Written by Aimee Hudgell,
Monday 27th– On arrival after a long day of travelling, I was tired with excitement. I haven’t been on many holidays abroad, especially away from my family. The chalet was beautiful and had everything to fulfill our needs. The living area was placed towards the back of the chalet with a balcony, which displayed an amazing view of the mountains and racing track for the skiers. I was a little nervous as I had no idea what kind of day to expect in the morning. I just knew it was going to be exhilarating.
Tuesday 28th– On the first day we rose early at 6:30am to be ready on the slope for 08:00 after collecting our ski equipment, all of the Delancey team were super friendly and welcoming. I normally feel really anxious when I’m around people I haven’t met before. Instantly I was relaxed and enthusiastic about the day ahead of me.
Me and Lewis (Fellow Snow-Camp apprentice) were asked to go to the top of the race track to help out at the top, on the way up, again I began to feel really nervous but soon came to realize what an experience this week will be for me. James explained I was going to be helping the team put flags out, check the racers were in the correct order, had the correct numbered bibs, and also mark them off the list as they went down.
What a fab day it had ended up being? When we had all finished work, we got on a train to the top of the mountain, and then a Gondola to the top of the Grande Motte (which btw is 3032m high)!! It was out of this world up there, I was scared to ski down as the slopes were so steep and bumpy, but I persevered and had a blast conquering what is now my lifetime favorite run. By this time I was feeling mind blown, Italy and Austria had nothing on Tignes especially because I was with the team! Can I live here forever please?
Wednesday 29th– It is swap over day, which means myself and Hamza (Fellow Snow-Camp Apprentice) will be at the bottom of the slope today helping to post the finishing times for all to see. At first this was a little daunting as the speaker was difficult to hear above all the noise from the chatty crowd. I soon adapted and was careful not to write any of the times down incorrectly.
The day was incredibly busy but I experienced firsthand how excited and nervous the racers are before their race, how supportive they are towards each other even though they are in competition and how lucky I am to have experienced this. I mean it’s not every day you get an opportunity to work in Tignes (France) with the Delancey British Ski and Snowboard Championships.
During the evening we dined at the La Pignatta restaurant with the Delancey team, Sir John Ritblat and Lady Ritblat were also attending. I’m not quite sure what the main course was, Pork with vegetables in a pot with what looked like cheese and mash as a side. I can tell you for sure it definitely wasn’t potato mash, or cheese, but it wasn’t for me and so I won’t be having it again. However, the pork and vegetables were delicious.
Thursday 30th– Day 4, I cannot believe it’s Thursday (one of the busiest days of the week).
Honestly, I have no idea where the days have gone! It feels like I only arrived yesterday and yet I’ll sadly be leaving in two days. I have had my first interview with the BBC today, well my first interview on camera in fact. I have always been so held back and reserved; I’ve never liked being center of attention and try to avoid it at all costs. It just makes me feel uncomfortable, but after the week I’ve had I was more than happy to speak to Mike (BBC Interviewer). As everyone does, when the interview had finished I had thought of many more things that could have been said but I’m still happy with how it went and was just thankful that I didn’t swallow my tongue.
After another day on the mountain, I am getting ready to go to the Delancey Cocktail party held at the Les Suites Du Nevada Hotel and Spa. Gavin (Snow-Camp Program Manager) and Dan (Snow-Camp Founder/Director) told us there will be a massive Saint Bernard called Igloo! I adore dogs, they are such loving, loyal animals and they don’t receive enough in return from us Humans. Word has it; Prince Edward will be there too! How exciting?
What a pleasure it was too meet Prince Edward, I previously imagined finding it hard to speak to him as we come from different back grounds but it was in fact the complete opposite. There was an easy flow of conversation between us all (proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover). Prince Edward was also interested in hearing about Snow-Camp and we managed to give him a leaflet to read and take home detailing the support Snow-Camp provides for young people across London. This gave me a certain joy because if Snow-Camp didn’t exist I wouldn’t have been standing there speaking to him about my recent mountain experiences.
Friday 31st– Well isn’t Tignes just fabulous, the whole atmosphere is magical. I’m sad to know we’ll be on our journey home tomorrow, but I still have one more whole day to make the absolute most of it.
For the first few hours of my day will be myself and Laquan (Fellow Snow-Camp apprentice) writing down the timings for our last time, followed with prize giving to the racers. It was wonderful seeing their faces light up when they were given their trophies and medals.
We enjoyed the weather by having a well earnt afternoon ski with Jack Gower, one of the racers we became really good friends with. We finished our afternoon by trying our first ski cross track and Jack was really encouraging as I wasn’t feeling confident about doing it, but it was so enjoyable I wanted to do it again. There were six rollers in a row which was my favorite part of the whole track. It has been an amazing day, but time to head back to the chalet and have a nice relaxing evening of pizza and films.
Saturday 1st – Day 6, time to go home unfortunately, such a shame we can’t all stay for another week. Tignes has by far been my favorite holiday, for more than one reason. I’m proud of myself and the others, to have worked hard over the last year during my apprenticeship with Snow-camp to of earnt this opportunity and also grateful to Jamie Ritblat and Snow-Camp making it happen. My personality, self-esteem and confidence have grown so much during this time and I realised it a lot this week. If I think back to myself, this time last year, I would have been really nervous to speak to the BBC or be at the top of the slope working with people I didn’t know. It was a really eye opening week for me, I met incredible people and I learnt so much more about the snow sports industry. I’m so thankful for the week and was sad to say good bye to the Delancey team and everyone else I spent the week with.