In 2015/16 bursaries have been awarded to David Wahba (snowboarder) and Aimeé Hudgell (skier)
Snow-Camp started the year with 310 young people from 25 different youth projects across 15 London boroughs attending their First Tracks programme. Since then, they have seen young people journey through the Graduate programme confirming their new found love for snowsports and learning essential life-skills along the way. David and Aimeé were two of those young people who will now progress onto the Excel programme in the new year and work towards their Snowsport England Instructor qualification.
December 2016 update
Aimeé is one of four people who were chosen by CDC Peformance and Delancy to go on Chemmy Alcott and Dougie Crawford’s camp in Austria in October. Aimeé was selected for being one of the most deserving inner-city graduates in the programme. Aimeé, who has been involved with Snow-Camp since summer in 2015, only started skiing when she joined the programme. When she found out that she was going to Austria she said:
“When he (Gavin Hamner, programme manager at Snow-Camp) sat me down to tell me that I had been offered a place on Chemmy Alcott’s performance training programme I couldn’t believe what he was telling me. I had just started my apprenticeship with Snow-Camp and they are telling me I’m going to train with Chemmy Alcott and learn all about ski racing and performance. It’s mind-blowing. I’m really looking forward to expanding my knowledge in skiing, absorbing the whole experience and learning from Chemmy and the team. I am really new to skiing so to be offered this opportunity in such a short amount of time is amazing.”
Congratulations to Aimeé, who has been chosen as one of the new Snow-Camp apprentices. Snow-Camp wrote:
Our new apprentices will study for an NVQ Level 2 Activity Leadership qualification and their BASI Level 1 instructor qualification whilst gaining full time employment with Snow-Camp. The apprentices will gain valuable work experience across the snowsports industry on various placements and as youth instructors on our programmes where leadership and coaching is required to help new Snow-Camp recruits.
The following was what Aimeé wrote in the July newsletter:
During August 2015 I was invited to participate at Snow-Camp’s two-day ski/snowboard introduction with my local youth club. I accepted the invitation without hesitation and was really excited as I had never thought of trying snowsports.
A few weeks later there was the Graduate Programme and then I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate on the Excel Programme along with 23 others from different areas. As part of the Excel Programme I was invited on a trip to Italy and I literally couldn’t believe that I had this opportunity. I’m also so lucky to have my place funded by The Myles Trust. Thank you The Myles Trust for this amazing opportunity, for me to do something I would never have done without your support and the support of Snow-Camp.
When we finally arrived in Italy, I was starting to feel a little nervous, I have a small fear of heights and wasn’t sure how well it would go. I soon forgot about my fear and was totally overrun by excitement, wanting to get back onto the slopes. Italy was extremely incredible, it was far better than I could ever had imagined. Not only was I given the chance to have this experience, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. When I was shadowing and in lessons I thought to myself, I want to teach skiing. I want to share this amazing opportunity with other people. I mean the views are beautiful but the skiing itself was out of this world. I literally felt on top of the world, I didn’t ever want to come home. There was so much freedom in the mountains, I had the time of my life.
I have learnt things about myself throughout this year with Snow-Camp too. For a while when I first started skiing I was quite shy, I didn’t have a lot of confidence although I was still able to work well in groups and work independently too. I’ve built my confidence, learnt how to ski, made new friends, and been able to overcome my fear of heights, I’ve been on an incredible trip and had a life changing experience. I’ve always been into some sort of sports throughout my whole entire life and always wanted a sports related career but everything I tried, there was always something just not quite right for me, until now, now I cannot imagine life without it involving skiing, this whole experience has taught and confirmed to me, this is the life I want for myself for many years to come.
David and Aimeé were delighted to be part of the weeklong residential in the Italian mountains in April in Pila, spending more than 20 hours as understudies to Interski instructors. This unique opportunity meant they were able to shadow real life experiences, which helped them to believe that they have the potential to become instructors themselves.
From David “Thank you for giving me this opportunity to go out to Pila and experience the mountains first hand for the first time. I can’t thank you enough, because without your help I would not have been able to get where I am in snowboarding today.”
