is a fast paced game, with players running approximately 6070% of the game at sprint pace, in a 70min game a lot of sprints are packed into a fairly long time frame. This is advantageous to skiers as all three energy systems are being used in a game and being trained at the same time; ATP-PC (anaerobic a-latic), glycotic (latic acid) and oxidative (aerobic). Perfect as all three are also used in the typical ski training day too, but much more fun playing a game than treadmill running drills. Leg strength is vital to a skier but endless reps in the gym can be dull.

The quadriceps to hamstring strength ratio in hockey players is roughly equal due to the crouched playing position. In skiing having a good level of strength in both sets of muscles allows to maintain body position with ease and react to the turn phase and terrain. Another way hockey can help skiers is “Heads Up”. Skiers have an obsession with looking at their feet to see what they are up to, especially when new skills are being worked on, but we need to develop awareness and proprioception in order to be capable of moving and understanding where our body is whilst observing the changing environment in front of us and react to it. SPORTS FOR SKIING – GYMNASTICS Simply look at any pro-skier’s social media and you will see videos of gymnastic-type assault courses. Our coach Caroline George was a competitive gymnast as a child and firmly believes it sets anyone up for a lifetime in any sport. It is a very disciplined sport requiring high levels of body control, strength and dynamic power. It is the strength, flexibility and body control elements that are the most applicable to improving skiing. It is also brilliant fun. The different planes that the body moves through during many gymnastic moves means gymnasts develop high levels of proprioception; the understanding of the body in time

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and space. Skiers need to develop an awareness of the body before they can start using proprioception to influence their skiing so spending time in different planes and in movements will allow them to train this particular skill. Consider what regular feedback a skier is getting. If it involves altering the position of a body part, then training your proprioception in the summer will have huge benefits on your ability to change that movement whilst skiing. Balance is generally trained alongside core strength. The core is the most vital part of balance and without it many people just can’t hold a position or recover from a fault. Training this through gymnastics is fun, challenging and has endless variations. SPORTS FOR SKIING – MOTORSPORTS For older teenagers and adults, can motorsports for skiing make sense? An alternative and effective way to train those elusive skills of attitude to speed, your reflexes and line awareness. And some body management awareness too! Our Head Coach Federico Sollini has worked with professional riders. There were two aspects of the training program

that he picked out as curiosity for skiers: neck training and attitude to speed. Competing inside a car, strapped to a seat and cornering at high speed, motorsport drivers have a unique requirement for very specific neck training. Skiing of course requires a strong neck as well, to resist impacts and protect all the important joints it carries around. What is important to take away from this aspect of motorsport is: check the correct posture of the neck and the shoulders. The other was attitude to speed. Training this skill is difficult to explain in detail, as it greatly depends on the athlete and the athlete-coach relationship, however, the general guideline would be to follow a soft learning curve. Risk and speed, although belonging to the “extreme world”, are better trained in smaller steps, not in large overwhelming experiences. A big mistake many coaches made in the past and even nowadays, especially when training kids. CONCLUSION We’ve picked just a few sports as examples but there are so many options out there. Training programmes should

always be specific to the athlete so have a good look at your summer plan and decide if it is really individual. Are there goals on there that could be achieved in another way? Are you losing motivation and need a bit of a shake up? Does the thought of skiing start to lose its appeal through the season, perhaps feeling a bit burnt out? There is no set way to the top. If there was, Lindsey Vonn would not be a household name. So why not enjoy the training in a variety of ways and make sure you don’t lose the love of the sport by too many endless laps of the same old thing. Mileage is important, but no one ski’s other than for the love of it. Article by: Caroline George & Federico Sollini Company: Diamonds Training Centre is a coaching company who’s aim is to help people achieving their goals in Sport and in the Tourism industry. We specialize in ski instructor education as well as sport coaching education. By providing a place where our coaches are free to express theirself at best, we hope to create the ideal environment for success.

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SNOWSPORT ENGLANDGOSKIGOBOARD Catching the Snowsport bug is one thing- finding opportunities for participation and being able to find a way of integrating yourself into the sport on a regular basis is another! Go Ski Go Board is the hub of all Snowsports opportunities. Whether you’re an absolute beginner learning to ski or learning to snowboard for the first time, want to improve ready for an upcoming holiday to the mountains, or an experienced Snowsport enthusiast just wanting to re-live your time on the ski slopes, one of the best ways to get involved in Snowsports in the UK is through Go Ski Go Board. The initiative is run all year round by Snowsport England (www.snowsportengland.org.uk) and aims to not just provide details of activities nearby but to also provide as much information as possible to potential participants around Snowsports and the variety of opportunities you can get involved in. As well as providing details of regular activities run by clubs and slopes, Go Ski Go Board also hosts 2 annual participation-based campaigns; 30 Days of Snowsport and National Schools Snowsport Week. 30 Days of Snowsport (www.30daysofsnowsport.org.uk) sponsored by Visit Andorra (www.visitandorra.com/en/), is all about trying to create a buzz about Snowsports on a National and Local level ahead of the new Winter season. There are a variety of different opportunities to try skiing, snowboarding + more at slopes and clubs across the country for discount prices. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner or whether you’ve been skiing before and are

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looking to improve your skills, whether you’re young or old or whether you’re male / female, our clubs and facilities will aim to cater for everyone! 30 Days of Snowsport 2018 will take place in October, following 2017’s successful campaign which saw over 6000 participants. National Schools Snowsport Week (www.nssw.co.uk) sponsored by Interski (www.interski.co.uk/), is aimed at giving pupils at primary and secondary schools, as well as sixth form colleges, the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for free or at heavily discounted prices. We understand that for some school children, it will be their first time on skis or a snowboard. For others, it could be an opportunity to try racing, freestyle or ski or snowboard cross. For all we hope that it will be an enriching experience, which combines physical strength with fine skills of balance and agility. If you know a school that should get involved, encourage them to check out the website for more details. Go Ski Go Board is the hub of everything Snowsports, so be sure to check it out if you need any tips and tricks or just to find any nearby opportunities for you to take part in / local clubs for you to join. If you have any questions or would like further details about any of the above, then please email luke@snowsportengland.org.uk For any questions on Schools Snowsports, please contact the NSSA on office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk The National Schools Snowsports Association are affiliated to Snowsport England.

FOR WELSH SNOWSPORTS Snowsport Cymru Wales, the national governing body for snowsports in Wales, is looking forward to a bright snowsports future having been involved in a number of projects that have come to fruition in the past year. As well as ambitious plans for a huge indoor snow facility in Wales there have been developments across all disciplines that will offer new opportunities for school children to participate in snowsports. NORDIC ROLLER SKIING PEMBREY CYCLE TRACK – This permanent closed cycle circuit will also offer sessions for Nordic roller skiing. The closed circuit will open in September 2018 and soon after we hope to see a Nordic club established as well as instruction for all ages. FREESTYLE PARK LLANGRANNOG – Work is near completion on the development of a freestyle park at the artificial ski slope in Llandgrannog, West Wales. This ski slope, which has hosted the Welsh schools skiing championships for the past 20 years, sees 20,000 school children learning to ski each year and will now offer a year round freestyle park. Once the set up has been completed we will be looking to establish a freestyle club and regular freestyle comps. FUTURES PROJECT – Snowsport Cymru Wales has been piloting a British Ski and Snowboard initiative aimed at increasing participation in ski and snowboard freestyle. Futures Project is aimed at developing skiing and snowboarding skills in young people aged 6–18 years old. Through 2019 we are looking to roll out the programme to centres across Wales. The Futures Project is made up of two main parts:

FUTURES SNOW AWARD: An award scheme that supports entry-level and grassroots engagement in snow sports. It introduces a self-driven, skills-based approach tolearning on and off the snow.

