Our Patron, Warren Smith, runs the prestigious Warren Smith Ski Academy in Verbier and he kindly welcomed Laquan on to his programmes this winter season. The Warren Smith Ski Academy is famous for its level of excellence at training skiers and to be apart of the Academy has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for Laquan. Through his training at the Academy Laquan has gained an ISIA Level 2 Instructor qualification.
Laquan described his experiences to Snow-Camp:
“When I arrived in Verbier I was ecstatic, the scenery was amazing and I couldn’t wait to start skiing with the Warren Smith Ski Academy coaches. I was met by Jonjoe, a Warren Smith coach and former Snow-Camp young person who helped me to get settled (pictured below).
The first 3 weeks of training were great, I was able to learn so much so quickly. I was coached by Stefan who taught me how to ski the bumps and moguls and took me down my first itinerary run. That was an exhilarating moment. I got to the bottom feeling like I had been mentally and physically worked and I loved it. Next Warren Smith coach Jordan took us for avalanche training and overall technique. The avalanche training was really interesting. I learnt all about the equipment we need in an emergency and how to use it properly and efficiently. We then trained with Jamie where we had a good mix of piste and off piste runs focusing a lot on techniques used for different terrain and conditions.
Week 4 was race week with Imi. We trained at higher speeds and attacked the slopes. Short and long turns were the main focus (video above!). This helped a lot as I was able to push myself to press harder and ski faster with confidence. We then had freestyle week with Rob. We learnt the correct techniques when sliding boxes and hitting kickers. I passed my IASI freestyle level 1 during week 4, which was an amazing achievement.
We then had a shadowing week where I shadowed Rory who was teaching a number of children. This was a great week as I learnt some amazing techniques.
We then had our IASI level 1 exam and everyone passed which was a huge achievement for the whole group.
Week 7 and 8 we trained with Rob leading up to our level 2 exam. It was a great two weeks, we had some amazing snow so we had a powder day and made our way through the 4 Valleys.
What an experience! Thank you to Warren Smith, everyone at the Warren Smith Ski Academy and to Snow-Camp for providing me with this opportunity.”
What’s next for Laquan? He’ll be back this summer volunteering on Snow-Camp’s programmes, teaching the new Snow-Camp young people. He also works at Chel-Ski in London. Make sure you stop by and request a lesson from him!