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28 April 2017

Thomas Lang Bursary Winners Hit the Slopes!

Ten lucky kids have their first taste of snowsports with the help of the Ski Club

Each year the Ski Club accepts applications from secondary schools for our Thomas Lang Schools Bursary. The Bursary is used to introduce children to the world of snowsports, thanks to the very generous Thomas Lang. Mr Lang, a Ski Club member, generously bequeathed a sum of money because of his great love of skiing and involvement with the Ski Club throughout his life.


This year, the Forest School in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire was the recipient of the Bursary. The school specialises in supporting the learning of pupils with Special Educational Needs from the age of 3-16.

With the help of the Ski Club’s Thomas Lang Bursary, the Specialist College for Communication and Interaction took ten lucky pupils for a number of lessons at the Snozone indoor slope in Castleford.

Perfect Pow

Reporting back to us after the sessions is Mandy Pickles, a teacher at the Forest School:

“Little did I know when I thought we had a chance to bid for the Thomas Lang Bursary, let alone be awarded it, that all ten kids that we chose from The Forest School in Knaresborough would actually show so much talent for skiing that they have made such an impression on the Adaptive Skiing staff at The Snozone at Castleford!

Firstly, can I say a big "Thank You" on behalf of the kids for this wonderful opportunity. It really has been a dream come true for them. Nine out of ten of these kids had never been on skis before and after six hour sessions with Adam and his team they are happily snow ploughing (some parallel traverse already!) down the "big slope", some of them from the top!

This is what Adam Bailey, Head of Snozone Disability Snowsports had to say:

"Snozone Disability Snowsports and its coaches have been incredibly impressed with the progress of the pupils of The Forest School that have attended lessons with them over the last 3 weeks. They attended 2 lessons a day (1 hour each lesson) and came for 1 day a week. Considering the fact that nearly all of the pupils had never skied before, they are now all skiing on the main slope with a majority starting to ski from the top, considering 6 hours is what we recommend as a minimum for anyone to reach this standard we were very impressed with their progress.

So much so that even though it is very early days we could see, with further training, time and support, the potential in them to become great skiers with, who knows, the special Olympics a real possibility. We would love to see the group back to get them to at least a practice level and then, should there be a demand, we would definitely be up for starting an adaptive race training team.


After being given the generous Thomas Lang Bursary, for getting kids into snowsports, from the Ski Club GB, we at The Forest School are delighted with the sensitive and professional coaching the kids have received from the wonderful Adaptive Team staff at The Snozone in Castleford. We simply cannot believe how well the pupils have progressed in such a short time. They have had so much fun with Adam, Brian, Alan, Alice and James that they are begging us to be able to go again. The kids have gained so much from their time with the Adaptive Team, not only skiing skills, but self-confidence, social skills, trust, bravery, independence, self-esteem and happiness!

Thank you so much for everything, we are so grateful that the Ski Club has given these ten kids from The Forest School an introduction to snowsports that they would have never had without you!”

Information on the Thomas Lang Schools Bursary:

The Ski Club's Thomas Lang Bursary helps secondary school students experience skiing and snowboarding. The scheme awards will award funds of up to £1,000 to go towards helping children to discover the magic of snowsports, thanks to Thomas Lang. A Ski Club member, Lang generously bequeathed a sum of money because of his great love of skiing and involvement with the Ski Club throughout his life.

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