With the Winter Olympics having just started in PyeongChang, I thought it was rather apt when the opportunity to interview Stephanie Cook who won the GB National Rollerski Series in 2016 presented itself, so I took the opportunity to find out a little more about how you can ski without snow in this country and in particular Berkshire.
Steph started Rollerskiing 14 years ago after trying cross country skiing on holiday with her mum in New Zealand. She attended a ski club in the Yorkshire Dales where she lived at the time. This is where Steph learnt the techniques and was given the encouragement to pursue Cross Country Skiing and Rollerskiing. Steph moved to Finland to take up full time training on Rollerskis in the summer and international Cross Country Skiing races in the winter. Steph trained in Finland for three and a half years with a group of juniors, many of whom went on to win medals at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and will be potential medal winners in PyeongChang 2018.
Rollerskiing is the non-snow version of Cross Country Skiing or Nordic Skiing and the same ski poles and boots can be used. The same movement patterns are used on Rollerskis but wheels are used instead of snow skis. Rollerskis have a wheel at each end and have a binding on top that clips in a ski boot. Most Olympic Cross Country skiers and Biathletes (Cross Country Skiing with Shooting) take part in races on Rollerskis on similar courses used in the Winter Olympics and train on Rollerskis during the summer months.
So who would have thought it, you can still enjoy skiing without snow or fake snow! Steph runs a weekly Bracknell Rollerski Club on Thursday nights at Garth Hill College between 6.15pm – 7.15pm. The sessions are for children aged 5 upwards and adults as well, so it is a great family sport. As well as getting out in the fresh air and doing something physical, Rollerskiing teaches coordination, balance and spatial awareness and also helps to develop strength and power whilst increasing fitness levels.
If you would like to get in touch with Steph please visit the Bracknell Rollerski’s facebook page. Please contact Steph before attending any classes to make sure there is space, the time and dates.
*I had the opportunity to interview Steph Cook. I was not paid to write this post.* See the Berkshire Mummies disclaimer.