The National Schools Snowsports Association (NSSA) was founded in 2016, after working with schools for a number of years, building participation through race events.
We found that schools were not served well by existing organisations with event rules excluding many schools or individuals and disciplines outside of alpine not being catered for.
To this end, The NSSA was set up as an organisation aimed to be an information hub for schools’ snowsports which was not available to schools previously, and looks to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for schools interested in snowsports activities or wanting to get involved in competitions, both alpine and freestyle, from novice level upwards.
Since its inception, the organisation has been working on partnerships and offers available to NSSA member schools to add value to the membership. Amongst other things, there are offers and deals from retailers, brands, insurance companies and currency exchange partners.
In the longer term, The NSSA look to work with more and more organisations within the British snowsports arena along with a growing network of schools, working to introduce training grants and bursaries for both individual performers and schools teams or squads. With some great partnerships already established with organisations such as the Ski Club of Great Britain and affiliation to Snowsport England, giving membership of SSE to all NSSA member schools. This gives a liability insurance cover for schools taking part in the NSSA sanctioned indoor events.
These successful indoor events have been running for around 8 years. With several events each summer (currently) and up to 450 children at each event, it’s no small project. We hope to get back to these events soon but, in the meantime, the NSSA has launched several initiatives that work to build snowsports participation whilst remaining within the Covid guidelines.
The Alpine All Stars is an initiative by the NSSA to get more children involved in snowsports from beginner to a basic competitive level. This will take a group of beginners from one school per slope taking part and work with them for regular sessions through the school year. The scheme will be free of charge for the selected schools and we ask schools to apply for places on the programme.
It’s designed to take children from non-skiers and give them the tools to enjoy the sport and stay involved, creating greater retention of those taking part.
NSSA Programme Director, Phil Brown said: “We have strong ambitions to significantly grow the sport and this programme is all about putting more children on skis or a board. First and foremost, we want to make snowsports a fun and enjoyable experience for children and give them a passion for the sport to last a lifetime.”
“Drawing kids to the sport at an early age will develop more participants, create more fans and show the power of snowsports in developing physical and social skills.”
This new grassroots initiative starts in November 2020. Open to all school age children.
To apply on behalf of your school, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information see here.
The other Initiative by the NSSA to get more children involved in snowsports to a competitive level and to offer events at a local level in order to increase accessibility. Open to all school age children, the events will run regularly at numerous venues around the country – A list of venues that are partnering on this will be available by October half term 2020
There will be a number of centres involved in the leagues and at each slope taking part, a course will be set and marked*. Then approximately once per month/5 weeks, the NSSA will run 2-3 sessions at the slope on the same day. Sessions will be 2 hours long and include coaching.
During each session, a small group of racers (number dependent on rules of the slope etc.) will attend and run training with coaches from our training partner, course inspection and 3 timed runs. These timed runs will be recorded and used for the final results (fastest run to count) – likely to be around summer half term.
Results for both teams and individuals will be available on our website and likely on GBski, updated after each session.
The current plan is to have a virtual prizegiving after Summer half term and invite the higher placed teams and individuals to a league finals during the latter half of the summer term.
This then equates to having a race at each slope, held over several months.
NSSA Partnerships Liaison, Dan Humphrey said: “We looked at how we can offer competitive events under the schools banner to those schools, athletes and parents that are clearly very keen to get back to the sport and to be able to offer this in a locally and safely accessible way
“We believe the National Schools Leagues are a great way to do this, maintaining the ethos of participation and involvement that drives our other events.”
Schools Instructor Opportunities
As part of the NSSA mission to increase participation across snowsports in general through involvement with schools, we are pleased to partner with IASI to offer the level one alpine instructor qualification from 15 years old, exclusively through the NSSA. This programme expands our offering to offer opportunities beyond training or competition at school level and give more options to schools snowsports participants.
This is an opportunity for kids, who have taken part in snowsports through their school, to use these skills and experience in a positive way to give them further options. Whether this is to work at a local centre to earn extra money through uni or college or the first step in a snowsports career, we believe that this utilises skills and experience already gained through participation at school and build on it.
For more information click here.
The committee of the association comprises of a number of highly experienced individuals from UK snowsports, with UK snowsports and school competition expertise, including coaches, teachers and active members of the wider UK travel industry.
If you’d like any information on the NSSA, are interested in the events or know anyone interested in sponsorship of the events run by the NSSA, please contact the NSSA at email@example.com