Winter sports on curriculum at SnOasis

STUDENTS in Suffolk could soon have the option of studying winter sports as part of their education, it emerged today.

STUDENTS in Suffolk could soon have the option of studying winter sports as part of their education, it emerged today.

With SnOasis, the world's first indoor winter sports resort due to open in Great Blakenham at the end of 2012, Snowsport GB bosses are already in talks with a series of schools, colleges and universities over the possibility of an official link-up.

Mark Simmers, Snowsport GB chief executive, said: “I'd love to set up a Snowsport degree in order to give young athletes the chance to continue their education while they train.

“It's a dangerous sport, in fact at the moment 40 per cent of our team are out with serious injuries, so it's important that we give these aspiring youngsters an education, as well as a mental stimulus while they train.

“Youngsters from pre-GCSE level all the way through to university students will come and be based here.

“By the age of 13 or 14 we want our young athletes to spend at least 80 to 100 days on the snow a year. At present that is obviously financially beyond many of them and has meant we simply have not been able to compete with the alpine nations.

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“SnOasis will change that and, being just a short hop from Stansted, the athletes will be able to live, study and train here during the week and, come Thursday, jump on a flight to train on some real snow over the weekend.

“We've got a young group of athletes coming through for Russia 2014 and we are hoping that, with SnOasis due to open at the end of 2012, we can utilise the facility ahead of those games.”

Yesterday, The Evening Star revealed that SnOasis will provide a platform for British success at future Olympics.

The �350million resort - which will boast the largest indoor ski slope in Europe - is set to become the national Centre of Excellence for winter sports.

Snowsport GB is likely to relocate its offices from Scotland to Suffolk in conjunction with the opening of SnOasis, while the resort is also likely to bring a number of top sports scientists, nutritionists and researchers to the area.

Are you looking forward to the arrival of SnOasis? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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