The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead has become the first official UK training base for the British Disabled Ski Team and Britain’s ski cross athletes including Emily Sarsfield and Ed Drake.
The vast 160-metre indoor snow slope has been used by the British Disabled Ski Team for regular summer training sessions with its easy access for both athletes and coaching staff.
Andrew Lockerbie, performance director for the British Disabled Ski Team, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Disability Snowsport and the British Disabled Ski Team to forge a much stronger relationship with The Snow Centre.
“We have worked with them since they opened and they have been strong supporters of adaptive skiing at grassroots level.
“It is fantastic that they are now able to support our elite athletes with their excellent facilities as well on their journey to the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games.”
British Disabled Ski Team athletes will have free access to the slope for training sessions and free skiing as well as special early opening times to allow full use of the facilities before the public arrive.
Britain’s ski cross athletes, meanwhile, have never before been offered a permanent training home so this is a first of its kind.
British number one Emily Sarsfield said: “Having the unrivalled real snow facilities of The Snow Centre available at any time is a great boost for me.
“Training for ski cross is a challenge in the UK, but the Snow Centre’s facilities are the next best thing to training in the mountains. Their have a go ski cross sessions are also a great way to inspire the next generation of UK competitors. “
Ed Drake, a former downhill skier who has converted to ski cross for Sochi 2014, ran the first ski cross course this summer at The Snow Centre and hopes to run more of these in spring next year.
“We are thrilled to have secured The Snow Centre as the British Skier Cross Team’s training base, with its enviable location and fantastic training facilities,” he said.
“The efficient staff are consistently on hand catering to our every need to ensure we reach our full potential ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.”
Peter Gillespie, head of snowsports school at The Snow Centre added: “We are delighted to be the UK training base for the British Disabled Ski Team and our ski cross athletes.
“Since opening in 2009 we have often hosted many of the athletes in training and it’s so pleasing to see them on this journey to Sochi.
“The athletes are also a source of inspiration for many of our guests who enjoy watching them train here”.
For further information on The Snow Centre, please visit www.thesnowcentre.com or call 0845 258 9000.