From Aimeé “ I would like to thank you so much for giving me the chance at an amazing opportunity. The whole year has been so great. It’s been life changing as this time last year I was really confused about what I wanted to do. I am now sure I want to be a ski instructor and feel a lot more confident about my future. I’ve had fun, made friends and have learnt so much. It truly has been so amazing. Thank you dearly.”
Last week saw the final weekend on the Excel programme held at Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre. David and Aimeé passed their full assessment and gained their Level 1 Snowsport England Ski / Snowboard Instructor qualification.
David and Aimeé will be joining the Snow-Camp Youth Forum which comes with the opportunity to get more involved in Snow-Camp’s work. Snow-Camp are passionate about giving young people a voice ensuring they are creators and not just consumers of their services. As part of the Forum David and Aimeé will be back this summer using their new qualification to teach the young people starting out learning to ski, where they were just one year ago.
David Wahba, 17, Tower Hamlets (snowboarder)
David is part of a youth project from Tower Hamlets that got involved with Snow-Camp for the first time this year. His youth project uses sport to engage young people in the Tower Hamlets area and provide them with a more positive focus. David is a very active young man but he first learnt to snowboard with Snow-Camp this summer and was a natural. He gained a Snowsport England Snow Life accreditation in snowboarding reaching level 3 in just two days. The next stage in his journey was the Snow-Camp Graduate programme during November and early December 2015. Here we had had 70 motivated young people over 2 courses on the 6 weekend programme. David developed his snowboarding skills and enjoyed inspirational talks each week from ski professionals, ski industry representatives and sports leaders. This included sessions by Britain’s fastest Snowboarder Jamie Barrow and Freestyle snowboard instructor Matt Barlow from Ninja Academy. David attended the snowboard lessons each weekend, taught by Snow-Camp youth instructors and Hemel Snow Centre staff and recently David achieved his nationally recognised Level 1 ASDAN award in Sport and Fitness and completed the Graduate programme as well as achieving his Level 5 Snow Life award. We are really pleased to have David involved on the programmes. He has natural talent and is a confident young person with a positive attitude towards learning. We are looking forward to watching him progress and develop further. We really feel with his increased confidence the instructor programme will improve his ability to channel his energy into a positive career path.
From David: I want to become the best snowboarder I can be! This has been my first experience of snowsports and I love it. The life-skills sessions have helped me grow my confidence and showed me I CAN achieve my dreams and focus my energy. I wouldn’t be here without your support, it’s great you have given me this life changing opportunity… You have given me a chance to witness the Alps for the first time ever and I couldn’t thank you enough.
Aimeé Hudgell, 17, Ealing (skier)
Aimeé has been involved in the Snow-Camp First Tracks course this summer and successfully gained a level 3 Snowsport England Snow Life award in ski progression. Aimeé came from Ealing Youth Services with a targeted youth group. Her youth worker said she needed a positive direction as she was starting to mix with the wrong crowds in her area. When she started with Snow-Camp she was shy and reserved and would hardly talk to anyone outside of the group she came with. Through the Graduate programme we have seen such a big improvement in Aimeé’s behaviour and she has interacted really well with her peers, made friends and is looking forward to continuing with her skiing. After the Summer Aimeé progressed onto the Snow-Camp Graduate programme over November and early December 2015. During this programme she started to make new friends from outside of her youth group and continued to improve her skiing. She has grown in confidence and even achieved one of the highest Snow Life award levels in the whole group reaching level 7 and being awarded skier of the week for her progress on the Graduate programme. Although Aimeé is a great skier she is still lacking some confidence, she is really keen to become an instructor which would build her confidence further. Her youth leader said “its done wonders for her and she is already thinking about how she can mix her passion for hair and beauty and skiing together for a career in the mountains”. They have been so pleased and amazed at how Snow-Camp has become such a positive activity for her to focus on and progress in. Aimeé has been taught by Snow-Camp youth instructors during the Graduate programme and she has been able to reflect on her progress and reach the goals she set at the start of the course. She achieved a nationally recognised Level 1 ASDAN award in Sport and Fitness on completion of the programme.
From Aimeé: The area I’m from is boring, full of drugs and crime, it can be really negative and not a nice place to live really. To be offered something more positive is amazing. It’s so nice of you to give people this amazing opportunity to do something I would never have done myself. I get to go out to the Alps and ski on the mountains which is something I’ve never even considered before. Thank you for this once in a life time opportunity.