by St Paul's Collegiate School

Ski team ready to hit the slopes

As with many other sports and activities this year, the St Paul’s Collegiate School Ski Team had its plans changed considerably with the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. Reverend Peter Rickman provides an update on where the team is heading.

What would have normally have been a winter season of ski race training and competition became a time for consolidation and regrouping with our eyes on the races of 2021. However, rather than be despondent or disappointed around this, we are still very much appreciative as a nation we had a winter ski season at all. 

There are 29 registered skiers, most of whom are in the development stages of their race training, and we began our season at Auckland Snow Planet for two weekends during the month of June. The snow conditions and accompanying weather has been mixed and at times challenging this year with limited snow compared to other years. We have also seen considerably warmer temperatures which sees some snow disappear as soon as it arrives. 

The team travels to Ohakune most weekends either on the school bus or with parents who offer their support and bring their vehicles. Challenging conditions have proved to be good training ground for us all with our techniques, styles and ability being constantly developed and stretched. We have a number of exceptionally good skiers in the team this year, particularly amongst our junior students and new year 11 girls and we look forward to ongoing development on the slopes this year. 

Without the appropriate race coaching available this year, due to mountain restrictions and the unavailability of coaching staff, many of whom would travel to New Zealand from overseas, we have been looking at next year's opportunities. We hope ski racing will return to the North Island ski fields for primary, intermediate and secondary schools next year. 

We have had heaps of fun on the slopes, enjoyed ourselves and have seen a strong team spirit develop this year with many of our young people very much committed to the sport and its future development at St Paul's. Both Mr Heaton and I enjoy our time with our young skiers and love to see their growing ability and confidence on the slopes.