When the club was based at its temporary Welwyn home in 2008/9, we experienced regular attendances of between 35 and 55 racers at our Monday night sessions. Whilst some training groups were very well supported on a consistent basis, others were somewhat inconsistently attended. Generally speaking, most that came along also raced for the Club at weekends on plastic slopes in a wide range of competitions.
We have now been back at Hemel for over 3 years and with this we have now had a doubling of the membership and a proportional increase in attendees. We still experience fluctuating numbers although this is gradually settling into a reasonably predictable pattern that can be readily managed.
It is to be hoped that the increase in numbers will also transfer into race entries; members are reminded that we are, after all, a “race club”.
It is also to be remembered that race performances provide a good indication of your improvement; as one of our senior coaches often remarks: “you train to prepare yourself for racing; you race to determine how your training is progressing”
Monday Training, a pattern of group size and make-up has been established and we are now able to assess the positioning of each group (and the individuals within each one) as part of the intended overall progression.
It is intended that the progression through the Monday night groups will equip the performers with the skills, fitness and race craft to enable them to move (by invitation) into the more advanced levels.
As part of that progression, HSRC is committed to providing the very best grounding to the younger members of the club and we follow the recommendations of BSS with regard to the development of these younger age groups, collectively referred to as “Under 12’s”.
BSS have published their guidance which is accessible on their website. In brief this makes the following observations:
- All children love to compete
- It is critical to gain a balance of technical skills development and racing opportunities in the age group 8-12 years
- A concentration on race training at a young age together with a focus on results is dangerously counter productive
- For this reason BSS do not sanction any U12 “races” as championship events
- BSS wish to promote fun and all-mountain skiing where possible and reduce the focus on “traditional racing”
- They wish to encourage race organisers to move away from traditional racing formats for younger age groups
- They wish instead to encourage the introduction of “Combi” events that are more a test of free skiing skills. They wish to use “stubbies” more as a training aid and to be used in events. These would still be challenging and fun and remain very competitive
At Hemel, we have the ideal conditions to be able to lead on the implementation of this initiative. We will of course still prepare our racers for the events in which they are eligible to complete but it is to be hoped that these events in themselves will change over the coming seasons.
Other Night Training Slots
Currently we only train on a Monday evening between 1800h and 2100h. However we are in continual negotiations with the centre and if other evenings become available the membership will be informed.