We enter three teams for the ESSKIA qualification race in early September and in recent years we have had at least one team go through to the national finals held in Norfolk in early November. This is always a wonderful experience for the boys and several of our skiers have then been invited to be members of the ESSKIA National Squad. Three teams are then entered in late September for the BISS National Schools Ski Racing Indoor Championships at Hemel Snow Centre. This season our U14 A Team Captain Archie Marlow, secured a 6th place medal in the individual event. Other opportunities have included a ski maintenance workshop and training sessions booked at Hemel Snow Centre and Welwyn Dry Slope which involve coaching and gate training. These sessions are open to all the boys who trial in September meaning that even those who have not yet been selected to race have their moment on the slopes with the squad…..
Each year between nine and twelve members of the Squad represent the school at the Artemis Interschools Challenge held each March in Pila, Italy. We are frequently joined in Pila by older ex Hall boys such as Jamie Neale. They are excellent role models for the younger boys and can often be found helping and teaching someone to maintain, edge and wax his skis competently. Three teams race at the ISA event at Hemel Snow Centre in late April and two teams are entered for the SATIPSKI event, also at Hemel Snow Centre, in mid May. We are then delighted to be able to enter as many as four teams at the London Schools Race in June featuring some of our very youngest skiers !
Ski racing is not without its risks and the sheer amount of kit and caboodle means that perhaps more than in any other sport our ski squad relies on the support and patience of the parents of skiers. As the images of parents on the slopes in Pila or tackling the Vallee Blanche in Chamonix show, their involvement does have some advantageous moments. The stunning photos of some of our skiers racing are often courtesy of parents.
For the last five years two days of practice and trials have been organised at the end of the summer holidays for all boys interested in being part of the squad for the season. For economy of scale as well as the social aspect these sessions continue to be organised alongside the girls of South Hampstead High School with designated places for each school on each of the two days.