FUTURES SESSIONS: Coached days which act as an entry point into the performance pathway. You should be able to find everything you need to know about Futures on this website www.futuresproject.co.uk/ CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR SNOWSPORTS – Snowsport Cymru Wales have been working with developers to bring a 500m indoor snow centre to Wales. With very positive response to the public consultation process, planning applications will be submitted in the Autumn of 2018. The facilities at the centre will provide the largest indoor snow centre in the UK and will be able to host international (FIS) competitions for alpine skiing as well as freestyle events. The Indoor Snow Centre of Excellence will act as a training centre for Team GB as well as providing excellent opportunities to develop participation in snowsports. For more detail on the proposals take a look at their website www.rhydycarwest.com/en/ COACHING AND INSTRUCTING AWARDS - Opportunities for participation in snowsports in Wales is not limited to competition & there are some great ways for young people to enjoy a life time in sport through getting involved with instructor and coach training as well. In recent years Snowsport Cymru Wales has found particular success and interest in instructor training courses aimed at 14-18 year olds. The weekend training course (following the UK Snowsports qualification requirements) gives a fantastic insight and starting point toward making instructing in snowsports your career or part time hobby. You’ll have to wait until you are 16 to complete the qualification, however once the weekend course is done you can start helping out at the local slope under supervision of a mentor instructor. The 14-18 year old instructor course is available for skiers and snowboarders. Details of courses can be found from a link off Snowsport Cymru Wales home page www.snowsportwales.co.uk

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Already an extremely popular sport for recreation and competition – mainly freestyle. It takes a little commitment, as with many of the most rewarding things in life, it takes some time to get the basics. On average most riders need about 6 to 8 hours of lessons to get enough of the basics to ride safely and start to really enjoy the exhilaration. The effort is worth it though for the buzz of speeding down a slope with just a thin piece of wood and plastic between you and the ground. The kit. If you are learning in the UK most venues will provide a snowboard, snowboard boots and a helmet for free so all you’ll need to get started is some warm clothes and gloves. Once you get to the mountains many riders rent their equipment in the resort. This saves having to kart lots of gear on holiday with you. If you fall in love with the sport, as many people do, then you

might want to buy your own equipment. Snowboards are a great canvas for design and there are some eye popping graphics out there, some of which have been created by great up and coming graphic designers. If you love tech then snowboarding is one sport that is always at the forefront of innovation and every season there are new gadgets and new technologies available to improve your riding experience. Once you have the basics there’s a variety of different disciplines in snowboarding so you never get bored and there’s always something new and exciting to try, including Freeride, Freestyle, Backcountry, Boardercross or just riding for fun. How do I get started? Easy. Find out where your nearest dry slope, indoor dome or mountain is and book a lesson. Most places offer a cheap

‘taster’ session so you can have a go and see if you like it. Alternatively find out if the place has a snowboard night or freestyle night. If they do just go along and check out the vibe. You’ll always find plenty of people happy to give you help and advise. The NSSA are working with approved snowboard training providers and can help to point schools in the right direction. Contact us at office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

Telemark skiing originated in Norway and is considered by many to be the original and purest form of skiing. Racing is very similar to conventional downhill skiing and involves going through a number of gates with red and blue flags. Where telemark varies is the way in which the athlete has the extra challenge of negotiating a large jump half way down the slalom course as well as a cross-country skating section towards the end of the course to really test the competitor’s endurance. As well as a fantastic discipline in it’s own right, It’s a great discipline to cross train to improve a racers alpine skiing The 2017-18 FIS Telemark World Cup was ongoing from December to culminate in Murren, Switzerland at the end of last season. Scarpa athlete, Jasmin Taylor, has had an awesome season finishing with 4 victories across all 3 disciplines, and an amazing performance of 14 podiums and 2 medals in the overall standings. We had a chance to sit down with Jaz recently and reflect on the past telemark season and to see what the future holds for the British skier. 1. Hi Jaz, for any uninitiated readers can you first give us a quick lowdown on

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what telemark skiing as a sport is and how big the World Cup is in the telemark community?

this season, from Austria to France, USA to Germany and Slovenia to Norway, ending up in Switzerland for the finals.

In telemark ski racing, there are 3 disciplines; the Parallel Sprint (head to head knock out rounds following a qualification, 40-50 seconds duration per run), Sprint (2 time trials, 1-1:20 minutes duration per run) and Classic (1 time trial, 2-3 minutes duration). All 3 disciplines consist of 4 elements. A telemark skiing section where competitors must keep a foot length between the front and back foot (otherwise incurring a 1 second penalty) whilst skiing a giant slalom flagged course. A jump, usually situated within the giant slalom section, again racers must land in telemark (otherwise 1 second is added for an alpine landing) and clear a distance line (failure to do so means another 3 seconds added to the time). A loom (giant banked turn) where the competitor must cross their own path which usually carries the skier from the giant slalom into the final section, the cross country skate. It is pretty full on! A short clip from my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=FEAT41pimJQ

2. Can you explain a little how the World cup competition is structured, what does it take to do well in it and even win it? You can probably tell from my description of the racing disciplines that there is a little more to it than just skiing fast. Competitors must be technically ‘perfect’, keeping the telemark stance throughout whilst trying to record the fastest time by both skiing, skating and jumping well.

The World Cup circuit actually has more races than ever other FIS discipline, with a total of 22 this season. The tour travelled

3. Do you have a favourite part/ section/ discipline of a World Cup competition? Or a single area you think you excel in and why? I enjoy many parts of the competition though this season, racing in the Parallel Sprint was particularly fun. Racing someone head to head is so exciting! 4. Can you talk us briefly through the course of the season and detail any of the major ups and downs you experienced? I was struggling to find my flow in France; despite finishing on the podium I was very unsatisfied with my skiing. I went to America for the following round of races and really enjoyed myself; both

see it happening. Those locations are quite difference from Europe so that would be really exciting to compete and visit those places. 9. You made it onto the BBC’s Ski Sunday in mid-January how was that as an experience do you think it raised the profile of yourself or the sport? That was pretty cool especially as telemark is not an Olympic sport and that was featured so soon before the games began. I hope to do more with Ski Sunday in the future. 10. Any there any names we should be looking out for in the upcoming World Championships in 2019? All my British team-mates; Naila Cardwell, Alec and Colin Dixon, Ben Emsley, Robert Houstoun, Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham - just to name a few... 11. What positions are you in after this World cup season, will 2019 be the year? I finished 2nd in the Parallel Sprint overall standings, 3rd in the Classic and 4th in the Sprint - I narrowly missed out on a top 3 in the general overall standings to finish in 4th place. I cannot be disappointed though, all my targets were met and I only hope to improve on this next season. 12. After all that excitement what’s on the card for this summer? I hope to travel a bit and spend time with friends and family. I need to get fit again and catch up on all my university studies. I am also completing my BASI qualifications so will be heading to Austria before heading home for summer. on and off my skis. When you come out of a rut (or realise you were in one), it can take a lot of confidence to admit that and to try and do something about it but once you do, it’s enlightening. 5. Have you convinced any of your fellow competitors into using the Scarpa telemark ski boot; the TX Pro? Well all the kids in my club (Les Houches/ Multiglisse) seem to have the same model and colour as me, this could be coincidence or maybe I managed to bribe them... 6. Did you face any extreme weather over the course of the competition? Does the weather ever put a stop to the ski events? We had -17 in the USA! That was very cold, and the wind didn’t help either. I

think another 5 degrees colder and the race would have been cancelled... 7. What were the highlight location and or event for this year’s World Cup? Well, as mentioned, I really enjoyed the USA (Suidie Six and Sugarbush, Vermont) though the races in France (Pralognan la-Vanoise), which were hosted by the British, were also amazingly well organised and the atmosphere was particularly electric. 8. Are there any locations around the world you would like to see telemark skiing comps go and why? Japan, Canada and China - simply because there has been talk of that happening and once you envisage something, I suppose you would like to

