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Snowsports for all at Scotch

The Scotch inter-school ski team achieved great success in 2011, while the Koomerang Ski Club filled its bunks with eager beginner skiers and boarders.

WORDS: MR CAMERON CUTCHIE – TEACHER-IN-CHARGE, SNOWSPORTS

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From first timers through to elite athletes, the recent ski season has again seen more than 200 boys from the Scotch community involved in some sort of skiing and snowboarding program provided by the school. Whether they were involved in the beginners’ camp, the inter-school competition, or boarders taking part in a weekend trip to Mt Buller and the boarders’ lodge at Mansfield, skiing ignited great passion and friendship among Scotch boys.

This year marks the 54th year of inter-school skiing competition, which began when four Scotch boys challenged four Melbourne Grammar boys to a race. Very little has changed in the spirit and rivalry generated by this challenge, with Scotch and Melbourne Grammar still challenging each other for the top step.

Our team this year consisted of almost 100 boys from Prep to Year 12 and was led by Captains Adam Brown and Will Payne (both Year 12). Adam and Will have competed every year since they began at Scotch and are both national podium winners on skis, while Will also achieves the same level of success on a snowboard. From the elite level of boys like Adam and Will through to the youngest competitors in Prep, each year sees more boys from the school community enjoying the time spent with mates as they compete for school pride.

Congratulations to Nick Biggins of Year 8 who has been selected to join the Australian Children’s Ski Team. Selection in the team allows Nick to represent Australia in certain races overseas, and to enter training camps run by Ski and Snowboard Australia in Austria with the entire Australian ski team, which will train there during the 2011/2012 northern season.

The Australian Snowsports Camps programme aims to involve as many students as possible in as many activities as possible. This year we continued the tradition of our highly successful Mt Buller beginners’ camp trip, where 32 energetic beginners embraced the fantastic opportunity to spend time with their friends learning how to ski or snowboard for the first time. The ultimate goal is to engender not only a passion for snowsports and the alpine environment, but a sense of accomplishment at achieving in a challenging activity.

The camp was accommodated at the Koomerang Ski Club, which was once again the principal supporter of the camp by offering each boy a free membership for the 2012 ski season. The membership allows all boys to make bookings at any of the four lodges owned by Koomerang and, if they choose, continue their membership for the rest of their time at school and beyond as future Old Scotch Collegians.

The camping programme also saw the reestablishment of the Whistler ski tour, as 14 skiers and snowboarders headed to the world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb resort in Canada. The tour caters for more capable skiers and boarders who are looking for an experience that reaches beyond what our Australian snowfields can accommodate. At the same time it will no doubt leave each boy with unforgettable memories of a special time with his Scotch mates.

Whether it is skiing competitively for Scotch pride, or strapping on skis or a board for a chance simply to enjoy a time with mates which will be remembered for years to come, the Scotch snowsports programme aims to make skiing and snowboarding as accessible as possible to all boys. Old Boys often tell us they have Scotch to thank for igniting their passion for skiing. People are rarely too young or too old to participate in skiing and it remains one of the most inclusive activities for all members of the Scotch Family.