Pupils take to the slopes in France

On December 12, 43 pupils and six members of staff went on the Farlington School ski trip to Montgenèvre in south eastern France.

This annual event is open to all pupils of all abilities in Years 7 to 13 and provides many girls with their first opportunity to ski.

Each day the girls went to ski school for five hours and worked with the instructors to improve their technique within their ability group.

On the first day the instructors took everyone to explore the mountain according to their skill level.

The intermediate and advanced skiers got straight on to the runs to find their ski legs, whilst the beginners found their confidence on the nursery slopes.

By the third day the beginners had mastered the chair lift and were skiing well, practising parallel turns on the green runs.

The beginners group went on their first red and practised their parallel stops, while the advanced group started with nice easy blue runs and paired up to spin each other round using their poles. They then raced down a blue run.

They held each other’s poles and skied in one long line next to each other, which was a bit scary, then bombed to the bottom of the mountain to catch the chair lift to the top to do the black.

They skied the black run five times, so were expert by the end of the day.

Fun was had off the slopes, too. As Gaby Eltham, Year 10, said: “Every evening was action-packed including a trip to the swimming pool, a complicated town trail and bum-boarding, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

“Traditionally, most nights the teachers and girls played a game of UNO following Miss Whittaker’s strict rules with no time for slacking. Every night everyone fell into bed ready for the next day where new memories would be made, and new stories could be told.

“All my friends and I had an amazing time experiencing moments which can never be forgotten. I enjoyed it so much I have already signed up for the next ski trip, need I say more!”

On the last day, the advanced group went to Sestriere in Italy and didn’t even have time for gelato, while the remaining girls and staff chased an orange Yeti around the mountains, before returning to the hotel to give in their skis and attend the presentation ceremony, where the girls received their medals from the instructors.

Mrs Binns, Head of Sixth Form, said:“All of the girls really improved and are now confident on skis. The sun shone continuously and there was enough snow to ski.

“The instructors were really inventive with their challenges. The girls even played netball on ice before setting off for their lessons. An amazing trip.”

“Each year we have a fantastic time on the ski trip and this year was no exception, said Sara Whittaker, Director of PE and Games at Farlington, who organised the trip, commented. “The ski resort and instructors were excellent and the girls and staff got on tremendously well: a brilliant bonding opportunity.

“It introduced some of the girls to a sport they had never tried before, while others were coming for a second or third time. Ski trips are so much more than a holiday.

“ They enhance physical skills and knowledge, develop personal and social awareness, provide the opportunity to set and achieve personal goals, develop environmental awareness, as well as the obvious health and fitness benefits.

“At Farlington we believe it is essential all girls find a fitness activity they enjoy and can participate in well beyond their school years. Lifelong participation in physical activity is our aim and, hopefully, skiing is something the girls will be able to pursue in the future.”

Report and pictures contributed by Farlington School.