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WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING YOUR OWN SKI EQUIPMENT? So up until now you’ve been using the slope rental equipment, boots somewhat uncomfortable, skis lacking grip and control and you don’t own any protection equipment so you’re wary about getting close to the poles – sound familiar? What equipment do you need to be able to progress to the next level? And how do you know it’s right for you? Here is our advice on buying the right ski racing equipment… 1) Seek out a reputable ski shop with experience and expertise that can fit the correct equipment to you, whether it’s the right fitting helmet for safety, or the right fitting ski boots for comfort and performance – the correct advice is paramount. 2) Buy a suitable ski racing helmet that fits snuggly and is appropriate for the level of racing you are going to be doing and if necessary that it can have a slalom chinguard fitted. (See - Helmet Equipment Regulations to find out which you need) 3) Buy a correctly fitting back protector, an important safety element for ski racing, preventing injuries during a fall. These are now better than ever with mouldable foam that shapes to your back, but goes rigid on impact to dissipate the force.

4) Buy a correctly fitting pair of ski boots. Ski boots are one of the most important parts of skiing; they are the link between you and your skis. The correct ski boots effect how quick you’ll progress, your ability to perform and your comfort and enjoyment – all making a huge difference to your skiing. When buying ski boots for children who are still growing, you can often buy one size bigger and use shims under the footbed to take up excess space if needed, which can be removed as they grow. Children’s boots can often also be traded in against another new pair of boots as they grow, making them much more cost effective. This also means there are often secondhand options available. Be wary of borrowing other people’s boots, make sure they fit and will not cause injuries. Make sure children skiers are skiing in a children’s boot and not borrowed adult’s boots. Adult’s boots are too high up the leg and often too stiff, and put undue pressure on their knees. 5) Buy your own skis to progress to the next stage in your skiing, there’s only a certain level rental and worn secondhand equipment can get you! Rental skis are a basic entry level model aimed at beginner skiers, so when you’re race training regularly they will not be of an appropriate level. They are used

extensively and are not maintained anywhere near the level that you would look after your own equipment. Choose the right skis, suited to your ability level, experience, age and physical strength and you’ll notice a massive improvement. 6) Leg Guards and Pole Guards, do you need them yet? The time to make this purchase is when you’re getting closer to the slalom poles and shying away from them instead of taking the faster more direct route and hitting them. Once you start getting closer to the gates they’ll begin to fight back and you’ll leave a session feeling somewhat battered and bruised! To prevent bruises from the gates you need pole guards plastic fist protectors that screw on the top of your ski poles and allow you to hit the slalom gates out of your way and leg guards to protect your knees and shins, allowing you to take a more direct and faster line through the slalom gates. 7) Ski maintenance equipment is important once you get your own skis, the more you look after your skis the longer they’ll last and the better they’ll ski. Look after your skis and your skis will look after you – they will grip and turn easier with sharp edges and they will run faster with waxed bases. You can start with a basic ski servicing kit and add to it tool by tool as you find you need something…or in our experience as you find out the secret formula someone else has found that works!

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SKI RACING REGULATIONS To help you make the correct buying choices for the type of ski racing you are taking part in please consult the following ski equipment regulations… HELMETS Are you racing on UK artificial slopes or snow? Does it need to be a ‘FIS Approved’ helmet? > UK artificial slope races - requires a CE approved ski helmet, however it’s best to get one that will take a chinguard that will protect your face from the slalom poles! Future proof yourself by getting a ‘FIS Approved’ helmet and attach a chinguard for slalom. > Snow races - requires a ‘FIS Approved’ GS hard earpiece helmet. SKIS Are you racing on UK artificial slopes or snow? Do you need to conform

to particular ski length and turn radius regulations? > UK artificial slope races – for slalom racing there is no regulation for length of skis or radius. > Snow races – for racing on snow the standard ‘BASS regulations’ apply in all British run races including schools events. Make sure you are buying the correct ski length and turn radius for your age group and each ski discipline Slalom, GS, Combi. SKI BOOTS Are they right for you? > UK artificial slope and snow races – the only regulation for ski boots is to ensure they meet the sole height regulations – generally speaking most race boots will. The most important thing with ski boots is they fit correctly in length and width and that they are the appropriate stiffness (flex) for your ability, size and weight.

Come and visit Ski Bartlett and you’ll experience for yourself the largest choice of ski race equipment in the UK (and every other aspect of skiing too). When you visit we will help and advise you and guide you through what might otherwise be somewhat confusing! Allow some time to visit, as once you become immersed in the Ski Bartlett emporium of skiing you may be with us a while – but don’t worry there is always tea and coffee on tap!

EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST SKI RACE HELMET - meeting the appropriate regulations for the type of racing you are taking part in. BACK PROTECTOR - correctly fitting and meeting CE regulations, cat. 1 minimum. SKI BOOTS - correctly fitting and the appropriate stiffness for your level and size. SKIS - appropriate for where you’re skiing and the discipline, meeting ‘BASS regulations’. LEG GUARDS AND POLE GUARDS - make sure they fit you and your ski poles. SKI SERVICING EQUIPMENT - get the basics to look after your skis. For racing more on snow you may want to get a bit extra – Catsuit, windproof overshorts and training jacket, waterproof and warm full-zip trousers and jacket (some schools may have a team kit available)

We deliver our unique family heritage and ski experience from our ski shop in West London and have been giving help and advice to skiers like you for over 50 years! We look forward to seeing you and helping you enjoy your skiing. www.SkiBartlett.com Tel: 020 8848 0040

This is an advertorial

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ALTITUDE SPORTS TRAINING FOR SCHOOLS The NSSA, whilst being the go to body for schools, colleges and University snowsports activities, is also looking to use the expertise of its associated partners in order to offer training to other sports for schools. To this end, We are working with Schools with Altitude to bring altitude training tours to schools sports. Starting next year with rugby, this will bring the benefits of this training to school rugby squads. The venue will be Tignes in France, where teams such as Toulouse and Gloucester have trained in recent years. The plan is to bring school teams to this great year round resort, offering training slots on the all weather pitches at 2200m above sea level. Schools can bring their own coaches or we can supply qualified and insured coaches, meaning that individuals can also attend. BENEFITS OF ALTITUDE TRAINING FOR RUGBY The air we breathe at sea level has a saturation level of 21% oxygen – this drops the higher you go, so that at the

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top of Mount Kilimanjaro, for example, it’s only 10.5%. Train at sea level and the oxygen saturation of your blood will drop only a couple of per cent from its usual 96-98%. But train, even at moderate intensity, at altitude and the blood oxygen level drops to 70-80%. Brutal. Fortunately, there’s a flip side to this, because fitness training at altitude, whether the real thing or a simulated environment can bring about substantial benefits in terms of enhanced performance and injury rehabilitation. The hypoxia (oxygen starvation) in the muscles stimulates adaptive responses from the body. This allows you to train at a higher intensity and for longer, burning more calories and increasing metabolism. Twenty minutes of hypoxic training equates to about 80 minutes at sea level. An arctic explorer may lose his toes to frostbite but he will rarely lose his life, because the brain tells the under-stress body to pump blood to the vital organs. The same principle applies with hypoxic training: it’s like an internal icing effect and means that when you return to sea level you flush through masses of oxygenated blood, so speeding rehab.

