£3m Scottish Govt Support Funding

”It is key we inject financial support to make sure these centres are kept from financial ruin and ready to welcome back visitors when the time is right.” Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary

Snowsport Centres are an important part of Scotland’s rural economy and the Scottish government are providing Scotland’s snowsports centres £3 million in support to help them through this extremely challenging time.

We would like to thank the The Scottish Government and Rural Matters for their ongoing and continued support during this difficult period for our Snowsports industry and for the financial support being announced this afternoon!

Snowsport Scotland are continuing to work closely with the Scottish Government to look to provide as much support as possible for our Snowsports centres and community!

Click here for the Scottish statement and full information

Scottish Government has suggested that ski instructors/ schools may be able to apply for funding support via the following link: http://www.findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/browse-support…
We are aware that instructors/ ski schools have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 and will continue working with Scottish Government to advocate for wider support.

UK Sport ”I am part of Leading the Change”

Today officially marks the start of UK Sport’s new female coaches leadership programme with 27 coaches from 15 sports coming together as part of a plan to more than double representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community by Paris 2024.

Eight coaches, including the addition of highly-respected duo Jane Figueiredo (diving) and Claire Morrison (boccia), will lead a six-month programme for 19 of the most promising coaches in the UK, all of whom have been identified as having the potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and beyond.

Figueiredo and Morrison join Paula Dunn (para athletics), Kate Howey (judo), Mel Marshall (swimming), Bex Milnes (para triathlon) and Tracy Whittaker-Smith (trampolining) as coach leaders while Karen Brown, who spent over 15 years as a coach for Great Britain Hockey and England Hockey, will act as a mentor throughout.

The 19 participating coaches will be offered key support and development opportunities, including times to observe an assigned coach leader in their environment The programme will focus on three key areas, leadership, environment and transition, all of which are fundamental to the coaching development journey. The 19 coaches and their pairings are:

Paula Dunn: Nicola Benavente (rowing), Hannah Brown (canoeing)
Jane Figueiredo: Christine Bloomfield-Harrison (athletics), Jody Kime (artistic gymnastics), Lisa Letchford (hockey)
Kate Howey: Jenny Leeming (diving), Shani Palmer (athletics), Jo Ryding (alpine skiing)
Mel Marshall: Leah Crane (climbing), Monica Greenwood (cycling), Sarah Kelleher (hockey), Coral Nourrice (athletics)
Bex Milnes: Danielle Brayson (swimming), Naomi Johnston (cycling)
Claire Morrison: Katie Arup (fencing), Lysa Jones (golf)
Tracy Whittaker-Smith: Emma Trott (cycling), Laura Turner-Alleyne (athletics), Christy Mackinnon (alpine skiing)
Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: “It is really exciting to see such a large number of coaches from right across our high-performance community involved in this programme. We have an amazing group of coach leaders, who are the trailblazers and the people doing it now, and the opportunity for the 19 promising coaches to learn from them – as well as each other – is going to be incredible.

“UK Sport is determined to see greater diversity across the high-performance community and I know the role that I can play in championing this programme. I believe that each of the participants will become role models for the next generation of coaches and will truly enable us to reach our aims and ambitions for female coaches.

“I want to be able to reflect back that this was a turning point of truly making our workforce, in particular our coaching workforce, in the high-performance community far more diverse and a lot more equal from a gender perspective.”

Claire Morrison, Performance Coach at Boccia UK, said: “This is such an exciting programme to be involved in. I have always been lucky to be inspired by so many female role models through my sporting journey from my mum, my PE teacher, coaches and now my performance director. I know how important it is that female coaches have visibility of other female coaches to help show what is possible.”

Katie Arup said: ““I am delighted to have been selected onto UK Sport’s female coaches leadership programme. The programme will give me the opportunity to work with and shadow an inspirational group of female coaches from a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports. I am looking forward to the challenges the programme will throw up for me as a female fencing coach. I feel ready to up my game, push myself forward on my career path as a fencing coach and embrace becoming a better high-performance coach that can bring excellence to our future GB athletes.”

