The weekend of 5 – 6 October saw nearly 3500 people across the country attend Snowsport Englandâ€™s Slide2Sochi Winter Olympic roadshows with nearly 500 of those taking a TRY ski or board taster session, part of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign which launched last month.
Four Slide2Sochi roadshows ran across the weekend at Snozone Milton Keynes, Skiplex in Reading, … Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre and Pendle Ski Club.
Snozone Milton Keynes welcomed three top celebrities to wow the 2500 crowd on Saturday â€“ Sir Steve Redgrave, Iwan Thomas and Graham Bell. They did not disappoint as they got stuck in on the slopes. Sir Steve Redgrave, a qualified ski instructor, was giving out tips to beginners, Iwan Thomas was getting ski instruction after a 21 year break from the sport and Graham Bell strapped on a board and tested his skills on the timed run. At Snozone over 100 people took part in a TRY ski or board session.
On Sunday, under sunny skies, Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre was buzzing with activity as over 250 people descended on the slope for a real family day out. Over 80 people took part in TRY ski or board sessions with everyone else enjoying tobogganing, tubing, freestyle demonstrations, stalls and refreshments.
The weather was equally as impressive at Pendle Ski Club where they had a bumper attendance of 450 people with 200 people taking TRY ski or board sessions. Star attractions at Pendle were GB ski racer and Sochi 2014 hopeful Dave Ryding and Special Olympics hopeful David Corr.
At Skiplex in Reading, the endless slope had never been so busy as over 100 people took TRY ski and board sessions throughout the day. In total 250 passed through the centre on Sunday as they came to meet GB ski star Chemmy Alcott and BBC Ski Sunday presenter Graham Bell. The centre was buzzing with Olympic fever with everyone getting excited for the up and coming winter.
Chief Executive of Snowsports England, Tim Fawke, said: â€œThis weekend has proved that people are already getting excited about the winter and it was so good to see hundreds of people being introduced to both skiing and snowboarding â€“ and loving it. There was a real buzz at all of the roadshows with so much activity going on.Â
“Having our GB stars and the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave and Iwan Thomas at the events really added to the atmosphere, but the over-riding feeling from each of the roadshows is how much people seemed to catch the bug after their TRY sessions. We will continue to tour the country with our Slide2Sochi roadshow and get more people having a go at snowsports and excited about the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.â€
GO SKI GO BOARD is the largest ever national snowsports participation campaign and is aimed and getting more people into and back into snowsports. Run by national governing body Snowsport England and supported by the Austrian Tirol as exclusive destination partner, it has brought together a network of the UKâ€™s indoor and artificial snow slopes to offer value for money taster, beginner, improver and recreational sessions for people whose imagination has been captured by our skiing and snowboarding stars.
Participating slopes will offer programmes at four levels as part of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign; TRY SKI or BOARD, GET SKIING or BOARDING, GO SKI or BOARD and JUST SKI or BOARD.
Slide2Sochi roadshows are aimed at getting people excited and engaged in snowsports in the lead up to, during and after the Winter Olyimpics in Sochi next February. 23 roadshows are taking place around the country this autumn and winter.