SKI, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.
SBSJ Italy Ski Team February Half Term 2019
Friday 15th Feb 05.00hrs Ardor, Highgate
Mr Covey assembled the team extremely early Friday morning for the long road to Folgarida, Italy; an assortment of established skiers and new recruits ready for the annual adventure on the piste. With the exception of one; ‘Charlie Spence’ oh no! Frantic phone calls and failed arrangements to rendezvous off the M606. More phone calls and exchanges of Satnav postcodes ensured that with 5 minutes to spare Charlie arrived at our second pickup point in Pontefract much to the relief of Charlie and his parents.
Onward, onwards to Dover in time for our 14.05 departure and from Calais the outward journey was a breeze and before we knew it, we were at our homely hotel at the foot of the slopes.
Saturday 16th Feb arrival
With our location only 500m away from the ski lift, and a warm welcome from hotel staff and rooms were quickly allocated. First lift up the cable car (bubble), for a few students this was a daunting but quickly endured trauma, while others seized photo shots and selfies.
The ‘Ski fit’ went like clockwork and a hearty feast on the mountain followed. After lunch, with the sun blazing and glistening on the snow crystals and lighting up the mountain’s panoramic vistas, there were some fantastic photo opportunities of which our students took great advantage, as well as the inevitable snow games. Back down the mountain and a quick familiarisation of the immediate village and local shopping establishments (noted, the Pizzeria). Finally, back to the hotel to unpack and freshen up prior to the evening feast. The omens were good. At approximately 10.30 pm, all souls were asleep or on the verge of nodding into a dreamy deep sleep satisfied and excited about the week ahead.
Sunday 17th Feb
Early breakfast and up the mountain to collect our gear from the ski-fit the previous day. The resort was perfectly geared up for our trip; the range of slopes and runs, as well as the skills of our expert instructor, meant all skiers were quickly assessed and the more advanced nucleus of skiers shot off to shake away the cobwebs on some sedate Blue runs and slightly more aggressive Red runs.
Folgarida’s Next Top Model activity took place in the evening and the students threw themselves into it with gusto! We saw a heavily made up Harry Potter tribute, Mrs Brown and were even joined by Kanye and Kim thanks to George and Leon (don’t ask!).
Monday 18th Feb
With some combining with another school we managed to reshuffle and maximise three ski instructors to combine groups and enable the more advanced skiers to make a start on the more the challenging red runs and veritable black runs further up the mountain range.
Mr Covey and Mr Teale covered almost every group at some point over the next two to three days, managing to give some more bespoke support and training to those that needed it, as well as taking action videos and still photographs.
In the evening, the children went ice skating and showed off another set of skills. The staff avoided the ice, but the students skated their socks off for an hour (or watched the semi-professional football match taking place next door!). We left the ice rink happy, injury free and ready for bed.
Tuesday 19th Feb
Super Speed Quiz (Congress Centre) 20:15 onwards.
Wednesday 20th Feb ‘the unseen but physical wall’
Several hit the proverbial physical wall on Wednesday. There were a few students feeling the burn as we began our ascent after breakfast. The muscles and joints that are never normally used were beginning to ache and throb, but with the on-piste feast to refuel everyone at lunch time, the students managed to complete another successful day of skiing.
Later that evening, the children enjoyed a shopping trip to Madonna Di Campiglio. A beautiful evening of luxury and indulgence.
Thursday 21st Feb
The novices were now becoming much more confident and assured, tackling red runs without fear. Both Mr Covey and Mr Teale were clearly proud of the achievements individuals and groups had made, with instructors speaking in glowing terms of their charges.
The more senior skiers were covering nearly every slope on the mountain and spending most of their time seeking out alternative challenging routes.
Everyone pushed themselves hard on the final full day. There was a feeling that the wonderful experience was coming to an end, so all involved were desperate to try new things and work towards the limits of their skiing skills and abilities.
In the evening the children got to mix with students from lots of other schools and show off their dancing skills at the disco.
Friday 22nd Feb "Farewell Folgarida, Italy"
Mr Covey is always keen to get one final Friday fling under our belts before we leave and this year was no exception. Despite being totally shattered, everyone made one final push and headed out on to the slopes. It was a beautiful, blazing morning and the snow diamonds were winking at us as we rose up to the top of the mountain for a final hurrah. After a bittersweet day on the slopes, at the Hotel Derby, we were met by our instructors for an awards presentation. Each skier received a personal card showing the progress they had made. The instructors were presented with a personal trophy designed and made back in the school’s Technology area. There was a real sense of achievement and camaraderie. The instructors were superb throughout the trip and it was clear how touched they were by their gift. During dinner our own ski awards were voted on and trophies duly presented to Stephanie Miller best female skier, Jack Clough best male skier and Leon Hyde overwhelmingly voted as skier’s skier. Two additional trophies have been made and presented to George Phipps and Alyx Purcell for their individual efforts and contribution to the whole group.
We signed off from Hotel Gran Baita with another customary feast from our hosts. With a heavy heart, we set off on the looooooooonnnnnnnngggggg journey home.
Saturday 23rd/Sunday 24th "The longest day..."
Many hours later we arrived back at SBSJ Ardor site. It would be impossible to mention every party, but in one way or another, everyone involved did themselves proud, demonstrated courage, battled demons and represented the school in a positive way. Thanks to all those who took part and we look forward to seeing many of you again next year.
Comments received from parents following the trip:
I would just like to say a huge thank you to Mr. Covey and Mr. Teale for giving up their time to make this trip possible.
Despite starting the week with a lack of coordination, balance, self-belief and at times I guess looking like ‘Bambi’ on ice Stephanie went on to have the most amazing time and is now able to ski!
She’s made new friends, developed new skills and made memories that will last a life time.
She’s enjoyed it so much she can’t wait for next year!!
Thanks again ⛷❄️🇮🇹
I can only reiterate earlier comments thank you Mr. Covey Mr. Teale and all the SBSJ ski 2019 team for giving Adam the opportunity to build on essential skills, confidence, independence and as a result he has had an amazing time making memories and new friends he is already talking about SBSJ Ski 2020 thank you once again