Never Had A Ski Team At Your School?Here’s One Way To Do It
Some thoughts from BISS Client New Hall School on the process they used to put together and build their ski team
Why did you decide to put together a ski team?
In October of 2010 my children and I went on an Impulse Ski Race Camp in Tignes, France. This was our first ski race experience and the children loved it. The coaches were amazing and my children progressed not only in ski racing, but in their technical skills for free skiing
Once we got back to the UK I thought we just have to do more of this and I came up with the idea of New Hall School Ski Team.
Is there anything special about New Hall School that made you think that a ski team was a good idea?
Personally I think New Hall is special, amongst other things, because my children go there and love it. It is an Independent school which likes to provide children with lots of different opportunities and challenges, and I thought a ski team would just be an extension of an already wide sports curriculum.
Who did you have to convince that it was a good idea and how did you do that?
I first put the idea to the Director of Sport. He was immediately keen.
How many children wanted to be in the ski team? Had many of the children raced before and how did you select the squad?
Phil Brown of Impulse Racing was brilliant. He set up two trials at the Snowcentre Hemel Hempstead, providing once again, inspirational coaches. Ex British Team members amongst them, but more importantly each coach was experienced with working with children. We asked that children who tried out could do good parallel turns but no ski race experience was necessary. The response was over whelming, over 50 children tried out. The day was a huge success with technical training and races at the end. Everyone had a really fun time.
How did you train the Team?
We split the chosen children into two training squads, an Elite and a Development Squad. The squads trained with Impulse Racing at the Snowcentre Hemel Hempstead , on Sunday evenings. September to March.
How did the children get on?
With careful and thoughtful tuition the children made quick progress and in March 2013 we took a group of 25 skiers to the Interschools Ski Challenge in Les Houches, France. Out of the 140 plus schools that took part, we came 27th. Only 2 of the children had previous ski race experience. This year (2014) we entered again and came an outstanding 8th.
What about the future?
This year (2014), we also entered our first dry slope race, the ERSA schools race in Suffolk. Four of our skiers achieved medal placings.
We resume training in September of this year but that is not enough for some of our skiers who have now taken up ski racing as their main sport and are training independently over the summer at the local dry ski slope.
The past two years have been a wonderful experience for all involved and for anyone thinking of starting a ski team my advice would be – Go For It!