When you work out here in the Alps, people always want to know where you learned to ski. Were you 3 years old? Could you ski before you could walk? Where? My answer is a bit unusual – I was taught to ski by a mad Austrian at the age of 14. In Holland. In the summer. However just like everyone else, I caught the skiing bug and haven’t looked back since.
I developed my skiing with the Scouts, and later the Royal Air Force as I was a reservist during my time at University. I toured the backcountry, competed in gates during the RAF Ski Championships and skied the Tignes glacier in summer. I knew that once I left university, I had to do a season just to get it out of my system!
This is now my third winter season, and second working for New Generation. I started off as a humble chalet host in Courchevel 1650. I had recently completed my BASI Level 1 in Glasgow, and was desperate to complete my shadowing hours. Luckily, New Generation had a shop right next to my chalet so I quickly made friends with the lovely ladies inside who kindly set me up to shadow group lessons.
I soon realised that New Generation was a company that I really wanted to be involved in – everyone who you come into contact with loves the mountains and are passionate about their work. Instructors were excited to get on the hill every day, and their clients always finished the lesson with huge grins – watching them teach has been invaluable in my continued training. By the end of the season, I was offered a Sales role in La Tania, and I jumped at the chance! This may or may not have had something to do with the freshly baked cookies I took to the 1650 shop every week…
The next winter I was helping run La Tania – speaking to Tour Ops, organising lessons and chatting to prospective clients about what we offer. I managed to get even more shadowing in – I especially loved helping out with the little Whippersnappers over Christmas week! Resort Manager James Lawson invited me to train on our ISIA Training course in Courchevel, where I met several amazing trainees who have gone on to work in our Verbier resort whilst they train towards BASI Level 4 ISTD. (Phil Ganley, David Walker) The training was invaluable and helped me gain me BASI Level 2 in April. This winter I’ll be continuing my training as I work towards Level 3 ISIA.
Just before the winter started I was promoted to Emma’s role, and have been working with Emma for the last month learning the ropes. She has been incredibly patient with me – there’s a lot to learn but she has answered every question, even if it’s the fourth time I’d asked it!
I’m really excited to be part of the Instructor Courses team, and glad to be part of such a dynamic company. Change is a good thing, which is why we’ll be introducing new ideas and developing our current programmes to make sure our trainees are fully supported along the instructor pathway. New Generation is a ski school to be proud of – we can provide so much more than just a basic training package. How many instructor course providers can offer work and train programmes (Villar and Verbier), accomplished trainers (Jas Bruce, Jon Alsen) and opportunities to work once fully qualified?
With this in mind, I hope to continue making sure our courses are the best they can be, and I aim to develop our communication with trainees past, present and future through our social media platforms, interesting blogs and beautiful videos. The awesome things we do here at New Generation are worth shouting about and I’m so proud to be part of it. Let’s see what 2016 brings!