Snowsport Cymru Wales is the governing body for skiing and snowboarding in Wales with an aim to increasing participation in snowsports. Their latest project matches well with The Skiers Trust’s objectives to support disadvantaged young people.
The project will give 2,400 young people across Wales their first snowsports ’taster’ experience. The twelve-month programme, organised through schools and young people organisations, will involve over 200 sessions at the five dry slope ski centres throughout Wales. Hopefully, it will ‘light the fire’ in many!
Planned to begin in Spring 2020 and run over a twelve-month time frame. Unsurprisingly it has been set back by the Covid-19 pandemic. A re-start was made in Autumn 2020 only to be halted again. However, the programme will get going as soon as the horizon is clear.
The Skiers Trust has set aside funds to support the project which is being cosupported by an equal matching grant from Sport Wales.
The project’s genesis came from the 2018 National School Sport Survey Report by Sport Wales and the Welsh Government. It identified that only 17% of school age children participated in snowsports with at least another 12% wishing to try snowsports. This translates into another 32,500 children keen to take up the opportunity if it were available. The latent demand was shown to be evenly spread between boys and girls. Geographically, it was shown to be slightly higher in Mid, West and North Wales. These are great statistics that should be capitalised upon and help more children to access the sport.
When first conceived, the Skiers Trust was keen to show early support in order that the project was sure to get off the ground. It did this through its Education Access & Development Fund which supports young people, in particular the disadvantaged, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience snowsports.
For the Skiers Trust, this is project in using snowsports for Educational Access & Development is a very worthwhile opportunity that we wish to be a successful start, not merely a one-off. Our focus is to continue to expand in this cause, finding more opportunities, helping more organisations to grow, supporting more initiatives.