If you are the parent of keen skiers, there comes a time when they want to go racing.
As a parent who is also a keen skier, I know this is absolutely the best thing for their skiing as well, a happy coincidence.
Now that my son is 8 (8 and a half, as he corrects everyone) and my daughter is 11, racing time is here!
ES is a sponsor of Kandahar Racing and so their autumn race camp in Saas Fee was an obvious choice. Kandahar Ski Club has a long history in skiing, and is the most established ski racing club in the UK. The Swiss connection goes back to its foundation in Murren, Switzerland in 1924.
Children are able to join Kandahar Racing autumn camps from 8 years old, and can either stay with other children and coaches in accommodation right by the lift, or with their parents and just join for the skiing. Saas Fee is a car free village at the foot of a glacier, with skiing open all year round. During the week we were there, they even had some fresh powder, twice!
Over the autumn the resort fills up with national teams and the children get to train and race next to their heroes (it is a good time to get autographs if you are a ski racing fan!). Lara Gut of Switzerland was training there last week, just before winning the women’s Giant Slalom in the opening race of the World Cup season in Sölden.
The children ski each day until around 2.30pm, have a break and then do afternoon activities. These included volleyball, swimming, an interclub football match with Sandown Ski Club (the Kandahar girls’ team was amazing!), ski tuning workshops, and rides on the bobsleigh.
The camps are inclusive and the emphasis is on teamwork as well as individual performance. For children new to race camps, it is a great introduction with fun and friendly coaches and an open and encouraging atmosphere. There is plenty of technical feedback, video, and exercises too.
The children spend the first couple of days doing some technique and then have some time in stubbies and gates towards the end of the week, with a team race (and medals) on the last day of skiing.
Our children loved it; they both made new friends, their skiing really came on over the week, and they thought their coaches were great.
Over the winter Kandahar Racing also run camps based around the English and British championships, including both race training and academic tutoring in the weeks leading up to the big races.