Monica Greenwood, Women’s Endurance Podium Coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “The ambition and passion in this programme to help female coaches step forwards in their coaching careers is really exciting and I’m really pleased to be able to be part of it. The coach leaders within the programme have such a depth of experience at the top level of sport. The opportunity to learn from my mentor, Mel Marshall, is something that I am really looking forward to and feels especially relevant in my new role as coach to the Great Britain Cycling Team’s women’s endurance podium squad.”

Lysa Jones, England Golf Regional Coach, said: “I am incredibly proud and humbled to be part of UK Sport’s female coaches leadership programme. As an England Golf coach working with our next generation of elite golfers, I am passionate about addressing the current under-representation of female coaches in UK sport and so to be involved with this initiative is really important to me. I am one of only a few female golf coaches and so to inspire and empower other women to follow their coaching goals will be a wholly rewarding experience and one I will relish.”

Coral Nourrice, Paralympic Talent Development Coordinator at UK Athletics, said: “The programme will not only expose me to an unknown environment for learning but will also provide me with a unique opportunity to develop my present skill set and network. I will be able to step up and be part of an increasing cohort of female coaches, learning from their leadership styles, strategic knowledge and experiences.

“I am excited to be part of a programme that will support me to reach my full potential by working with my mentor, Mel Marshall. I am confident that shadowing Mel will enable me to go outside my comfort zone to seek solutions to achieve the next level in my career as a high- performance coach.”

Jo Ryding, Para Alpine Performance Coach at GB Snowsport, said: “It’s a huge privilege to be part of the first UK Sport female coaches leadership programme, which is enabling more female coaches to progress into higher performance roles within World Class Programmes. I hope we can become role models for more females to make the steps up the ladder in the future and see an increase in female coaches at the top level.”

At present, approximately only 10% of coaching positions within the high-performance community in the UK are held by women. The leadership programme forms part of UK Sport’s long-term plan to address the current under-representation of female coaches at all levels of the talent pathway within the high-performance community.

The first target of this long-term plan is to ensure that by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, the number of female coaches available to Team GB and ParalympicsGB has more than doubled to 25%.

UK Sport collaborated with Performance Directors, Coach Developers and Talent Pathway Managers within the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community, as well as UK Coaching, on nominating female coaches to be part of the programme.

It arises from UK Sport’s People Development Team, working in partnership with sports and stakeholders to address diversity and inclusion ambitions, removing barriers and introducing bespoke programmes with gender the first characteristic and other initiatives to follow.

Event/Competition Update

As of the 4th of January, the Scottish Government and First Minister announced, the new Level 4 Guidance is to Stay at Home. This announcement also confirmed that ski centres were required to close.


In line with the guidance and rules set out by the Scottish Government and sportscotland, Snowsport Scotland will not be running any national events in Scotland until COVID guidance allows us to do so. We are awaiting the First Ministers next COVID-19 update, due to take place on the 2ndFebruary, after which we will assess the guidance and look at the next steps in regard to competition and event organisation.


For those clubs and committees who have races/events in the competition calendar over the coming months, we are strongly advising you to follow the guidance set out by the Government and sportscotland. As soon as any further information from sportscotland becomes available, we will look to organise a meeting for all those involved in organising events.  


We look forward to working with clubs and centres over the coming months, to deliver events and programme when the opportunity allows.


Continuation of Suspension of BASS Seeding and TD Assignment

The TD Forum and the Home Nations met on the 18 Jan to review the situation with regard assignment of TDs and the acceptance of race results for BASS in the ongoing pandemic.  The review looked at current and predicted trends of Covid cases; National and International lockdowns; and ongoing international travel restrictions and quarantine processes.  The following restrictions were agreed or extended:

1.       All races must have been accepted onto the GB Race Calendar before any TD is assigned or results accepted.

2.       Races within the UK geographic area will be supported with a TD and results accepted when UK National and local restrictions allow, provided they meet with all UK National and relevant local/regional restrictions and that the assigned TD is able to travel to the event.

