3 - TRY YOUR FIRST SCHOOLS COMPETITION
1. Team selection
You may find that lots of pupils want to be in the school ski team. Competitions usually restrict the number of entries per school, so you may need to select a team from the eager candidates. Team selection should be transparent and equitable. Much the best way to handle it is to book a time trial at your local centre.
1. Step one is to invite all interested pupils to submit their names for inclusion.
2. Bring these pupils together one break or lunchtime and explain that team selection will be based upon a practice session and time trial.
3. Contact your local centre or club and ask if they can organise a trial for you. (Lists of resorts/centres link are on previous step 2 page)
4. Make a clear announcement of the results of the trial and the resulting selection, so there are no mis-undertsandings.
Try and build an ethos in the school where team members are respected and pupils aspire to get into the team. These are key aspirations and values for any school. It promotes respect and motivation.
2. Understanding Risk Assessments, Insurance and Supervision Provision.
SSSA events are all risk assessed by Snowsport Scotland (SSS). The most stringent measures are put in place to ensure the safety of participants. In addition, each snowsports centre is required to perform its own risk assessment. Both the centre and SSS event risk assessments can be made available should a schools require to see them.
Most local authorities have a schools excursion and outdoor activity insurance policy that covers schools for participation in Snowsports. You can check this by calling your Active Schools Coordinator, who, if not certain can contact the insurance specialist for the local authority.
If you know that your school DOES NOT HAVE 3rd PARTY LIABILITY COVER for skiing you can arrange this using the insurance application form in the links on the competitions page.
In advance of any competitions please ensure you have made provision for adequate supervision of all pupils at the event. This includes supervision on and off eth slope. Ensure that all competitors are aware of the environment in which they will be competing, are suitably dressed, and know where and how to seek assistance or help. On the mountain we recommend that each school team has a person dedicated to child welfare, and supervision at all times.
3. Engaging Parents and PTA's
Parents are probably the biggest fans of the competing pupils and are more than likely to want to go along, support their child and watch the action at schools events. Parents can be a great asset in helping schools facilitate engagement in snowsports competition, and provided the necessary regulations and controls are applied, parents can offer supervisory roles at events as well transport to/from the venue. Schools can take advantage of willing parents to help them facilitate access to events, and cover the schools safety and regulatory requirements.
4. Briefing the teams
Competitors should be briefed well in advance of competitions so as to allow them time to take in the detail, mentally prepare and discuss any concerns with teachers, coaches or parents. If in doubt show the team members the entry form, and information bulletins/email for the event, that outline the rules of participation and qualification.
5. Preparing and checking equipment
Equipment preparation forms a significant part of the process of getting ready for an event. Without sharp ski edges or suitable wax, skis/boards simply will not perform. If the children are involved in a ski club, the club's coaches will be able to advise them on ski and board prep. If the children are not members of snowsports clubs, parents with the right tools and some DIY skills can easily wax and/or sharpen edges of skis. Be careful not to do this incorrectly as you can easily ruin a good set of skis/board. Here is a source for tools you need. Here is a ski tech video to help. Waxing & Edge Sharpening. (There are many others too - search on youtube!)
6. Inspiring and motivating the team
Nerves play a role for even the youngest of competitors. We strongly urge all teachers, coaches and parents to help bolster confidence prior to a race, so as to inspire the pupils to try their very best. Inspiring belief, and empowering youngsters with some grit and determination is half way to winning. Above all ensure that competitors have fun in the process... for many, just competing is as good as winning. For the most competitive, here are some thoughts ...
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can!"
“Made a mistake? - Recognize it, admit it, learn from it and forget it. There will be more opportunities!”
“You’re never a loser until you quit trying.”
“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of true grit and determination.”
Click HERE to find out more about the SSSA schools competition calendar and possibly enter your school team into their first event.
We wish you every success!