Footballer Wayne Rooney shaved three weeks off his rehab time from a broken toe this way. Dave Bell, a strength and conditioning coach who worked with Harlequins and Bristol, said “Conditioning for sport is a segment of a big pie, and every segment is important,” says Bell, whose son Chris plays for Sale. “It’s about gaining that edge and altitude training will do that. For example, if you have a shoulder injury but can cycle, then at ‘altitude’ you can cycle sedately and yet have a huge anaerobic and cardiovascular benefit.” The effects of altitude training last for six weeks, so why not give it a go and contact us on Rugby@schoolswithaltitude.co.uk

CALLING ALL SCHOOL, CLUB, COUNTY, RUGBY AND FOOTBALL TEAMS. COME AND TRAIN PRE-SEASON WHERE THE PROS TRAIN INCLUDING GLOUCESTER AND TOULOUSE. Great new initiative for school rugby and football teams for effective pre season altitude training • • • • • •

Venue – Tignes, France – 2200m above sea level Facilities – Great all weather pitches, sports centre, lake and numerous fitness and fun facilities Games arranged between schools Airport transfers, Full board accommodation and use of training facilities included Dates to suit throughout summer and early September Take advantage of the benefits of altitude training for your team

For details or to book, contact rugby@schoolswithaltitude.co.uk

READ HOW MAISONSPORT.COM IS CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE BOOK THEIR SKI LESSONS Created by 3 ex British ski team racers and ski instructors, Maison Sport is not like a traditional ski school. “We connect customers directly with fully qualified instructors, enabling customers to choose their instructor based on real reviews and the instructor’s unique qualities, at a cheaper price than normal.” Explains co-founder Nick Robinson.

you. We have taken away the game of “instructor roulette”, through Maison Sport you can choose your instructor using real reviews, their profile, pictures and pricing to decide who you think would be best. Using our messaging system, you even have the chance to speak with the instructor before you book. We have found this increases the chance of being satisfied with your lessons and your ski holiday.

So why are so many skiers flocking to book their ski & snowboard instructors through Maison Sport?

WE ARE EVERYWHERE We have instructors in almost every resort in France, with as many as 70 in resorts such as Val d’Isere and Courchevel. In Switzerland and Italy we operate across all the major resorts and will be adding resorts in Austria, Japan over the coming months.

CHOOSE YOUR INSTRUCTOR Everyone is different, so skiers have different wants and needs from their instructor, so it makes sense to be able to choose an instructor that suits

REAL REVIEWS Instructor Reviews on Maison Sport can only be left by customers that have booked their lesson through Maison Sport, this means they are 100% real.

Heading into it’s third year, Maison Sport is taking the ski industry by storm and customers love it - 96% of all customers leave 5 star reviews.

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The review is also left for the instructor and not the school, meaning you get to choose an instructor based on reviews about them specifically. On average 78% of our customers leave reviews, far higher than the industry average of 10%, giving you a much clearer picture of how good that instructor is. VALUE FOR MONEY Ski schools take a large portion of an instructor’s revenue, Maison Sport doesn’t, so many instructors on Maison Sport are able to pass this saving onto you, the consumer, saving on average more than 15% compared to ski school prices. For the savvy buyer you can cut your ski lesson bill by more than half and still rest assured you have a great instructor by using real reviews to guide you. If you want more information please visit www.maisonsport.com, or email us at hello@maisonsport.com

SCHOOLS ALPINE EVENTS 2018-19 THIS COMING SEASON SEES MORE SCHOOLS ALPINE EVENTS THAN EVER BEFORE, WITH SOME OCCURRING IN THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND OTHERS NECESSITATING TWO TO THREE DAYS OFF SCHOOL. With the new International Open Schools Champs over the Easter break, there has never been as much choice for schools to participate in race events in the alps. If you’d like more information on any event or training packages for the events, please contact office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk All dates can be found on the schools calendar at the back of this magazine.


ground for young British talent, with Olympian Chemmy Alcott and Paralympic sight guide Charlotte Evans being previous competitors.

Held in Les Deux Alpes and, having run for a number of years, this unseeded event now has nearly 400 racers across a week, including training which can be with local instructors or, for a small additional fee, with specialist race training set up, Impulse Racing. The event is open to all UK schools and has racers from a range of age groups, including under 14s, under 16s and under 18s. All age groups compete in GS and Slalom races, and there is also the chance for schools to go head to head in Parallel Slalom – the most exciting race of the three days competition.

British Schoolgirls’ Races organiser Anne Taylor said ahead of the event: “We have had a bumper number of schools and students entering this year’s British Schoolgirls Races, which is testament of how much fun the event is and what a good chance it is for young ski racers to get some experience of racing on-snow.


Open to all schools, the event is run, and sold as a package, by Ticket To Ride.

JANUARY 2019 -

THE BRITISH SCHOOLGIRLS RACES Over 150 girls from schools across the UK descend upon Flaine each January as they take part in two days of racing as part of the British Schoolgirls’ Races. Historically the British Schoolgirls’ Races has proved to be a breeding

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With most athletes arriving in time for the training days on Saturday and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are full days of racing on the Calcite piste, with the final day culminating in the prize giving. As well as prizes for all races and age categories, there is also a bumper draw with prizes from all the British Schoolgirls’ Races sponsors. The British Schoolgirls Races have run in the resort of Flaine, France for many years, with the Ladies Ski Club organising the event each year. Open to teams of three, most schools take one or two teams with four, which allows for a reserve racer in case of any problems.

JANUARY 2019 -


This event is held at the end of January each year by the DHO Club at their base resort of Wengen in Switzerland. Running in parallel with the popular Schoolgirls’ Races. The races were first run in Veysonnaz and have grown every year to the point where they have become just as popular as the girls’ event with over 60 schools represented amongst the school teams competing. This event allows individuals to enter as well as school teams and, as with the schoolgirls, sees a vast array of abilities and experience taking part. Races here also include both slalom and giant slalom, with a parallel (head to head) event usually taking part one evening under floodlights.


This Great event is now in it’s 4th year. Held in Pila, Italy in late February. It falls within some schools half term and just after others. With three race days including slalom, Giant Slalom and Parallel (head to head) events, it’s proving to be a popular event. Run under the NSSA, many schools choose to attend for a week, taking in training offered by Pila resident coaches from Impulse Racing. Entry can be made as race only or as a package to make it easier to organize for many teachers.

MARCH 2019 -


The Interschools Challenge one of the most well established alpine race events for schools, with individuals representing their school also catered for. The event usually sees in excess of 350 children racing over two days with three events per day. The events are usually split between the younger racers (U10 and U12), and then the two sets of older age groups (U14 then U16 and above) racing separately. Run by the British Ski Academy and endorsed by the NSSA, the races see most children arrive on Friday evening to train with various groups over the weekend, competing on Monday and Tuesday. Many groups leave on Tuesday evening with others attending the prizegiving ceremony and leaving the next morning depending on time allowed away from school.

Malcolm Erskine, Head of the British Ski Academy, says of the event ‘We love holding these races for British School children, seeing so many kids trying racing for the first time, through to members of National teams with their school building a team around them. The schools events like this are all about the children having fun but will, perhaps, help feed more athletes into the sport at a higher level’. For information on training and packages for school groups, please contact office@bissracing.co.uk For accommodation enquiries in Pila for British Schools Alpine Championships or the Interschools, please contact info@pilabeds.co.uk


This event is for IAPS schools only and is held in Passo Tonale during March. For more information, contact IAPS.


In conjunction with BISS Racing, Club Europe’s inaugural International Open Schools Ski Championships is a great way to offer competitive winter sports on your GSCE or A-level curriculum. Students will receive top-level coaching from experienced ski coaches, in classes of no more than 8. This will be led by race programme director Phil Brown, chair of the National Schools Snowsports Association and former head coach of the National Children’s Ski Team. The training days will include gate training, technical drills and allmountain skiing. The final two days will be taken up with slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom races – the ultimate way to ski head to head with your team mates! Races will be organised in age and gender categories, and students will be recognised for achievement and commitment. The event will be run as a package for schools and further information can be found on pages 48 and 49 of this magazine.

