Skiers enjoy night slalom as Norfolk Snowsports Club celebrates 50th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 11:04 04 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:54 04 March 2018
After last week's weather, you could be forgiven for forgetting that Norfolk does not often get a lot of snow.
But, thanks to a club which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, that has not stopped people from enjoying winter sports.
Norfolk Snowsports Club was started after a group of teenagers enjoyed a Norfolk Youth Service holiday course in Norway in January 1968.
They were led by Ivan Palfrey and Nancy Clarke and, in March 1968, the Norfolk Youth Ski Club was launched.
It changed its name to the Norfolk Ski Club in 1972 and a year later a new slope was built outside Wensum Lodge on King Street, Norwich.
After moving to Trowse in 1986 - the only dry ski slope in Norfolk - the not-for-profit club now has hundreds of members and is run by 300 volunteers, with 20 paid staff.
And for the launch of their anniversary celebrations, the club held a night slalom race event on Saturday night, with more than a hundred club members taking part, aged from six to 71.
The night slalom began more than 10 years ago, as an opportunity for the club’s racers to practise against each other, before entering into the summer league.
Various categories have since developed, allowing an opportunity for complete novices to ski a slalom, as well as racers who travel across Europe in competitions.
As this year’s Winter Olympics demonstrated with the dual slalom racing, snowboarders are also entering into the thrill of racing.
David Beckett, head race coach, said: “Our snowboarders are getting more involved with race events, freestyle will always be popular, but competitive racing is really growing within the club’s snowboarders.”
Norfolk Snowsports Club have a specific session every week called Wannabes, which welcomes any competent skier over five interested in racing.
The group regularly has over 40 athletes attending. Those who develop their skills to a sufficient standard and compete in the regional race events are chosen to join the race team, many of whom travel all over the country and Europe in competitions.
For further information about the club, visit www.norfolksnowsports.com or call 01603 662781.