Skiing in the snow-covered mountains of Austria was a dream come true for 44 Brooksbank youngsters during February half-term.  “By the end of the week, there were some accomplished skiers in the group who were a real credit to the school,” said Mr Ball, party leader and organiser of Brooksbank’s first-ever skiing trip for younger students.

Situated in the Glemm Valley, Saalbach and Hinterglemm offer great skiing opportunities for all grades of skier, with their wide, tree-lined runs and well-connected ski lifts.  Both are lively resorts and the picturesque lakeside town of Zell am See is just a 25-minute coach-ride away.  At Zell am See, there is a sports centre with an indoor swimming pool and an ice-rink where major league ice hockey matches are played.

Although reaching the destination – a comfortable and well-equipped youth hostel situated high up in the hamlet of Hinterglemm, with skiing up to the door – took 27 hours by coach, once there, the party had five full days of skiing, activities and laughter.   “Ski Austria was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had and I miss every second of it.  I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my life!” said Maya Dunn.

The excited anticipation for the first day on the slopes was immense.  “The weather was hot and the sky clear as we boarded the ski lift.  The views were breath-taking, and I was so excited,” exclaimed Finn Cullimore.  “The instructors were extremely helpful and by the end of the week, we were all strutting our stuff like experienced skiers, and skiing the mountain from top to bottom,” he added.

Beginner, Maya, confessed, “I had never skied before, but I took my place in the baby group and learned the basics.  It was a bit boring at first, but once I got the hang of it, I absolutely loved it!”

After each day on the slopes, awards such as ‘wipe-out of the day’ and ‘queen of the slopes’ were given.  “It was very interesting to see lots of students offering staff reports on who was falling over the most,” laughed Mr Ball.  Ski school was just one part of the package – there were also après ski events each evening including: watching an ice hockey game, swimming at Tauern Spa and shopping at Zell Am See.

As is customary, The Brooksbank Ski Awards closed the show, to celebrate students’ achievements, both good and bad!  “It was a just-for-fun event and lots of awards were handed out.  In particular, we had to hand it to Maya and Ben Miller who we awarded the prize for ‘outstanding girl and boy of the week’.

Praise also went to Jack Dodd, who won ‘wipe-out of the week’.”  Jack managed to ski backwards down the piste for 40 metres!  “It was quite a feat!” continued Mr Ball … “We couldn’t work out whether he was absolutely amazing or totally out of control! – we later learnt that he really was ace – the skis don’t lie!”  The ‘most improved skier of the week’ award went to Finley Wheelwright; Finley progressed from beginner to advanced group in just five days, earning him the tag: ‘the Jamie Vardy of Brooksbank’!”

A ski-ecstatic Mr Ball thanked true blue staff for their wholehearted commitment to the students, “I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Mr and Mrs Puddephatt, Mr Mounsey, Miss Nutter and Mrs Kain.  They made memories that students will never forget.  Finally, I want to thank the truly brilliant Year 8 and 9 students who were just remarkable all week; you did Brooksbank proud!”

“Skiing down mountains… what an experience!  If you ever get the chance to go skiing – take it! I promise you, you won’t regret it!” said Maya.

“The trip was so fantastic! It’s impossible to describe how brilliant it was. ‘Vielen danke’,” said Finn.