Tomorrow we’re all going to be watching in awe as Jade Etherington throws herself down a mountain at top speed competing in her first Paralympics. For those of you who don’t know of her yet, Jade is partially sighted and has to trust her guide Caroline’s judgement, telling her just where to turn or take a jump.
It’s all very inspirational stuff. This morning’s in Jade’s local paper, The Stamford Mercury, Jade described her feelings at competing at Sochi:
‘It will be something that I will never forget for the rest of my life and hopefully it will influence a generation of skiers.’
From Puy to the Paralympics
We’ve followed Jade’s journey from a beginner 8 year old when she first learnt to ski with us, in Puy St Vincent, and where she returned for her early training. Like so many heroes of the athletic world, Jade hasn’t had the easiest road: there have been injuries, huge lack of funding and the long search to find someone as talented and selfless as guide Caroline. This of course balanced alongside the usual growing up hurdles of school and university.
Fortunately Jade has a pretty amazing family who have made her the strong and immediately likeable young woman that she is. Against all the odds, you can’t fail to be impressed by her determination and self-belief, which is something we should all be inspired by.
Mums on skis
It’s that self-belief that so many women lose once they have children. Looking after skiing families for over 30 years, I feel qualified to say that there are only a very tiny proportion of mums who are really confident skiers. Dads on the whole are the polar opposite!
Almost all women ski far better than they think. Our guests are all successful people in their various fields back home, but once they come on holiday, with so much family-clutter going on in their heads, they think themselves into skiing nervously. Physically they can do it, some extremely well, but mentally they aren’t prepared. But with just a few little mental tweaks all is possible.
Beginner Plus Ski School
So it’s the mums that we really try and nurture. Every week of the season we have a beginner class that isn’t! This is why we’ve created our ‘beginner plus’ class which every week is full of mums, and the very rare dad, who insist they are beginners, even though they have been skiing for 10 years! We find the ‘beginner plus’ class is a great way to ease mums and dads back into skiing confidently.
Go for Gold Jade
These next two weeks are all about Jade – we are all so excited for her, so can’t imagine what it’s like for her family watching her on TV. But following on from Jade’s inspiration we’ll be a doing a series of articles based on how we can help mummy-skiers get back that self-belief. We’ll be having some interesting contributors so please watch this space.
But for the moment Jade and Caroline we have just one big message:
You have a huge amount of supporters who are cheering you both on back home and we are all sending you a massive amount of good luck for all of your events!
Good luck and enjoy every moment!