Ski Club

Crickhowell High School has a Girls’ Ski Team which came first in Wales in the Welsh School Championships in September 2019 and third in 2018. We are now looking to establish a Girls’ Second Team and a Boys Team.

If you are interested in skiing for Crickhowell and can ski well on snow then contact Julia Hawkins via cynllunpatagonia@hotmail.co.uk. Pontypool Ski Racing is a new ski race club, started at Pontypool dry slope last September, that meets on a Thursday evening. It trains young skiers in ski racing and will improve your skiing ability, training you to ski in slalom races. This is where Crickhowell Girls’ Team trains. To be accepted into the club, you need to be able to do carving (parallel) turns on the dry slope. Your first step would be to practice your turns on the dry slope because even if you can easily do carving turns on snow, it is much harder on the dry slope.

The best place to hone your turning skills is at a second ski club at Pontypool dry slope, Torfaen Ski Club. This club now has a new chairman, Steve Jones, who has provided the following information:

Torfaen ski club takes place on Wednesday evenings. You can just turn up on the night.

Arrive at 6:45 for a 7 until 8:30 session. This £7.50 with equipment included with a joining fee of £15 per year. Alternatively, you can pay a day membership fee of £11 with no joining fee. You need to pay in cash.
All instructors are volunteers as we are a non- profit making organisation. All are UK snowsport qualified with first aid and child safeguarding certificates and also work for the Torfaen Leisure Trust ski school that runs Oct to April.  Because instructors are volunteers, there is no guarantee that better skiers can access an instructor every time and you may need to practice on your own sometimes. Please ensure that you bring gloves and long socks and also refreshments as skiing can be thirsty work! See our website Torfaenskiclub.weebly.com for more details.

If you decide to start skiing at Torfaen Ski Club, then let Julia Hawkins know so that she can notify Steve Jones who will look out for you. You can ski for Crickhowell Ski Team while attending Torfaen Ski Club and without progressing to Pontypool Ski Racing.

Although Julia Hawkins doesn’t attend Torfaen Ski Club on a Wednesday, if your parent can take a short video of you doing turns, you can email it to her so she has an idea of your standard, with a view to putting you into a school team and possibly putting you on the waiting list for Pontypool Ski Racing. Another Crickhowell parent does attend on most Wednesday nights however.

Complete beginners shouldn’t be put off either. Torfaen Leisure Trust does lessons for beginners between October and March, please see their programme for 2019/20. It is probably one of the cheapest ways to learn to ski. Pontypool Ski Slope is the longest dry slope in Wales and the second longest dry slope in Britain. Make the most of it!

Beginners can progress from lessons at the Leisure Trust, to practising turns at the Wednesday night Torfaen Ski Club and ultimately to the Thursday night race club Pontypool Ski Racing

Snowsport Wales Schools Skiing Events 2018

The annual schools skiing events are organized by Snowsport Wales and provide an ideal opportunity for children of all skiing abilities to participate in an organised skiing event.  The local or regional events are designed as introductory events, with the aim that as many children as possible go on to participate in the Welsh Schools Championships at Llangrannog ski slope in October.

The Race & Costs

The South East Wales race is only 5 weeks away, so the Crickhowell High School team will need to start training straight away.  Ideally we’re looking for those participants who already have some skiing experience.  But don’t worry if you don’t have any ski equipment.  It’s all taken care of.  Bear in mind that even if you’re a good skier, skiing on a dry ski slope is rather different to skiing on snow.  The race we’re preparing for consists of a simple slalom course (skiing between two poles).

The first training session takes place on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at the Pontypool Dry Ski Slope at 6.45 pm to 8.45 pm.  Tuition is provided on a voluntary basis by qualified instructors from Torfaen Ski Club and all necessary equipment will be provided.  You won’t have to attend training every week.  You can do as much or as little as you like depending on your progression.  Annual membership of the Club is £15.00.  Each ski sessions costs £7.50, to include both equipment and tuition.   The cost of entering the race is £50.00 per team.  This equates to £12.50 per head for a team of 4 and £16.67 for a team of 3. 

For those who would like to try it out for a couple of weeks without committing to a full year’s membership, you can go along as a day member at £11.00 per day. 

Parents of participating students will need to take their daughter to and from Pontypool for each training session.

Key Dates

Thursday 21st June, 5.30 pm:  South East Wales Regional Schools Race at Pontypool Dry Ski Slope.

Sunday 14th October:  Welsh National Secondary School Championships at Llangrannog, West Wales.

So if you’d like your daughter to be involved, please contact Mrs Julia Hawkins on 01873 810577 / 07840 217446 or email her on cynllunpatagonia@hotmail.co.uk for further details.  And you never know.  One day this might be you!

South East Wales Regional Schools Race – Thursday 21st June 2018

 

Crickhowell High School girls ski squads took part in their first ever race on Thursday 21st June in the South East Wales Schools Ski Championships and were a great success.  There were 48 entrants from 8 schools and our first team – Saskia Henry-Davies (captain), Bethany Woollard, Arwen Hobson and Lauren French – managed to win silver medals in the team event.  The second team of Isobel Pearce, Megan Fryer and Jess Dykes, although unmedalled, skied exceptionally well, just missing out on the bronze medal to Brecon High School.

Amazingly, given that the squad have only been practicing for a few weeks, there were also some individual medals:

  • Saskia Henry-Davies won gold for the fastest U14 female skier
  • Arwen Hobson won silver for the fastest U14 female skier
  • Saskia Henry-Davies won silver for the fastest unregistered female skier in the whole secondary school competition
  • Arwen Hobson won bronze for the fastest unregistered female skier in the whole secondary school competition
  • Bethany Woollard won bronze for the fastest U16 fastest female skier

The girls’ ski squad will now prepare for the Welsh National Schools’ Championships and we are aiming to enter at least 2 teams for Llangrannog on Sunday 14th October.  We are always looking for new members and you can even start learning to ski as a total beginner.  Email  Julia Hawkins on cynllunpatagonia@hotmail.co.uk if you are interested in joining the squad.

Welsh National Dry Slope Ski Championships – Sunday 9th September 2018

   

Congratulations to Erin and Manon Higgins from Year 7 who competed in the Welsh National Dry Slope Ski Championships at Pontypool Ski Slope on Sunday 9th September 2018.  Incredibly, the twins got exactly the same time to the hundredth of a second, taking joint silver medal with a time of 27.81 seconds.

Welsh Schools Ski Championships – Sunday 14th October 2018

Crickhowell High School Girls Ski Team (Arwen Hobson Y9, Saskia Henry-Davies Y8, Erin and Manon Higgins Y7) took part in the Welsh Schools Ski Championships at Llangrannog in West Wales on Sunday 14th October 2018. Fabulous skiing by all 4 team members earned them a team bronze medal in their first ever entry in the competition. And they were only one fifth of a second off a silver team medal! As the third fastest team in Wales, they have now qualified for the British Schools Championships, which is attended by the top 25 school ski teams in Britain.

There were individual medals too, with Arwen coming third in Wales in the unregistered Under 14 girls category, Erin coming second in Wales and Manon third in the Registered Under 12 category.

Despite being ill, Saskia also posted a great time, ensuring team success. The team had to brave Storm Callum and floods to compete and some of them returned to Crickhowell on the back of a recovery lorry, but they loved every minute. With such a young, enthusiastic team, competing against teams with students up to Y13, the future looks bright for Team CHS.

Girls of any age who’re interested in joining Team CHS, please contact Julia Hawkins on cynllunpatagonia@hotmail.co.uk.  We’re always looking to welcome new skiers.