More than 2,000 youngsters are to get their first taste of skiing and snowboarding as part of National Schools Snowsport Week – and to kick things off some of them had the chance to get top tips from some of our biggest wintersports stars.
Taster sessions are being offered to children at 25 indoor and outdoor slopes across the UK – and other winter activities such as rollerskiing, luging and sno-tubing will be available too. All the sessions will be at very affordable prices. Many slopes, including Runcorn and Silksworth in Sunderland will charge just £1 a session, and they will be free in Tamworth and Norfolk.
Winter Olympians Eddie The Eagle Edwards, Aimee Fuller and Graham Bell were at the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead to help introduce the programme to the youngsters. Organised by Snowsport England and sponsored by Visit Andorra, it aims to give young people the chance to experience the exhilaration of snowsports and hopefully hook them on all the fun and excitement the mountains have to offer. Slalom star Dave Ryding is also backing the scheme.
National Schools Snowsport Week ambassador Eddie The Eagle said: ‘I started skiing when I was 13 and have lived and breathed it for my whole life. I am proof that anyone – no matter what their age or background is – can get into snowsports. I’m proud to support National Schools Snowsport Week and hope it brings lots of young people into our brilliant sport.’
Aimee, winter Olympian and GB Park and Pipe boarder, commented: ‘Both skiing and snowboarding have so much to give socially and are a great way to stay active. If you wanted to consider taking up skiing or snowboarding as a profession, the younger the better, but it’s never too late! Being able to start at school is the perfect intro.’
And five-time Olympian Graham, presenter of BBC’s Ski Sunday, added: ‘I wish every child could have the chance to give snowsports a go and enjoy that feeling of sliding down a slope, adrenalin rushing through your body. National Schools Snowsports Week is such a great idea and I hope that those children who get the chance to try it during the week will keep coming back.’
Andorra, the little independent nation nestled in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, has more than 300kms of ski slopes and is considered a perfect destination for schools, families and beginners. More information on www.visitandorra.com.
Participating slopes: Ackers Adventure, Birmingham; Alpine Snowsports Centre, Southampton; Alpine Snowsports Centre, Aldershot; Bracknell Ski and Snowboard Centre; Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre; Chill Factore, Manchester; Gloucester Ski and Snowboard Centre; Gosling Ski and Board Centre; Norfolk Snowsports Club; Precise Racing at Brentwood; Plymouth Ski and Snowboard Centre; Rollerskiing at Dorney Lake, Eaton; Runcorn Snowsports Centre; Sandown Snowsports Centre; Silksworth Ski Slope; Skiplex, Basingstoke; Skiplex, Reading; Ski Rossendale; SnowDome, Tamworth; Snozone Castleford; Snozone Milton Keynes; Stoke Ski Centre; Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre; The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempstead and Hemel Ski Racing Club.
More details on www.nssw.co.uk.