Training restarts on Gosling Ski Slope in Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 14:08 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 23 September 2020
Welwyn Garden City Ski Race Club has restarted its training sessions during September at the dry ski slope at Gosling Sport Park.
Dozens of skiers have begun meeting every Friday evening at the slope to practice skiing and slalom courses, in anticipation for when ski race competitions can restart.
The club had to significantly redesign its procedures so as to operate as a COVID secure activity, and adhere to guidelines set by the government and Snowsport England.
This has included developing a new online booking system fit for linking to test and trace, and setting rules around health, hygiene and social distancing.
Club chair Simon Godley said: “because we are a fully outdoor non-contact sport, we thought it would be fairly easy to restart training as we came out of lockdown, however we had to create a detailed risk assessment for dealing with hygiene issues and setting out procedures for sanitising ski race equipment and maintaining social distancing. We are now confident that our ski racers are training in as safe an environment as possible.”
Participants and parents of children attending the ski race training are delighted that they can train at the slope.
One parent Kate Hawks said: “I was delighted to see my daughters back on the dry slope enjoying an activity that can truly be socially distanced and safe. They were so happy to be skiing again and learning new skills”
Alistair King, an experienced ski racer had similar thoughts and added: “It’s great to be back training at Welwyn in a COVID secure environment. The benefits to my health, fitness and well-being can not be understated.”
The Ski Race Club managed to get approval from the facility owners to hire the slope privately, despite the ski centre remaining closed to general use.
The ski slope site, along with the adjacent golf driving range remains a site earmarked for redevelopment into housing within the proposed Local Plan. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council are also leading a facility feasibility study to determine which sport and leisure facilities will remain at Gosling Sports Park, based on community needs and demand.
Simon Godley added: “Given we are a fully outdoor non-contact sport, we feel that skiing and other activities on the dry slope will be in greater demand amongst children and adults, particularly if restrictions affecting other sports and sports venues continue due to the pandemic.”
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