Status of England Dry/Artificial Slope Squad
For absolute clarity neither ARC or the SSE Board have made a decision that an artificial or dry slope squad should not exist. It has asked for clarity and planning any proposed squad, team or events it may take part it in and details for the development of its athletes.
The board of Snowsport England and SSE’s ARC committee have asked over the last two seasons for an ongoing plan to identify the right type criteria and commitment that is expected from athletes hoping to be selected to an England Artificial Squad. We have made number of suggestions as to how this may look. Over the last couple of years the snowsports community from BSS to Home Nations have worked hard to develop a pathway for talented skiers in the sport. This should be in context with the athletes aspiration and future plans. There have been significant changes in sporting insights in recent years and we are keen that squad entitlement reflects this in terms of skills, fitness, ongoing learning and commitment, along with sport specific criteria. This has been carried out with both BSS squads and the SSE Alpine squads.
The skill and talent required to represent your country at a sport is an honour and should be earned, not just picked without a clear and credible future-proofed criteria, it is important that we evolve with the sporting community. It needs a robust selection process and a group of selectors who can ensure the criteria is being upheld. At present this does not exist. Over the last ten years there has been several volunteer managers of this squad who have been thoroughly committed to developing these skiers through squad weekends and training, and creating a sense of pride in this achievement. It is this standard and backdrop by which we as SSE has to make our assessment and without receiving a proposal this is impossible to do so. In short we should always be looking to improve what has gone before. A high Standard was set and it should be maintained If we are going to award the England name to a squad. –