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IAPS Skiing Championships – Team spirit, adventure, camaraderie and excitement on the slopes!
March 14, 2024

Italy beckoned as our skiers journeyed to Passo Tonale in early March, seeking thrilling slopes and unforgettable experiences. From bustling airports to the snow-capped peaks of Northern Italy, their trip delivered adventure, camaraderie, and excitement on the slopes. The trip to the IAPS Skiing Championships proved a success, as recounted by James and Luka.

‘At the airport at 8:00 O’clock in the middle of the weekends. Only the tingle of excitement at the thought of what was to come gave us energy to get out of bed. Skiing in a school week in the middle of term!! Who could complain? Certainly not me as I rocketed down to breakfast and managed to get there first. Slowly, boys started trickling into the airport and after the good part of an hour all eight boys were there. We took tons of those persisting photos that all parents need and then we were off. After a good two-hour flight and another 3-hour bus drive, packed with spectacular views, we were finally at Ponte di Legno with the stunning snow peaked mountains in full view! Ponte di Legno is in the Northern part of Italy, between Lombardy and Trentino. The base of the ski resort is at a high altitude, which means great snow!

Once we arrived, we checked into our nice rooms at the Hotel Mirella. Grudgingly we all hiked up to the ski hire. But, after everything was done, we enjoyed a well-deserved dinner. At dinner, the food was great, and we enjoyed a good game of mini uno together.

The next day, we awoke to an amiable wake-up call from Mr. Kerr “Wakey Wakey Rise and Shine boys”. We all sprung out of bed like jack in the boxes. Encouraged by the pristine white snow on the trees outside, we all got dressed quickly and flew to breakfast. We then went down to meet our ski instructor Nicolo who was one of the most gregarious, amusing and adventurous instructors you could hope for. The next few days zoomed by, packed with amazing skiing till our hearts were content. Our ski instructor Nicolo was amazing and taught us loads. Nicolo was the ski instructor equivalent of the great ski champion Tomba La Bomba. Whilst the other teams kept training at the gates Nicolo trained us even harder by challenging us on the off piste slopes across Paso del Tonale, Ponte di Legno and the glaciar. His t-shirt logo “Resisti” became our motto for the trip – we all said it (in deep voices) before any challenge or event.

The first race was the parallel slalom, a team event with twenty-four different schools partaking. Everyone from our team gave it their absolute best and our tactics were superior, the statistically informed Mr. Matthews and Mr. Starbrook designed them. Despite being pared against some formidable ski teams from Daneshill and Colthill , Nicolo’s energy , our team spirit, the encouraging cheers from our teachers and team mates helped us beat some excellent skiers.

The following day held the most important event: the giant slalom championship! This was a high-speed race with three hundred different people all competing for the top spot. After that, was two hours of epic powder skiing with Nicolo and it was time for the prize giving. Both WUS teams (the U11’s and the parallel slalom team) proudly achieved 3rd place in the parallel slalom. All in all, we did amazingly well.

Then the disco started with a rocking DJ and flashing lights. It was great FUN. We were all sad to be leaving Passo Del Tonale after such a memorable fun experience. We all arrived safely in London after an amazing trip. All of us are looking forward to next year’s competition and we are all very thankful to Mr. Starbrook and Mr. Kerr for making this all happen.

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