3.       The current suspension of assignment of TDs or acceptance of results for BASS seeding at European locations will continue until 20 Mar2021 at the earliest.

The TD Forum and the Home Nations will continue to monitor the situation, taking into account any changes to national, international or regional restrictions, and travel advice that may affect the safe conduct of, and support to, races.  A decision on whether to support races based in Europe after 20th March will be announced 20th February.

The Forum confirms that BASS seed points will not attract end of season penalties for athletes unable to race due to the ongoing pandemic; thus athletes will not see an increase in points for the season 2020/21.

COVID-19 and Overseas Travel Update

Following the First Ministers update announcement, this is a reminder that Snowsport Scotland, along with GB Snowsport and the Home Nations, have published guidance and information addressing COVID-19 travel restrictions.


Snowsport Scotland are in full support of the Scottish governments ongoing message to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so, such as, for essential work purposes, professional sportspeople (which includes over 16s on an elite development pathway) for medical treatment, or urgent compassionate reasons.


As part of the travel guidance, the Scottish government does provide exceptions for elite athletes during this time. For the purposes of this guidance the definition of a ‘performance athlete’ is defined as:

1) Athletes who derive a living from competing in a sport as:

  1. Professional athletes, and / or
    b. Athletes in professional teams, or
    c. Athletes on performance development pathways for professional sports established by the national governing body.


2) For GB Olympic and Paralympic sport, athletes who are:

  1. GB senior (i.e. those not classified by age group) representatives for NGB’s on a Summer or Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo/Beijing) pathway, or
    b. On GB senior training squads (i.e. those not classified by age group) for NGB’s on a Summer or Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo/Beijing) pathway, or
    c. On performance development pathways for NGB’s on a Summer or Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games pathway.


3) Athletes from territories in the British Isles who are senior representatives or on senior training     squads (i.e. those not classified by age group) for sports in     the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games programme.


As athletes’ part of Snowsport Scotland National teams and training squads, there is an expectation for those members to adhere to the Snowsport Scotland Code of Conduct, which includes following guidance and recommendations set out by the NGB (in this case being passed on from the Scottish government.)

As a community, we have a responsibility to follow the guidance set out and adhere to restrictions when they are put in place.

Please see the latest statement issued by GBS here

For details of the Scottish Government documentation please click here



Please note that it is currently illegal to travel abroad from Scotland except for essential purposes.

Please see the latest statement issued by GBS here

For details of the Scottish Government documentation please click here

COVID Update – 06/01/21

Following on from the First Ministers announcement, you may all be aware now, that ski centres and resorts in Scotland will have to close as of Friday (08/01).

We are disappointed by the decision made to close ski centres, but we look forward to working with Scottish Government to discuss funding opportunities that will allow our facility network to get through this challenging period & to re-open facilities in the near future to ensure that people continue to access the many benefits that sport and physical activity brings.

sportscotland have now published updated guidance on Sport and Physical activity, which can be found on our COVID-19 webpage.

The clear message from the Scottish Government, is ‘to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible.’’

Should we receive more detail and information over the coming days and weeks from the government and sportscotland, we will be sure to share with all of our members, clubs and centres as quickly as possible.

2021/22 Alpine Pathway Programme Announcement

See the source image


2021/22 Alpine Pathway Programme Announcement


The Home Nations Snowsports Governing Bodies and GB Snowsport is pleased to formally announce two Alpine Pathway Programmes that will be available for UK athletes to be part of next winter.


Registration forms and entry criteria guidance will be sent out later this month, inviting athletes to apply to be selected into GB Alpine Pathway U16 and FIS training squads.


Training squad (part-time) programmes will offer athletes a series of Europe snow-camps, regular squad training, fitness sessions and off-snow athlete support workshops.


