Farlington takes to the slopesJanuary 10, 2017
On 15th December, 32 pupils from Farlington School headed to Italy for the ski trip to Folgarida. This annual event is open to all pupils of all abilities in Years 7 to 13 and provides many girls with their first opportunity to ski. Each day the girls went to ski school for five hours and worked with the instructors to improve their technique within their ability group.
After an exceptionally early start – 04:45 at Gatwick – and a smooth flight to Milan Linate, they retrieved all their bags before the last person cleared Passport Control and headed out to meet the coach.
The journey to the hotel was very smooth and they arrived at Hotel Almazzago at about 14:45. They were the sole occupants of the Annexe, a very well-appointed building with rooms on three floors. After unpacking, they headed down to do their ski fit. There was not much snow in the village, but sufficient higher up so that about half the runs were open with more due to be available from the weekend.
On the first day the beginners made huge progress and conquered their first run and chair lift after spending the morning practising how to turn and how to stop! They headed into lunch beaming! The advanced group focused on technique and safety in the morning and then had a blast over to Marilleva. The intermediate group also focused on technique and finding their ski legs again. They did several really nice runs and were also very pleased with themselves.
Student Kate Wilson said, “Marco, Italo and Gianni, our instructors, eased us in gently for the first day or two, and were great fun and enthusiastic throughout. They laughed even when Alberta skied straight into the Slow Down sign – clearly she didn’t slow down!”
Forgoing the nursery slopes by Day 3, the increasingly-more-confident beginners headed straight out on to the slopes for more practice on the button lift before lunch (huge bowls of spaghetti!) Re-fuelled and raring to go, they then conquered three red runs before arriving at the top of the lift tired, but exceptionally pleased with themselves.
The intermediate group, not to be outdone, skied ‘multiple’ red runs, followed by a black before lunch. They enjoyed the black so much, they went and did it again in the afternoon! The top group continued to fly round the mountain, sometimes on one ski, sometimes backwards, and practising 360º turns at every opportunity.
The evenings were crammed pack with activities. There was bowling in the next village, where Katie Speers became the champion bowler. The pizza night was hugely enjoyable, as were the quiz night, the town trail, heated games of UNO, Millie’s birthday celebrations and a scavenger hunt. In the latter the items included an outrageous hat, three things that rhyme, postcards of the resort, a celebrity lookalike and a cuddly toy. They also had to dress a member of the team in as many pieces of ski clothing as possible – Amy managed 42 without passing out from overheating!
They woke up to clear blue skies and sunshine for their last day on the slopes. After a group photo, all groups set off with clear instructions to have a great last day but be safe! The sunshine helped everyone have a brilliant day and all left the mountain in one piece and happy with their week’s skiing.
Kate Wilson commented: “During the week all of us improved our skiing ability massively. By the end of the week, the beginners group was going down “Purple Runs” (Mrs Binns’s Red/Black Runs!) The intermediates were flying down the Black Runs, jumping the obstacles, and the advanced skiers were carving their own way down the slopes. At the end of the week everyone received their well-deserved medals and awards from their instructors, some even getting Gold.”
The final evening meal was a Gala Dinner – a special festival of food put on by the hotel. There were six courses – a buffet of cold meats, soup, a vegetable course, main dish, cheese and dessert! A fantastic way to round off the trip.
“Each year we have a fantastic time on the ski trip and this year was no exception,” said Sara Whittaker, Director of PE and Games at Farlington, who organised the trip. “The ski resort and instructors were excellent and the girls and staff got on tremendously well: a brilliant bonding opportunity. It introduced some of the girls to a sport they had never tried before, while others were coming for a second or third time. Ski trips are so much more than a holiday. They enhance physical skills and knowledge, develop personal and social awareness, provide the opportunity to set and achieve personal goals, develop environmental awareness, as well as the obvious health and fitness benefits.
“At Farlington we believe it is essential all girls find a fitness activity they enjoy and can participate in well beyond their school years. Lifelong participation in physical activity is our aim and, hopefully, skiing is something the girls will be able to pursue in the future.”