New for this season, this event promises to be a great addition to the calendar

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THE BRITISH SCHOOLS OPEN ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019 As well as endorsing numerous schools snowsports events, the NSSA will be behind the British Schools Open Alpine Championships taking place at the end of February 2019. This promises to be a great event with training held over the early weekdays with races later in the week.

Being held in February, immediately after a school holiday will, hopefully, mean the event is more accessible than some of the other schools events and will allow children to train sufficiently beforehand. The event is open to all schools and entry opens in October 2018, closing on February 1st 2019. This closing date may be brought forward, should the event become full earlier.

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For this event, the NSSA are engaging the services of experienced schools training organisation, Impulse and BISS Racing to run this event in their home resort base of Pila, Italy. This resort was chosen due to its accessibility, within two hours of Geneva or Milan, an hour from Turin and Chamonix.

race programmes, as an important and integral part of this. One of the biggest things for us is that these kids enjoy their sport.” The 2019 event will take place on the 27th, 28th of February and the 1st March. training will be available on the 24th, 25th and 26th of February.

Impulse and BISS have been working in the schools ski racing market for a number of years and are the only specialists in this area, so it made sense for the NSSA to team up and take this successful schools event formula onto snow to offer further choice to the schools looking for more events, and, more to the point, more accessible events. Working with experienced coaches for both race and freestyle, under programme director Phil Brown, a former National children’s team head coach to ensure that the training and competitions are well run.

The event will be available as entry only or, in order to help the less experienced racers and schools, The NSSA and BISS are working with local hotels, transfer companies and a travel partner to offer a package for the event, with transfers, accommodation, lift passes, flights and training for two days prior to the races. We welcome fledgling skiers so if racing or freestyle is something your schools skiers would like to try, please come and join us. We will also be running UK training prior to the event for anyone wanting to get additional practice.

The races will include a slalom event with stubby gates for U10’s and U12’s, a giant slalom race for all competitors and an ever popular Parallel, or head to head, event on the final day.

With free places available for teachers accompanying groups, this looks like it could be a must do event for schools in seasons to come.

The NSSA’s Louise Brown says of the event: “We love working with schools, getting more children to enjoy and be part of the sport that we love and have been involved with for years. Growing the pool of British racers taking part in international competitions is our aim with BISS, and we see running competitions such as this one, along with the schools

For further information, or to enquire about entry, training packages or accommodation, please contact office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk or office@bissracing.co.uk For accommodation enquiries, please contact info@pilabeds.co.uk


When choosing a snowsports training provider for your school club, squad or team you will need to take many things into consideration, such as availability, location, number of trainees per coach etc. but you would imagine that it’s a ‘given’ for the organisation or their coaches to be working within the remit of their qualification at all times, therefore being covered by professional liability insurance. Unfortunately this is not always the case and has recently led one of the sports coaching governing bodies, Snowsport England, to issue a statement to coaches re iterating their qualifications range of operation and consequentially, insurance. This can be found at the base of this page. What are the consequences of coaches operating outside the remit of their qualifications? Often this can happen with no incident and therefore no issue but the problem would arise if there is an incident/accident where the coach is accused or found to be at fault, or even accused of negligence or a liability claim is made against them. At that point, if not working within the remit of their qualification, the professional liability cover supplied with their governing body membership will not cover them. This could have dire consequences both for them, and for anyone affected by the incident. Of course some organisations will also carry independent liability insurance but

the risk with this is that the insurance company may not pay a claim where the coach is deemed to be working beyond their remit. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARE COVERED? As an individual, you need to ask your training organisation or coach for their qualifications and copies of licences. If you are unsure, you can check the remit of these with the governing bodies such as Snowsport England/Scotland/Wales, BASI, IASI etc. For Schools, it should be considered due diligence to check that any organisation engaged to work with the schools children is covered and using appropriately qualified staff working within the appropriate hierarchy. The National Schools Snowsports Association can help with this. RANGE OF OPERATION (AS STATED BY SNOWSPORTS ENGLAND) As with almost all snowsports awarding bodies, SSE issues members in good standing with licences on an annual basis. Each licence [and therefore each licence holder] has a clear, specified range of operation. Coaches and instructors are only authorised by SSE to operate within these specified ranges of operation. A coach or instructor operating outside of that specified range cannot be supported by SSE and is not covered by SSE insurance’.

SSE advises in the strongest possible terms that coaches and instructors only operate within the range of operation of their award and in addition advises employers* that: • • • • •

Licences are issued on an annual basis to members in good standing It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that any coach or instructor holds the appropriate award for the role in which they are to be deployed. Employers are advised in the strongest terms to check the status of coaches or instructors before the are deployed. SSE only supports coaches and instructors operating within the range of operation of their award Instructors and coaches operating beyond the range of operation of their award are not covered by SSE’s insurance.

To summarise: an instructor or coach who operates outside of the range of operation of their award will not be covered by SSE’s liability insurance. It’s little different from the holder of a ‘car only’ driving licence expecting to be insured when driving an articulated lorry without the right licence. Don’t do it! *The term ‘employer’ encompasses all individuals and organisations deploying instructors and/or coaches whether as volunteers or for remuneration.

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There are Coaching courses running to compliment the instructor qualifications and these are run by Impulse Racing. As with the Level 1 teaching, the L1 coaching can be run in the UK but over a single weekend or 4 x 3 hour evenings with the Level 2 being taken over 4 days on snow in the mountains.


As an organisation building participation in snowsports via schools, the NSSA is proud to partner with IASI (The Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors) to be able to offer the opportunity to schools snowsports athletes of taking instructing and coaching qualifications including GAP courses which will allow successful candidates to teach in the alps – Italy and Switzerland. IASI qualifications are internationally recognised.


There are a number of Level 1 courses run through the year with, currently, one L2 running each season during January. You’ll learn about coaching theory and course setting, amongst other useful skills. As with the level one teaching, the level one coaching can be run on a bespoke basis with a minimum of 5 and maximum of 8 participants. The Level one and 2 coaching courses are used in conjunction with the aligned teaching qualifications up to the remit of these and are not stand alone awards. For information, please contact phil@impulse-racing.co.uk

Ski Definition are the partner organisation offering UK courses for the IASI L1 Instructor qualification. This first step on the pathway will allow you to teach in a closed environment such as a UK indoor or dry slope. This 5 day course will work on your skiing and give you the tools required to start your teaching career, whether you intend to become a full time instructor or just use this for your personal development, this is a great course to begin with. The next scheduled level 1 dates this year are: 5th-6th-7th & 13th-14th October 2 Weekends 9am - 6pm 5th - 9th November Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm We can run bespoke courses, solely for either one school or for several trainees across several schools with minimum of 5 and maximum of 8 per course running either 5 days in a row, two weekends or over 12 x 3 hour evenings, whichever can be accommodated to allow participants to complete the course.