We look forward to launching these new programmes in 2021 and working together to deliver an alpine programme that supports more athletes to get ready to perform on the world stage.


GB Snowsport CEO, Vicky Gosling says:


“It is great to be working closely with the Home Nations on these Pathway Programme’s. We need to ensure that we combine all our knowledge and work forces as one snowsport community so that we can provide the best possible programmes for the future Olympians and Paralympians.”


Snowsport Scotland CEO, Trafford Wilson says:


Over the last two years Snowsport Scotland has run a very successful alpine programme for Scottish athletes, the opportunity this new approach provides to pull resources and work more closely with GB Snowsports, Snowsport England and Snowsport Wales is an exciting one and a further step forward for Scottish snowsports. 


Lesley McKenna – What Backcountry Means to Me

What Backcountry means to me is a way to adventure both outside and in. A way to play, discover, try out new ideas and moves, and communicate different feelings and stories to those with me and also to myself when I am reflecting on the experience.  

Mainly, and most important, is the fun bit, but fun can be many things, and I think being able to see the fun in taking on the driving sleet, mist, ice, sastrugi, high winds as well as the powder, sunshine, snow sparkles, and new lines is also part of the fun of ski touring and split boarding in Scotland.  

 I love the way the experience helps me to connect with my companions in so many different conditions and how we can problem solve our way around the challenges and safety questions that come up in a way that connects us through the learning and knowledge we create together on that particular day in those particular conditions. There are so many ‘particular’ conditions in Scotland as it is always so variable, both in snow conditions and weather as well as terrain, that there are infinite possibilities of experience and knowledge creation and therefor ways of understanding and enjoying. 

 By approaching the backcountry in this way, I can enjoy short mellow tours or longer more technical tours equally and also enjoy and share the experience with others who might have different ability or experience levels and always get something really fun and interesting from the day.  

 For me being out in the mountains is a way of knowing and appreciating myself and nature on a deeper level. It is a way to explore my own nature and own being as a human in the world and a way to help me understand and appreciate the nature and experience of my fellow humans. It also makes me feel connected to nature, or really a part of it in the very literal sense. I can feel the effects of the weather, the storms and the sunshine as I experience their effects on the environment and nature around me. it can also be a way to challenge myself both physically, mentally and emotionally, especially when I am in more technical terrain and I am looking for a very connected form of decision making, a kin to what is called naturalistic decision making, where it is as if my mind and body are one and my senses and logic are working in harmony to process everything that is going on. I find there is a certain creativity in that process as well. Snowboarding or skiing in this state for me is often timeless and hyper real, often called the flow state, and it is a magical like place to be. 

 Finally being in the mountains and forests of the highlands brings me close to the old and timeless folk culture and myths of the land. The themes that the local Gaelic myths capture are archtypes I have felt when out and about and also when meditating and reflecting internally. The story of the Cailleach, queen of winter and bringer of storms and change, mother of all the Scottish gods and goddesses is my particular favourite. I love to introduce people to these myths and stories and to the land and mountains where they came from as well as to the internal landscape where they still live. 



I grew up living at Dellmhor in Rothiemurchus and went to Aviemore Primary School and then to Kingussie High School. I was lucky enough to have a lot of great winters on Cairngorm growing up and also lucky to come from a family who were very passionate about skiing. I learnt to ski at a young age and spent a lot of time skiing with my extended family. My father was a BASI trainer and also drove the Snow Cats and Worked on the Ski Patrol when I was a kid and my mother was also a ski instructor.

I had a great time skiing with Cairngorm Ski Club and along with my cousin Alain Baxter, went from Cairngorm Ski Club to the Scottish Alpine Ski Team and then on to the British Alpine Ski Team. I was British Women’s Giant Slalom Champ in 1994 before changing skis for a snowboard and taking up snowboarding. I raced snowboards on the ISF and FIS World Cup tours before deciding I had had enough of gates and focusing on half pipe events. I was really luck to have a lot of support from the local snowboard shop Boardwise at the time I swapped from skiing to snowboarding as well as a lot of support from the local snowboard scene.

