Last year we were delighted to receive a call from Connect Snowsports who were looking to support Snow Camp by providing some of our young people with fully funded places on their 6-week GAP course in Zermatt. What an incredible opportunity! Now, as the snow is starting to melt on the 2021/22 winter season, we can proudly say that Lakshmi and Demi, two of our stand-out young people from recent years, are now proud BASI Level 2 Alpine Ski Instructors.
Originally from India and now based in Coventry, Lakshmi joined Snow Camp Midlands in 2017 though her youth club PYF. Having just turned 16, Lakshmi had left school, and was unclear about what direction to take. So, when the opportunity arose to attend Snow Camp her youth worker felt it would offer her a much-needed positive direction. Lakshmi connected to snowsports right from the start, it was new and exciting. She was willing to work hard in Snow Camp’s classroom activities just to be able to strap on a pair of skies.
Throughout her time with Snow Camp Lakshmi has shown passion, determination, improved confidence and motivation. As a result of her personal and academic achievements she was accepted on to our award-winning Apprenticeship course in the summer of 2018. Over the last few years Lakshmi has continued to support Snow Camp young people by volunteering on our courses and this year – when the opportunity presented itself – it was an obvious choice to honour Lakshmi’s incredible commitment with one of the two fully-funded places with Connect Snowsports.
Lakshmi said: “My 6-week experience in Zermatt has been the one of highlights of my life so far. Being able to get such an amazing opportunity where I learned new skills both on and off the slope (skiing bumps and practicing my freestyle skills to cooking for myself and for my course mates), to building connections and making new friends for life, it has been mind-blowing. The whole experience has got me out of my comfort zone and given me an amazing insight of life in the mountains as an instructor. Now with my Level 2 instructor qualification, I want to teach in different resorts around the world and meet new people. I want to thank Connect Snowsports and each individual that helped me get this qualification.”
Similar to Lakshmi’s journey, Demi from Glasgow has been involved with Snow Camp since 2017 and has excelled on our courses and as a volunteer in recent years. Demi is a committed volunteer, supporting the new young people who join Snow Camp. Her drive and desire was one of the reasons why she was selected for this opportunity and the BASI Level 2 Instructor qualification has opened up a whole new world of instructing abroad.
Demi said: “This 6-week course was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced. Sure, it was intense and a lot of work but still one of my most favourite life experiences so far. Going out my comfort zone and flying to a different country on my own, it gave me time to meet loads of new and amazing people that I’ll hopefully keep in contact with whilst continuing to develop my skills and progress further with my skiing. In the future I hope to travel and see different parts of the world to ski and teach in, not to mention returning as a volunteer to share my story and inspire future generations of young people coming through the Snow Camp journey. Thank you so much to everyone involved for making this experience possible.”
Steve Jones, Director and Head Instructor at Connect Snowsports said:
“We’ve been following Snow Camp’s journey for a few years now after coming across them on social media. We’ve been supporters from afar of what they do and what they represent and wanted to find a way to get involved. We thought we would start by opening our doors to a couple of Snow Camp young people on our BASI Level 1 and 2 Course, to help provide training opportunities to young people who wish to pursue a career in the snowsports industry beyond the core Snow Camp courses. In addition to training, our courses allow our trainees to experience life in the mountains, gain independence, broaden their horizons on a personal level, and meet people from all over the world.
It was a pleasure having Demi and Lakshmi join our Winter 2021/22 team. We were delighted in their progress on the slopes and we think they had fun off the slopes too, making the most of everything Zermatt has to offer. We hope to be able to welcome more trainees from Snow Camp in the future.”
To Connect Snowsports, the British Association of Snowsports Instructors and everyone involved in this opportunity – including Ellis Brigham for their generous support with hardware for Lakshmi and Demi – thank you and roll on winter 2022/23.
Find out more about Connect Snowsports: https://connectsnowsports.com/