The standard course price is £575.00 + IASI membership €35 to include • Exam Fee • Slope access • Rental equipment - Skis, Poles, Helmet • Exam Work Book • Exam Reference book The Price for NSSA schools is £495.00 + IASI membership €35 Ski Definition also offer L2 courses in the alps during the winter. Please contact us on office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk for information or to book

The NSSA is working with IASI to run the Level one courses specifically for schools skiers with the minimum age to attend bespoke schools courses being reduced to 15. These can be set upto run for a single school or several schools can work together to have their pupils certified as trained level one instructors. *For full validation of any teaching qualifications, the following must also be completed. • First Aid Qualification • Child Protection Module • Shadowing Hours

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Over the last 5 years, the UK indoor racing scene for schools has been growing. Starting in 2013 with the BISS National Schools Indoor Championships, usually held at Hemel Hempstead with 180 entrants leading to where we are now with the 6th running of this event having a capacity of nearly 400 racers in a day and entry having to be closed a month early due to demand for places. The ISA Open Champs ran earlier this year with a record 450 racers and the National Schools Indoor Open grew to 150 racers this year from just 60 at the first running of that event in 2017. Building on these popular National Schools Events, the NSSA goes into 2018-19 with the launch of the National Schools Indoor Series, which this school year, features 4 events and will increase to 5 for the following season to become a truly national series. As always, accessibility is very important for these open events with an unrestrictive race entry. Many other schools events tend to restrict entry by insisting schools are members of the organisation running the events or restrict the entry to teams of single age group only. This excludes small schools or schools with less than 4 skiers. It also handicaps schools which cannot raise a team consisting of skiers within a single

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age group. The NSSA format allows for mixed age groups and individual entries, so being more inclusive and less intimidating for many children. These events work as a great feeder series into club national and GBR events with many racers competing for the first time alongside children from the national team and full time academy programmes. This gives the newer racers some inspiration and exposure to skiers that they may not usually see. As well as the usual medals and prizes from individual event partners, there will be overall series prizes including skis from series sponsors. Placings in the races and series will qualify racers for selection to the National Schools Snowsports Squad for the following school year/season with squad training camps, races and exposure to a national programme for these pupils. More information on the squad can be found on pages 6 and 7. The events for the 2018-19 series will be OCTOBER 1ST 2018 BISS National Indoor Championships at Milton Keynes

NOVEMBER 12TH 2018 National Schools Indoor Open Championships - at Milton Keynes JUNE 3RD 2019 British Schools Indoor Open Championships - at Castleford JUNE 2019 National Schools Ski Cross Championships - at Castleford Of course the ISA Indoor Open Champs will also happen in April at Hemel but this event cannot be part of the series as there are limited open places. All races will be open for entry in early October online but, for more information on any of these events or, if you’d like an event run for your school, school trust or against another school, Please contact BISS. BISS website www.schoolsskiracing.co.uk e-mail: office@bissracing.co.uk

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Futures Project is a grassroots programme to support and encourage young people in the UK to get involved in snow sports in a fun and progressive way. Set up as a collaboration between British Ski & Snowboard, Snowsport England, Snowsport Scotland and Snowsport Wales, the project is geared towards 6–18 year olds who want to start developing (or develop further) their skiing or snowboarding skills. The aims of the Futures Project are numerous and include promoting a consistent skills based learning environment, supporting coach education, talent identification and competition pathways, increasing participation, whilst also helping people to track themselves on their journey and inspiring lifelong learning. All that aside, the main aim is to make it fun as Lesley McKenna, Programme Manager of the GB Park and Pipe Team explains: “Futures Project is aligned with the ethos of the GB Park and Pipe team where the

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values of fun, passion, progression and collaboration are at the heart of everything we do. From a coaching standpoint, that means that first and foremost the session should be fun for the athletes and the coaches, and secondly that the session should be about learning and teaching individual goals. As long as people are having fun and learning new skills and tricks then everything else should be in working order.” Futures Project is made up of two parts: Futures Snow Award and Futures Sessions: both cater for different parts of a young person’s journey through snow sports. The Futures Snow Award is an award scheme that supports entry-level and grassroots engagement in snow sports. It introduces a self-driven, skills-based approach to learning both on and off the snow through a series of steps. The use of park and pipe movements can help

facilitate skiing fundamentals in a more explorative way. Aimed at a younger audience, around 6-12 years, Futures Snow Award will stay with and nurture young people as they grow into their teens. Starting with Step 1, this award is focused on being as accessible as possible and can be achieved at any slope. It introduces the key mechanics that have been identified as fundamental: balance, leaving the ground, rotation, edge & pressure. The award scheme was written by top national coaches. GB Park & Pipe Acro and Conditioning Coach Ross Hill (who comes from a gymnastics background) wrote the “off-snow” part of the award - ten skills that not only help improve overall literacy of movement but also allow young people who may not yet be engaged with snowsports to see that skills they already have (such as jumping, spinning and balancing) can easily be transferred and used in snowsports. The “on-snow” part of the award was

put together by GB Park & Pipe and Snowsport Scotland coaches Ben Kinnear and Euan Baxter and introduces mechanics that shouldn’t be beyond the ability of skiers and snowboarders who have had one or two beginner lessons and are starting to turn. Futures Snow Award was launched at the Lecht ski resort in Scotland during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Forty young people were the first people to attain their Step 1 award and since then various slopes and facilities around the UK have been delivering the award scheme. It is also possible for anyone to download the material from the Futures website and have their local instructor or coach sign off their completion card, making the award scheme accessible to any young skier or snowboarder. For young people who already take part in snowsports, the project offers “Futures Sessions”. These are coaching days that act as an entry point into the performance pathway. Whilst Futures Award is non discipline specific, Futures Sessions can be tailored to each discipline whether it be freestyle, alpine, nordic or ski-cross for example. The aim of these sessions is to better support the development of young skiers and snowboarders by

increasing access to coaching. We want to provide an opportunity to young skiers and snowboarders to develop new skills alongside their peers at sessions which blend participation and performance - providing all the benefits associated with both! Coaching is provided by national and regional coaches and the sessions are inclusive and open to all. Futures Sessions take place both on and off snow, with off-snow coached sessions focusing on skills progression in a reduced risk environment. We try to achieve at standard price of £20 for Futures Sessions, no matter when or where they are happening!

As Futures Project grows over the coming year it will allow those who want to engage in snowsports the choice of all Olympic disciplines with a framework to progress at their own rate, in their chosen environments – abroad or at home – on and off the hill. This project also gives British Ski and Snowboard the opportunity to connect our disciplines, the national governing bodies, the snowsports community and industry as a whole. To find out more please visit: www.futuresproject.co.uk or www.facebook.com/futuresprojectuk

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SKIING FOR GCSE AND A LEVEL P.E. More and more pupils are choosing skiing as one of their sports at either GCSE or A level and, at the moment, it is not possible to take any qualifications in Snow Sports and have them recognised in these syllabi. DfE envisioned that the majority of sports would be marked by the examination board at the school during the performance e.g. a rugby match or squash tournament. However there is also a provision (Ofqual/15/5628) that “For the limited range of sports where live moderation is not possible, exam boards must require schools to obtain video evidence to support their marks”. WHY USE A COACH OR INSTRUCTOR The coaches primary task is to provide a safe environment, conducive to allowing a student to perform to the best of their ability. In addition, even though they do not have any official role in marking a student’s performance, some schools may ask for a grading report. THE COMPETITIVE ELEMENT More exam boards are now asking for a competitive element such as racing to be demonstrated for the exams and videoed. This can be done at a schools race, such as one of the national series, or specialist schools training organisations can run bespoke sessions for the school or perhaps several schools together for economy of scale? WHY EMPLOY A SKI COACH WHEN A SCHOOL TEACHER WILL DO IT FOR FREE? If a student doesn’t understand what is being asked of them they will never be able to fully participate in an examination process and this, to put it bluntly, is simply unfair. It

wouldn’t happen in a History, Physics or Geography exam, so why should students opting for a GCSE in PE be treated differently? Other than the numerous qualified coaches in the UK, who are assessed in their ability to run just these types of activities, it is unlikely that any other large group will actually understand the criteria, be able to explain it and, if necessary, demonstrate it. Of course some teachers are able to run these sessions themselves. However even for extremely basic tasks such as

explaining / demonstrating accurate side slipping or skate turns, the numbers will be very small. When it comes to a good line in a slalom or the development stages from plough to parallel, etc, there are virtually none available. The result is that in reality only a qualified ski coach or instructor can run the GCSE or A level PE skiing session in the manner in which DfE intended. Also as all boards require that videoing takes place on a Red or Black run for the alpine element of the criteria, in most European countries a teacher cannot legally run the session due to the regulated nature of working professionally with pupils “on-slope”. This could put a teacher in a compromising position should a pupil become injured in the execution of this task. How can you set this up for your pupils For GCSE, some of the elements, such as the timed competitive part can be run at an indoor centre in the UK (Not a dry slope, unfortunately). A session for your schools pupils can be set up and run professionally with timing and video, as required. The NSSA will be happy to help schools either run this themselves or work with other schools to do this. For A level, the majority of the tasks need to be completed on snow but this can be done over a weekend, minimising time off school. For more information or to discuss how to book a GCSE session for your school in the UK or weekend training and tasks for A level, please contact office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

