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Summary of SnowSport England Nordic to which the Club is affiliated
The Club was founded in January 1984 in Altrincham as a focus for people with an interest in cross-country skiing. Initial aims were to bring like-minded people together for ski trips and to disseminate information on techniques, places to ski, equipment etc. Membership now covers a wide area of the North-West.
Cross-country skiing covers a range of activities including:
The Club has members who take part in some or all of these activities and more besides. It caters for a considerable variety of skiing skills and ability and welcomes beginners and experienced skiers alike. The common aim is to enjoy skiing and to share that enjoyment.
On Snow Skiing
During the Winter the Club aims to take advantage of any opportunities to ski locally. As local snowfall tends to be infrequent and unpredictable, local skiing meets can be arranged at short notice via the Club Snowline which consists of several telephone numbers for members to phone or by using the Club's internet mailing list. (see Contacts for more details).
Weekend trips to areas further afield such as Scotland or the Lake District are also arranged; these tend to be planned further in advance. In recent years, for guaranteed snow it has been necessary to travel abroad, and there have been Club holidays in Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
See Events and the club newsletter for organised trips
Off Snow Skiing
The Club also has a full programme of off-snow activities. These include roller skiing and dry-slope meets, allowing members to practice and develop their skills when there is no snow. The Club has members who have qualified as instructors under the Snowsport England Nordic Coaching Scheme, and they are keen to pass on that experience.
See Coaching for further course information
See Events and the club newsletter for further roller tour information
During the summer, events including mountain biking, barbecues and walking are organised.
Between September and April the Club has a number of indoor meets at the Chill Factore (Verbier Room), these include slide shows, talks and videos.
See Events and the club newsletter for further details
Diagonal Stride the Club newsletter is published published approximately every 2 months depending upon the amount of material that is received for inclusion. It includes updates on the Club programme, articles on Club activities, holiday reports, gear reviews, and small ads for selling unwanted skis and other skiing related equipment. It also keeps Club members in touch with the activities of other nordic clubs and the activities of the Snowsport England Nordic Committee to which the club is affiliated.
The article below is an edited version of one that appears in our current Club Handbook. It is a club view of SnowSport England (SSE) and does not purport to represent the views of SSE or the Nordic Committee.
Our representation on the SSE is through our membership of the North-West Ski Federation. SSE has representation in The British Ski Federation (BSF) which is the body which controls the international teams and relations with other national bodies. It is controlled by a committee in which the four home nations have the majority of the voting rights. In turn the BSF has representation on the FIS.
The SnowSport England Nordic Committee
SSE has a Nordic Committee which has a Chairperson appointed by SSE, who in turn can nominate anyone she/he wishes to join the committee. Nominations have to be approved by the SSE Management Committee. In fact the committee has, amongst its number, members from every SSE affiliated Nordic Ski Club. The Nordic Committee has been restructured to oversee the work of six committee panels, each responsible for an aspect of nordic skiing - facilities, public relations and marketing, development, coaching, touring and racing.
The Committee has representatives on the BSF Nordic Committee. It therefore acts as a meeting point for nordic interests in England. In particular it arranges courses, usually on a weekend basis, for nordic skiers at all levels of cross-country, cross-country downhill and telemark skiing, on snow, roller skis and dry ski slopes as appropriate. One of the major items of work by the Committee has been the production of the SSE Nordic Coaching Scheme.
SSE Nordic Coaching Scheme
Nordic skiing in England has suffered for a long time from the lack of a pool of qualified instructors and coaches to work at club level. The Snowsport England Nordic Coaching Scheme attempts to address this problem by providing a clear means of progression from club instructor through to SSE coach.
The aim of the Nordic Coaching Scheme is to develop coaching in English clubs, working as much as possible in the local environment throughout the year. With the climate of this country, this often means working through as much nordic technique as possible without snow. Nevertheless, it is recognized that there are many skiers who are not, at present, interested in any non-snow activity.
There are, therefore, two parallel routes covering all aspects of nordic skiing: either on snow or on artificial surfaces. It is possible to obtain qualifications on snow only, or on artificial surfaces only. However, SSE wishes to promote the use of snowless training in preparation for snow activity. There are, therefore, qualifications of Nordic Club Instructor and Nordic Club Coach open only to those who have progressed through both routes.
The scheme is modelled closely on the coaching scheme which has been successfully developed over the years for alpine skiers. It is intended that the Nordic Club Coach will be equivalent to the ASSI (Artificial Ski Slope Instructor) in the alpine scheme, but, because of the very diverse nature of nordic skiing, a wider range of techniques is included. The scheme is intended to cater for the needs of both tourers and racers.
The scheme complements the existing instructors' qualifications offered by BASI (British Association of Ski Instructors). It is intended for club skiers who will be working primarily on a voluntary basis with their fellow members. Those seeking a professional qualification to work in a commercial nordic ski school should follow the courses offered by BASI. However, it is recognised that, at present, many BASI qualified instructors do work in clubs on a voluntary basis and that there is inevitably considerable overlap in course content. There is, therefore, provision for BASI (Nordic) Instructors (and in some cases ASSIs) to gain exemption from parts of the scheme. All the awards are structured on a modular basis. Candidates can be trained for and assessed on the parts of each award at their own pace and according to the progression of their individual skills.
Full details of the syllabus are set out in the Log Book obtained upon registration with SSE.
The Club has members who have qualified as coaches and instructors under this scheme.
SnowSport England Contacts
SnowSport England Nordic website: snowsportengland.org.uk/cross-country
Further information on Snowsport England is available from:
© MCCSC / email@example.com / content altered 25 February 2012