In the plagiarised words of Beyonce, “who runs the snow world? Girls”. If you are a female skier or boarder then I know you just sang that out loud and I know it is, in the current snow climate of 2013, mere wishful thinking.
Few women are reaching the upper echelons of resort management. Sure, the Falls Creek and Hotham management company, Merlin Entertainment Group, has Helen Moran as their leader and Belinda Trembath as the General Manager for Hotham, but many other women in executive level management roles in the leisure ski resort industry are clearly missing in action. That ceiling isn’t glass, it’s made of ice.
The competitive snow sports industry of Australia is also dominated by male decision makers. According to OWIA and SSA websites there is just one woman, Alisa Camplin, on the nine person Olympic Winter Institute of Australia board, only two women on the eight member board of Ski and Snowboard Australia, no women on the Alpine Discipline Committee, no women on the Snowboard Discipline Committee and only two women out of fourteen seats on the Freestyle discipline committee. Sigh.
Yet it is the ladies who have put our sunburnt country on the global map as a serious snow competitor. According to my calculations (I’m no Big Bang Theory wizard) of individual podium medals at FIS and Olympic events in Australian competing history, the women have won 73 percent of the three hundred and one individual medals we have secured.
Yes, that’s right, seventy three percent. That includes household names Torah Bright, Alisa Camplin, Zali Stegell and Lydia Lassila. I for one look forward to cheering on and adding more names (male and female) to the household list come Sochi 2014 as our Australian teams chase a top fifteen country goal on the tally board.
The Chicks With Stix progression camps give young girls wanting to improve their skiing and snowboarding and have fun in a non testosterone-fueled environment the opportunity to train with Australia’s best. X Games gold medalist and former world champion slopestyle skier, Anna Segal, her Freeride World Tour athlete sister, Nat Segal and skier cross athlete Katya Crema are just three girls in a team of twelve female coaches who hold Chicks with Stix days in ski resorts in Australia.
But even this program had to resort to crowd funding through Sportaroo from the private sector to cover their costs, as they have been unable to secure government or sports grant funding from any of Australia’s snow sports bodies. This is despite being run by our country’s best.
Thankfully the ski resorts recognise the need to give women and girls their own environment in which to prosper, away from the testosterone peer pressure that predictably happens when you put young blokes in low pants and wide skis in a terrain park filled with big jumps.
Trust me, the need for women’s only ski and snowboard programs is not because we can’t keep up with the men, it is simply because we approach the world of snow differently. It is all in the hips, known as the Q Angle, our dimensions mean the way we approach a ski or a hill is not physically the same as how a man does, not better or worse, just different.
That is why women’s only ski weeks are offered at Thredbo in a Womens High Intensity Program (WHIP for short) throughout the season. Falls Creek has the annual Mim Sodergren She Skis three-day and five-day social ski camp on July 22 and August 23 and Hotham has the Ocean Spray Women’s Week on July 29.
Rossignol are also running ladies days on August 3 and August 4 at Thredbo with next season demo skis and some training with dual Olympic Freestyle Skier, Manuela Berchtold plus a Veuve Clicquot champagne lunch and apres drinks.
Across the ditch in New Zealand, Release Retreat in Wanaka has a Mission WOW Women’s Ski Touring backcountry retreat for five nights from August 28. Who said women don’t like it tough?
Why do you think there are few females in decision making positions in the world of elite snow sports or the leisure ski industry in Australia? Have you ever been on a women’s only ski camp? Did it help or hinder your snow sports skills? Post a comment on the blog below.
SNOW FOR BRAINS
Bid on over $25,000 worth of ski and snowboard prizes on this online auction for Charlie Teo’s Cure For Life Foundation for brain cancer research. Prizes include the chance to lunch and ski with Anna Segal in Thredbo, accommodation and lift passes at Deer Valley Resort in Utah, a week at The Greenleaf Hotel in Niseko with all mountain lift passes from Hanazono, Salomon Skis and Snowboard, DPS Skis, lift pass packages to Whistler Blackcomb, Aspen Snowmass and Steamboat and more.
The Cure For Life Foundation is also heading to Thredbo on July 27 to Ski4Life with a host of fun on slope antics and a Christmas in July Dinner at Segreto with Peter Lehmann Wines and special guests Prue MacSween from Celebrity Apprentice and Marcella Zemanek with performance from Craig Anthony. Tickets are $190 for the degustation event and available from Cure For Life.
Can’t go? Buy $10 Raffle Tickets online to win $10 000 worth of skis, snowboards and gear from Elan, Nitro, Burton, Giro, Marker, Rossignol, STM Bags, Liberty Skis, POC, Hestra, Rip Curl, Snow Angel and a Thredbo Season Pass.
Disclaimer: Miss Snow It All proudly works with Cure For Life Foundation on special projects to help find a cure for the biggest cancer killer of Australians under thirty nine.
INSTAGRAM2WIN Skullcandy and a VAIL RESORTS EPIC SEASON PASS
Tag your instagram #misssnowitall and share the snow love. We’ll publish our favourites each week right here and our guest judge will choose a winner that will go into the final gallery at the end of the season when you get to choose the winner.
Each week’s winner receives a Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 set of headphones (RRP$99.95) in a variety of colours and goes into the finalists gallery at the end of the season for readers to vote on who wins.
The final winner scores Skullcandy Mix Master Headphones (RRP$379.95) and an Epic Pass season pass valid at 18 mountains in the USA and Europe including Vail in Colorado, Heavenly in Lake Tahoe and Canyons in Utah, home to Skullcandy HQ (RRP US$689).
Check out the gallery at the top of this page for this week’s top five finalists. You can also view all instagram entries here.
THIS WEEK’S WINNER
This week’s finalists are @richardkirby @jamesgarner @dt_downunder @nzsnowtours @reymundkell
The winner of last week’s top five instagrams as judged by Anna Segal slopestyle X Games gold, silver and bronze medalist and chosen athlete for Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 is @andyrails pic of the snow dog.
“I love snow and I love puppies and this pic captures the perfect doggy snow moment” says Anna.
Follow Snow It All on twitter @misssnowitall, instagram @misssnowitall, facebook facebook杭州夜生活m/misssnowitall and visit the wordpress blog miss-snowitall杭州夜生活m for more.
Email me: [email protected]杭州夜生活m.au
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.