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I had a dream once. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to go to the Olympics. Technically, I did; I went to watch the Basketball at the London 2012 Games with the hope one day I would represent Team GB at the Winter Olympic Games. Alas, this goal never materialised. I failed. With the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games completed, I have been reflecting a lot on my athletic past and how I am able to look back and say I’m glad I failed. You may be reading this thinking “what?! So let me explain. As I have had some time off from work recently, I have managed to watch most of the Olympic Games on TV and I have been listening to what the commentators have said about each athlete: their backgrounds, their expectations and their performances. I’ve also been closely watching their reactions; Were they happy, devastated or satisfied? Everyone goes to the Olympics to give their best effort whilst having the honour of representing their country and being in a unique environment where people from all over the world come together to embrace the Olympic values, to become ambassadors for the Olympic Movement. It’s quite remarkable and those of you who watched the Opening Ceremony may have felt a little wave of emotion when you watched the North and South Koreans walk out into the arena under the same flag as part of a unified team.

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That moment really touched me because to me it symbolises what Olympism is all about. The Olympics is where we put politics aside and no matter where we are from or who we are (athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators), we are able to watch sport at its very best and respect the performances and achievements of every athlete. Some highlights for me were Lizzie Yarnold & Laura Deas’ medals in the Skeleton, Andrew Musgrave’s 7th place in the Skiathon, Ester Ledecka’s victory in the Super-G, Mark McMorris delivering a strong performance in the Snowboard Slopestyle after having previously suffered some severe injuries…the list goes on.

been there ourselves. To attain and maintain world domination in their sport, they don’t just win; they win at all costs. To me, this means making absolutely everything you do be solely for the purpose of benefiting your athletic career to bring about success. Often, when you read articles or listen to interviews about what makes those top athletes so exceptionally good, phrases along the lines of “I work my hardest”, “He/She sets the bar high for his/herself”, “He/She’s very intrinsically motivated”, “I always try and do better” may be used to describe them. Additionally, some will say winning at all costs means working the hardest; whilst that may be true, I can’t quite fully agree with the notion.

Whilst I have mentioned mostly performances of those who have achieved a podium position in the Olympics, winning can be more than just a trophy, medal or some sort of prize. ‘Winning’ is defined as gaining, resulting in, or relating to a victory in a contest or competition. But I think that is just the tip of the iceberg!

If you, like me, are a dedicated athlete, you can apply the above descriptions to yourself. However, most of us cannot sacrifice absolutely everything and entirely engross ourselves in our training and preparation for competitions, which is why we cannot win in the way the very best perceive the concept of winning. Looking at the 2018 Olympians, it is very easy for me to say ‘well that could have been me’. Yes, perhaps it could, but fundamentally I was unable to win at all costs, otherwise I would be in South Korea right now instead of Paris. In the perspective of winning at all costs, I lost, I failed in achieving my childhood dreams. Nonetheless, I still won, just in a different way; let’s explore.

Lets explore the very best, the elite of the elite, the obvious winners: the Olympic & World Champions amongst us! Those who win on the world stage have sacrificed a lot to get to where they are, so much more than we perhaps could ever imagine or come to comprehend unless we have

The last season I did before retiring as an athlete was the toughest. I worked incredibly hard over the summer, beginning the European winter at the fittest level I had ever been. I made very good progress in training in Giant Slalom and found new speed in Slalom, but for some reason I couldn’t transfer that into two runs of a race. This led me to believe even if you work hard, it doesn’t always pay off. When I was deciding whether to continue my ski racing career just under three years ago, I came up with the idea of a parachute. A parachute is composed of many strings and I drew one out on a sheet of A3 paper, using a different coloured pen to label each string with a factor or circumstance I believed was holding me back from being the best I could be. To reach the next level, I would have to let go of all of those strings; to cut them lose. Otherwise all the drag created by the parachute would prevent me from skiing fast. I reviewed each string and decided they were not things I could remove. I would always have my parachute holding me back and I would be unable to ski to my full, fastest potential, no matter how hard I worked or how much I may have wanted to. I was unable to win at all costs. Hence I decided to swap my lycra ski suit for a pilot uniform, shortly after I began learning to fly during some time off in the pre-season training period. Although I did not achieve my childhood dream and win in that sense, I won in many other ways. I am part of the first generation of Youth Olympians, having represented Team GB at Innsbruck, and that is an achievement I shall never lose. Those of us who have the privilege of being a part of the YOG family (whether athletes, volunteers, etc) are exposed to a unique environment where we are immersed in a learning culture, having opportunities to network with role models, champions and most importantly young people from all over the world. Only a very small number of Youth Olympians progress to the Olympic Games (6 to

and the fact I failed at achieving my dreams. Reflecting back, I now appreciate I failed at ski racing because it was those failures and short-comings which have moulded me into who I am today. I can reflect on my time as a ski racer with no regrets. It would be very easy for me to feel disappointed and wish I had become an Olympian, fulfilling my childhood dream. However, I have really begun to appreciate just how valuable the twelve years of my ski racing career have been. I don’t think an athletic career should be measured by statistics, I think the true measure of success is what you learn from the experience, the challenges you overcame, the battles you won and how competitive sport has enabled you to take the non-technical skills developed as an athlete into the world beyond elite sport. Hence why I now see my failures in skiing as successes and for me, the biggest achievement from my sporting career is who it made me, not how many medals or trophies I won.

10%) but we are all winners. In the closing ceremony of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, Jacques Rogge (the former president of the IOC) addressed us with the following words: “Dear athletes, we have been inspired by your conduct, not only on the snow and ice, but also during the Culture and Education Programme. You embody the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. More than anyone, you are responsible for the great success of these Games and now it is up to you to take the spirit of Innsbruck back to your countries. By earning the title Youth Olympian, you are role models for your generation and you have started something special in Innsbruck. No matter what happens in your sports career, from this point all of you are equipped to become future leaders.” Despite not delivering the performances I had hoped for in my events at Innsbruck, I took away with me far more than any medal is worth. I won tools and perspectives which would grow to be the foundations of who I am today. From my sporting career, I learnt what it means to work hard, to be patient, to be graceful in both moments of success and failure, to overcome any challenge life throws at me and to remain true to myself and who I am no matter what. Whilst deciding to retire from my athletic career is still to this day the hardest decision I have had to make in my life, I would not change the choice I made

Failure can therefore be turned into success if we accept it, learn from it and become better individuals because of it. Winning in the conventional sense only lasts for a very small amount of time on one day. That’s it. All you get is a medal or a trophy. An athlete’s career is so short compared to the average life span of a human being and can end at any moment, which is why we should live in the moment and make the most of it whilst it lasts; giving our best efforts but also graciously accepting defeat and use it to make us stronger. We should be able to look back at our accomplishments, both failures and successes, with pride and with no feelings of regret. When we all reach the end of our athletic careers, regardless of what we have or have not achieved, we are all winners. We all come away with essential non-technical skills which can be applied to any career in the working world beyond our sports. That is the key. We should take these skills, adapt them to our new professions and use our athletic backgrounds to bring something extra to the world of work. We can transfer our passion, skills and values developed from our sporting careers to give back to our communities and embody the use of sport to create responsible, active and engaging citizens. Article by Rachelle Rogers. Rachelle is a former trainee with Impulse Racing who went on to be selected for Team GB and represent GB at the first Youth Olympics, held in Innsbruck in February 2014. She has subsequently gone on to FTE at Jerez and is a First officer (Pilot) for Easyjet, based at Charles de Gaulle in Paris.

