The AIASF would like to announce the success of our first Alpine Snow Sports Program. 13 students and 2 teachers together with mentors from the Australian Indigenous Alpine Sport Foundation participated in a program delivered by Action Learning Initiatives in Jindabyne, which incorporated three days learning how to ski and snowboard together with the opportunity to traverse the pristine region of East Perisher with a 10km return guided cultural and environmental trek to Porcupine Rocks hosted by K7 Adventures.
The group stayed at the lovely Bungarra Alpine Centre situated on 200 acres just outside Jindabyne, arriving in the afternoon of Sunday the 13th September 2015, quickly being fitted for skis or snowboards, plus clothing and boots before progressing to the dining room.
Welcome to Country was performed by the AIASF President, Angel-John Gallard – Ngarigo Elder and Water Keeper, who then joined the group for a lovely meal of healthy fresh food provided by the staff of Action Learning Initiatives. After dinner the group convened in the common room, where Libby Fröhlich from the AIASF designed and produced a banner with the students for group photos the following morning in Thredbo.
On the Monday the students and teachers participated in a two-hour morning lesson proceeded by a tasty lunch at the Snow Sports Area at Friday Flat Thredbo. Following lunch the students again participated in a two-hour lesson of snowboarding or skiing. Buddy group free time boarding finished-off the day with all students now confident with riding the “Easy Does It” Chair lift on Friday Flat. The day finished with another splendid dinner in the dining hall with very exhausted but happy students.
Tuesday began early with a 6.15am hearty breakfast in the dining hall before hitting the slopes for a two-hour group lesson for skiers and snowboarders. After lessons and lunch all students were keen to practice their new skills with a quite a few ready to try the Gunbarrel Chairlift to Merritts a bit further up the mountain with longer runs. After another lovely dinner the kids returned to light the outdoor fire-pit outside their accommodation and retired to relax in the converted train carriages outside Junction West building where we were bunked.
Wednesday there was a thrill in the air as we departed for Thredbo, the kids had confidence now and were eager to ask for their lessons to be conducted up the mountain and on the terrain parks allowing them to tackle the jumps and steeper runs. These kids were complete naturals with almost three quarters of the group tackling the highest runs up the Karels T-Bar skiing and boarding the entire mountain runs. What an achievement, two days earlier most of the participants hadn’t even seen snow. The students, teachers, mentors and Thredbo Ski and Snowboarding instructors were all very proud of the progress shown by the whole group.
With the thrill of downhill sports accomplished the group set out to learn about the pristine alpine region with a hearty 10km return walk to Porcupine Rocks setting out from Perisher Valley National Parks office after a briefing on Alpine Survival run by K7 adventures and guided by Acacia Rose and Jane. Jane gave demonstrations of different cross-country competition sports before setting out on our snow shoeing adventure where the students were provided information on the environmental requirements to protect such a valuable resource of the Alpine regions of Australia. A picnic lunch was enjoyed amongst the natural beauty of the snow gums before enjoying splendid views of Crackenback Valley from the peak. The group was joined by local Elder Angel-John Gallard and Nancy-Gant Thompson from the AIASF.
That evening the group gathered in the train carriages for a presentation put together by Toronto High School teachers where the groups’ achievements were able to be enjoyed via a powerpoint presentation. Thank you cards and small gifts from the Toronto High School students were given to Lynda Kimber from AIASF and Nathan Brown from ALI for the success of the program with the students expressing their gratitude for being able to participate.
The next morning the students were all presented with AIASF T-shirts sponsored by 24 Hour Merchandising presented by AIASF Public Officer Robert Fröhlich.
A very special mention to Jordan Rodgers and Stuart Diver of Kosciuszko Thredbo Pty Limited for the generous donation of lift and lesson tickets for all students over all days of our snow program…Thanks you so much!
Thredbo Mountain staff and Media were all tremendous and helped the group gain confidence with professional instruction and assistance. THANK YOU THREDBO!
Also a big thank you to the staff at Harro’s Snow Sports, Crackenback who are always available to advise and provide expert safety, equipment and snow industry knowledge ensuring the well being of our participants.
All in all the AIASF is very proud of the success of our very first Alpine Sports Program! We look forward to Winter 2016!