A Diary in the life of THA Ski Trip 2012
Friday 30th March 2012
Departure day at last after all the planning!
Once on the ferry we left the coach and found our meeting point. Ferry ride was a little choppy but everyone survived with no hiccups. Ferry docked at Calais at 2.20am and we all got back on the coach and settled down for the night. Peaceful night’s sleep, all students slept. We awoke at around 6am to thick fog that then cleared to a beautiful clear, sunny day. We were running ahead of schedule. As we entered the mountains, we saw some amazing views. Are we going on a winter holiday or a summer holiday?? The weather was amazing and we could see snow in the distance. We arrived safe and sound - 2 hours early!! Very busy evening, sorting out kit and unpacking. Evening entertainment was a group quiz and the winning team were '6 men standing' after the quiz, everyone went to bed without much fuss.
Early wakeup call - 6.30am breakfast at 7.15. Out the building with all our equipment by 8.20am. We awoke with a surprise visit from our sponsor Haig Oundjian who joined us on the slopes.
We arrived at the slopes and the students had their first experience of using a gondola. Students were separated into their ski groups and off we went for two hours of skiing! Met for lunch and to catch up on what they had learnt during the morning. Afternoon of skiing went well, then back to the hotel for snacks, then everyone off for showers. Then the majority of students went for a walk around the town passing a beautiful river on the way.
We had a full day of skiing ahead of us. Carl Jolly was a very lucky boy as Haig took him off skiing for the whole day, returning for lunch and then off they went again with Mrs Waters where they had an amazing afternoon skiing. As a whole group we can't thank Haig enough for giving up his time to spend with us, we really appreciate everything he did on the trip, including purchasing the whole group ice skating tickets for Tuesday night.
Another full day of skiing with a few showers, Coskun Grantham showed great improvement in his skiing ability as he moved up from the bottom group. After our day skiing Mr Littlewood and Mr Bourne took a group of year 9 boys for a fitness session, it was great to see the students taking control of their well-being, as it became evident to them that fitness was an important factor for skiing. We finished the day off with Ice skating, this was very eventful; Sophie Elliott and Bethany Sutton put their off-ice skating skill in to practice and did extremely well. Finished with a trio performance on the ice from Mrs Waters, Mr Littlewood and Miss Blacklock. Video clip to follow.
Another full day of skiing, the morning session was not as good as the afternoon as we had a down pour for the whole of the first two hours, but it brightened up for the rest of the afternoon.
A very tired group livened up as we were off to watch the Morzine Penguins play ice hockey. It was a very nail biting game as it was level point leading in to the last minute, but the Penguins managed to get another last minute goal to win! David Sesay’s competitive side come out through the game and was rewarded by catching one of the player’s broken hockey stick.
Interesting start to the days skiing when a horse was spotted walking across the main slope! All the groups had a lovely day of skiing; the top group were very impressed with themselves as they managed to complete a black run three times.
We returned to the hotel to eat dinner and then everyone met down stairs for THA Ski Trip awards which were a hit all round. Once the fun and games finished it was all hands on deck to get everyone packed and ready for our departure the following day, then off to bed we went.
Early morning as all luggage had to be out of all rooms by 7am. Breakfast then off for our last morning of skiing. All ski groups had their test to pass their awards. Every student had made progress and passed their awards with flying colours. We left the slopes at 11:20 arriving back at the hotel for a very busy few hours to come. First job was to return all ski equipment. Then to have lunch and organise 40 student and 9 staff to shower in 4 rooms. This was organised and ran to military operation. As we were ahead of schedule, a group of students and staff went to the town for a last bit of shopping.
We left the hotel on time at 16:00; we had a very smooth journey to Calais arriving 2 hours early. We all had to get off the coach to go through immigration, which was painless. Back in the coach, checking in for the ferry, we managed to get on the earlier ferry at 04:35 French time. We arrived at Dover at 05:00 English time. We were on the last leg of our ski trip, we arrived at THA at 07:15 with a welcome party.
The return coach journey was more or less silent for the whole trip back, kids and staff alike – much needed rest after a non-stop week of skiing and activities!
Each day it was a pleasure to see the students improving and also competitive streaks in the students were apparent. Every student wanted to get better and also were all eager for the teachers to see their improvements.