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IT’S VITAL THAT YOU HAVE ADEQUATE COVER Many skiers could be out of pocket if they have to make an insurance claim after competing in a ski race. This is because a majority of UK ski insurance providers offer no cover for racing of any kind, while others restrict their cover. Michael Pettifer, Managing Director of MPI Brokers, which offers some of the most inclusive ski insurance policies in the UK, says both competitive and social skiers could be caught in the ski racing trap if they have inadequate insurance. He says: “Many skiers are getting involved in charity endurance events – for example, skiing 150km in two days – and now use GPS timing equipment on smart phones to ‘race’ their friends. Using the Oxford Dictionary definition of a race – ‘a contest of speed’ – this may be excluded under many policies. “Skiers who think they are covered should check their policies carefully. We found some interesting restrictions

such as ‘recreational ski racing only’, ‘not competitive’, ‘Non FIS’, ‘no timed events’ and ‘ski school and training only’. “Skiers without adequate cover could face serious problems if they are injured during an organised race – and may even be disqualified if it is found they are not insured. “All competitors who enter a ski race which is run under FIS rules must have ski insurance that covers that activity for – at least – mountain rescue, medical expenses, ambulance costs, repatriation and third party liability (often expressed as Personal Liability) and should therefore have their insurance policies available for inspection.

events with an entry age of under 16, as well as The Masters, Inferno and interclub races at no extra charge and also includes racing for events (any age) that are not national or international races.” MPI are partners of the NSSA. For the NSSA rates with MPI, please use the link below. https://retail.mpibrokers. com/NSSA#/start

“MPI’s award-winning Wintersports insurance – developed over half a century by skiers for skiers – is more responsive to real market conditions. Our main ski and snowboard insurance covers racing, competitions, practice and training for



CLUB EUROPE INTERNATIONAL OPEN SCHOOLS SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019 ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING SCHOOL SKI TOUR OPERATORS, CLUB EUROPE SKI TOURS, IS HOSTING AN AMAZING 4-DAY SKI TRAINING CAMP IN AUSTRIA IN 2019. PERFECT FOR MORE ADVANCED SKIERS, THE CAMP WILL FEATURE TWO DAYS OF COMPETITION AND TOP LEVEL COACHING. In conjunction with Impulse and BISS Racing, Club Europe’s inaugural International Open Schools Ski Championships is a great way to offer competitive winter sports on your GSCE or A-level curriculum. Students will receive top-level coaching from experienced ski coaches, in classes of no more than 8. This will be led by race programme director Phil Brown, chair of the National Schools Snowsports Association and former head coach of the National Children’s Ski Team. The training days will include gate training, technical drills and all-mountain skiing. The final two days will be taken up with slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom races – the ultimate way to ski head to head with your team mates! Races will be organised in age and gender categories,

and students will be recognised for achievement and commitment. The week will be based in Wagrain, Club Europe’s flagship and snow-sure ski resort in Austria, and the package includes accommodation, flights and transfers. This is a brand new event in the UK ski race calendar, aimed at schools that may not yet have had the opportunity to take part in ski racing. The event takes place in the school holidays to make it accessible to as many schools as possible. The competition is run under the guidance of the National Schools Snowsports Association so it is the perfect entrylevel event into competitive ski racing.

snow facility closest to the majority of participating schools.

To help get your team race ready, Club Europe are offering two indoor race training events at a dry ski slope or

Find out more about Club Europe Ski Tours, visit https://club-europe.co.uk/ school-ski-trips/

Club Europe International Open Schools Ski Championships 2019 - the details: DATES: Option 1: 31st March - 4th April 2019 Option 2: 7th April - 11th April 2019 Price: £985 (based on 6 day/5 night trip including 4 days skiing with 2 days training and 2 days racing. Interested in fielding a ski team? Register your interest by calling FREEPHONE 0800 496 4996. Or email Club Europe on Travel@club-europe.co.uk

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NSSA Schools Snowsports Event Calendar


1ST - Race one in The NSSA National Series - BISS National Indoor Championships - Milton Keynes, UK office@bissracing.co.uk 13TH - 14TH NSSA squad orientation days Castleford and Milton Keynes office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk 20TH - 23RD NSSA Open Landgraaf Camp The Netherlands office@bissracing.co.uk 20TH - NOV 2ND NSSA Glacier Training Camp Tignes, France office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

NOVEMBER 2018 12TH - Race two in The NSSA National Series - National Schools Indoor Open Championships - Milton Keynes, UK office@bissracing.co.uk

DECEMBER 2018 13TH -19TH - ISSSC - Les Deux Alpes, France hello@schoolskichampionships.com

JANUARY 2019 25TH - 29TH - British Schoolgirls Races - Flaine, France bsr@ladiesskiclub.org 26TH -30TH - British Schoolboys Races Wengen, Switzerland mb@winter-sports.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2019 17TH - 24TH - NSSA Squad Training Camp and Open Training Camp - Pila, Italy office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk 24TH - Mar 3RD - British Schools Alpine Championships Games, Pila, Italy office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

MARCH 2019 10TH - 15TH - IAPS Ski Championships Passo Tonale, Italy fh@iaps.uk 16TH - 19TH - Interschools Challenge Pila, Italy admin@britskiacad.org.uk


APRIL 2019 30TH MARCH - 6TH NSSA Open Training Camp - Pila, Italy office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk 6TH - 13TH - NSSA Open Training Camp - Pila, Italy office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk 13TH -20TH - NSSA Open Training Camp - Pila, Italy office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk TBC - International Open Schools Championships- Wagrain, Austria https://www.club-europe.co.uk/school-skitrips/schools-ski-championships/ 29TH - ISA National Indoor Open Championships Hemel Hempstead office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

MAY 2019 24TH -27TH - BASS Indoor event with NSSA Schools Event - Landgraaf, The Netherlands office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk

JUNE 2019 3RD - Race three in The NSSA National Series - British Schools Indoor Open Championships - Castleford, UK office@bissracing.co.uk TBC - Race four in The NSSA National Series - National Schools Ski Cross Championships - Castleford, UK office@bissracing.co.uk


7-13 - ISC Summer Camp featuring racing and freestyle – Les Deux Alpes, France hello@schoolskichampionships.com 20-27 - NSSA Summer Camp Les Deux Alpes, France office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk 27-AUG 3 - NSSA Summer Camp Les Deux Alpes, France office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk VARIOUS DATES - Bespoke and open Schools Training and Selection Days office@bissracing.co.uk Training for all of the above and additional training will be run by NSSA training partner BISS Racing contact either office@bissracing.co.uk or office@schoolssnowsports.co.uk if you have any questions or require more information.

Profile for National Schools Snowsports Association

Schools Snowsports Magazine 2018  

The Annual Publication of the National Schools Snowsports Association

Schools Snowsports Magazine 2018  

The Annual Publication of the National Schools Snowsports Association