What to expect
Snowsports includes all disciplines of skiing and snowboarding. These can be done on natural or artificial slopes, flat snow-covered terrain or in specialist snow parks.
What you’ll learn
Snowsports are a great way to get active while trying something new and exciting. Snowsports also offer lots of opportunities to progress and develop your skills by persevering and improving your technique and ability. You can also work towards Snowsport England personal and coaching qualifications, which can help everyone to progress through the Snowsports Staged Activity Badge.
While skiing is over 500 years old, snowboarding is almost brand new, emerging as recently as 1965.
- Layer up. It’s pretty clear that most winter sports take place in cold climates, but packing and wearing lots of thinner layers will actually help you to stay warmer and adjust your body temperature more easily than a thick coat.
- First aid. Just like any other sport, winter sports have the potential to cause injuries or accidents. You may need to add to your first aid kits or earn extra qualifications to help stay safe while taking part in winter sports.
- Energy boost. A high energy snack can help to keep your body fuelled to stay warm. A flask of your favourite hot drink is also a great idea.
You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
- Check the weather forecast
Snowsports and winter sports:
- The Snowsports environments are defined in POR 9.12.13, check the definition before planning your activity
- Everyone must wear a helmet whilst doing Snowsports activities, exemptions apply
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts:
The activity leader must have an adventurous activities permit with the right level and permissions for your group.
For skiing and snowboarding, except on artificial and nursery slopes.
For sledging and other snowsports On Piste and Off Piste in Terrain 1 and Terrain 2.
Where the group is entirely members over the age of 18 the permit scheme does not apply, please follow the rule 9.8 adult groups.
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements:
- The centre/instructor should hold one of these: (If the provider is AALA exempt)
- UK Snowsports - Instructor
- British Association of Ski Instructors - Instructor
The provider must have public liability insurance.
Like any sport there will be challenges along the way as you improve your skills, but snowsports may feel a little more tricky from the start, as the ground underneath your feet will probably be more slippery than you’re used to. Although this might feel daunting, this does make it more likely that everyone starts at the same level, working through the basics.
Levelling the playing field for everyone can be a fantastic coaching and teaching tool you can use in the future. Next time you’re planning a session or playing a game, try to come up with ways to reinvent the rules and take everyone back to basics so everyone can get involved, have a fair chance and learn together.
Snowsports can often be adapted so more people can give it a go. Many outdoor centres have facilities that cater for people with additional needs and experienced instructors to help everyone achieve their goals. Get in touch with your local provider to chat through the needs of people in your group. Make sure you give them plenty of notice.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.
Young people may be interested in a range of different snowsports. Involve everyone when making decisions about which snowsports to try to make sure everyone gets a chance to try something new and exciting.