Starting this season, FIS and FIS Academy are partnering with the Chinese Ski Association to launch the new Get into Snow Sports (GISS)-China programme to excite beginners for snow sports. The resorts of Thaiwoo, Genting Secret Garden, Wanlong, Wanlong Bayi and the Beijing Olympic Forest Dry Slope will serve as official GISS-China pilot resorts to help roll out the programme in the booming Beijing-Zhangjiakou (Chongli) snow sports cluster.
After months of planning led by Riikka Rakic, GISS Programme Director, and James Greer, GISS-China Director, the first GISS-China training courses took place at Thaiwoo from 3-7 November. Representing all five pilot resorts, the first 12 GISS-China Educators successfully completed the intense three-day course which focuses on enhancing experienced ski instructors’ delivery skills with the guidance of World Academy of Sport (WAoS) trainers. Thereafter, the newly certified Educators trained 47 ski instructors as GISS-China Teachers to instruct the GISS-China participants sessions. These sessions will be offered at the pilot resorts from December 2018.
“It has been a pleasure to lead a team of Chinese WAoS Trainers to the first GISS-China Educator course here at Thaiwoo. We were curious about how the Chinese ski instructors would embrace a new way of teaching, and are pleasantly surprised how quickly they’ve adopted the methodology,” said Simon Jones, the WAoS Master Trainer in charge of the course, who added: “We are confident that they will now return to their home resorts to successfully train additional GISS-China Teachers to deliver the participant sessions.”
Thaiwoo was the first resort in the Chongli area to open for the season and welcomed the GISS course participants during the resort’s “Dancing with Nature” opening weekend.
“We’re excited to host the first GISS-China courses here at Thaiwoo along with over 5000 guests for the season kick-off weekend. Looking to build a national standard for getting people started in their snow sports journey, GISS-China is providing some great teaching resources for the growing number of Chinese instructors and encouraging them to provide a better experience for first time skiers and snowboarders at participating resorts,” said Kat McKenzie, director of the international ski school at Thaiwoo Resort.
Freddie Bacon, one of the members of the international FIS Expert group that developed the GISS-China course programme and head of the ski school at Genting Secret Garden noted:
“The progression that is built into the GISS-China participant sessions for beginner skiers and snowboarders allows them to constantly achieve goals in a safe environment, leaving them wanting more. With its realistic approach to what can be achieved within a 3-hour session on snow, GISS-China will ensure that high-quality beginner lessons are consistently delivered throughout the country. Most importantly, it focuses on making every task fun and achievable which will help turn first-time skiers and snowboarders into lifelong participants. I am certain that GISS-China will be a great success!”
Endorsed by FIS and CSA, the GISS-China programme has been designed to contribute towards the official government target of 300 million winter sport participants by the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Games. It seeks to develop a new generation of active snow sport participants across China. The GISS-China programme is managed by FIS Academy, the education arm of FIS.