07 December 2015

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch visits Chatham Ski & Snowboard Centre

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch visited Chatham Ski & Snowboard Centre last Friday where she met GB Paralympic Games gold medalist Charlotte Evans and English Park and Pipe skier Mike Rowlands, along with 30 pupils and teachers from Hempstead Junior School in Medway.

A keen skier herself, Tracey Crouch was impressed by the slope skills of the young skiers and wowed by the tricks of rising talent Mike Rowlands. She also learnt more about Snowsport England’s national snowsports programme, GO SKI GO BOARD, and the impact it has had on participation at UK slopes.

The Sports Minister’s visit followed the government’s pledge of increased funding for sport in the UK in the Autumn Statement, which was a timely announcement for a sport which has seen a rise in participation since the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Tracey Crouch said on the day: “What we want is for people to have access to any sport they want to participate in, and that may well be a sport like skiing or snowboarding.


“It was great to meet Charlotte (Evans) and Mike (Rowlands), who is on the pathway to success in freestyle skiing. These are the guys who have started their trade here, and who have carried it on. I think it is brilliant, and it really does inspire the next generation to get involved and see it is on their doorstep.


“The cost of snowsports really is reasonable. You can come and ski here for just £6 and that includes all your equipment. I think skiing is an accessible sport and there really aren’t any barriers. People think they have to go away to do it, and it may be a costly affair, but what we are seeing is more people doing skiing and snowboarding on artificial slopes. This is what the success of Chatham is all about.


“I think it is really important to get people to use their local slopes. It is a great activity for schools, and something that can be done as an entire class. Certainly when I learnt to ski, we went down to the slope as a class, and learnt to ski and to fall over together. Getting children in when they are young and developing that love for it as well as developing commitment and determination is key.”

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