I went on to be the first ever GB Snowboard competitor to compete at the Winter Olympics in 2002 and also  to win a FIS World Cup when I won a halfpipe World Cup in 2003 and the first snowboarder from the UK to compete in the USA Winter X Games halfpipe event. I had 6 FIS World Cup Halfpipe podium results in my career and competed in 3 Olympics before moving to coaching. I coached the European Roxy Snow team for 4 years and then moved to the newly formed GB Park and Pipe Team in 2012 where I became the Programme Manager for the ski and snowboard athletes competing in halfpipe, slopestyle and big air events at Word Cup and Olympic level.

Between 2012 and 2018 the GB Park and Pipe team won many World Cup and X Games medals and also 3 Olympic bronze medals by Jenny Jones, Izzy Atkin and Billy Morgan. I an a BASI L4 ISTD qualified instructor as well as a ski and snowboard coach and I am also a qualified yoga teacher. I am currently winding down on the competition scene side but still work part time for GB Snowsports as a programme manager and am moving more towards backcountry interests. I look forward to launching some new projects in the backcountry space this season. 


Jonny Barr – What Backcountry Means to Me!

Snowboarding isn’t snowboarding without the backcountry. That’s where it all started for me! Hiking the mountains of North Wales back in 1989, with a walking axe and a backpack full of food. 

Fast forward to the modern day IT’S STILL THE SAME! Just way easier with the development of splitboards. To me, the backcountry has driven my snowboarding and has always given me a sense of being. Hiking deep or high into the mountains has always given me the stoke, as I know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel…Snowboarding!

The excitement of route finding on maps, prepping your kit the night before and talking to your pals on the plan is ace. Having a good crew you can trust is vital, they are your saviour. This is where your kit and backpack come into play. Having the right equipment is key, but knowing how to use it and access it is priceless. You can’t put a price on safety! Getting out there, practicing beacon searches and digging snow pits learning the layers, is all worth it in the long run, as it keeps you shredding. 

31 years and I’m still buzzing more than ever on getting to go snowboarding! I might not do the tricks I could do back in the day, but getting up and touring out into my local mountains of the Cairngorms with my pals, still means the world to me. Scotland has its challenges and is possibly the most dangerous mountains I’ve experienced in Europe. With the ever changing weather conditions on an hourly bases, it really is next level when heading out Backcountry. POW POW POW!



I started in 1989 on a dry-slope in North Wales and went on to tour around the UK doing dry-slope comps for about 2 years, were I gained a shop sponsor.  I did my 1st season in Chamonix France in 1992/93 and never looked back. For the next 17 years I lived and based myself in Chamonix living the dream. In 1997 I became British overall snowboard champion in Les Arc’s France. This opened the doors to more sponsorship allowing me to travel around the world freeride snowboarding. In 1999 I was invited to Alaska with a UK based magazine Snowboard UK. We were the first Brits to head over with a camera crew to document the big mountains of Alaska. The following year we went back for more….. 

I worked as the photo editor for Snowboard UK for 3 years in between the snow seasons.  

I was sponsored by Switch step-in bindings and helped develop the system within the Vans boots for 6 years. 

 Judged the world jnr championships, for 3 years. TTR for 2 years and the British Champs for 3 years. 

Coached at the McNab Kommunity winter/ summer camps for 4 years 

Coached at Folgafona Summer camp in Norway for a month 

Coached the New Zealand junior halfpipe team in New Zealand for 2 weeks 

I was the ringleader for setting up the VANS Dawn of the Shred comps up the Cairngorms for 5 years and the 2 Scottish rounds of European Vans High Standard events 

For the last 7 years I’ve run the UpBattle Split-boarding demo weekender up the Cairngorms, raising money for the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team.    

Currently living in Aviemore with my wife and 3 kids plus wee Yogi the dawg….