To celebrate International Women’s Day, Snowsport England had the pleasure of meeting some inspirational women involved in our wonderful sport and sharing their stories with you.

One of these inspirational women is Sue Stroud. Sue has already had an incredibly rewarding journey in Snowsport from her first foray on to the snow all the way to being an experienced and accomplished instructor, coach and tutor. Through conversation with Sue, we retraced her first steps in to the sport, reflect on what she has taken out of it and explore the exciting next steps she is planning to take!

When you talk to Sue about her achievements in Snowsport it becomes glaringly obvious that whilst Sue can accept that she is a role model, for her it always has and will be, about other people and their development. That is, perhaps, what makes Sue such an incredible part of the Snowsport world.

She had a long held desire and interest in getting on a pair of skis whilst growing up, despite it feeling out of reach for such a long time. That is until, one fortunate day whilst at work as a teacher, when an eager Geography department colleague came to seek the advice of Sue and the PE department about a maiden ski trip for the school.

With no ski experience herself but keen to finally get the chance to scratch that itch, Sue made the arrangements and set off for Italy! Bringing up the rear of the ski group going down the slope, often knocking in to the back of the skier in front of her in her group when coming to a stop, the seed was planted and the passion for Snowsport grew and grew.

Upon her return from the trip, Sue went along to some sessions at Tamworth Snowdome and saw instructors going about their sessions when the next step in her journey hit her. Not only did Sue want to continue to develop her own skiing ability, she wanted to combine her professionally gained skills and become a ski instructor too.

Sue then began the process, working with Snowsport England on her qualifications through our courses, of becoming a highly skilled ski instructor and coach. Sue’s progress, it is fair to say, was almost inevitable. She has a tenacious drive, passion for people, natural air of leadership with a calm and engaging manner. With these soft skills, naturally, Snowsport participants came to Sue and for them and their journey, the rest is history.

At the beginning of Sue’s journey, she noted that almost all of the role models and people who helped her develop had been male. Whilst this wasn’t an issue for Sue, it is clear to see that progress in diversifying the Snowsport instructing demographic has come a long way in this time.

You would have to say, whether Sue would admit it or not, it is in part down to her breaking down barriers, becoming the female role model and demonstrating that her ability makes her stand out from the crowd.

Young women today in Snowsport have a path to becoming an instructor that is now better trodden, having had the trailblazing work done by women like Sue.

When Sue speaks, you listen, purely because you know that what she says is insightful, accurate and compelling. Don’t believe us? Get yourself on a ski lesson with Sue and you can experience it first hand. Many hundreds, if not thousands of enthusiasts have benefitted from Sue’s instruction and coaching and would tell you just how impactful she has been on their development.

In her own words “To me every qualification gained has been a personal milestone, but to achieve my Level 4 Coach and to be appointed as a Tutor by Snowsport England have been the pinnacle of years of hard work and something that I’m quietly very proud of. As a Level 4 and Tutor it gives me immense pleasure to support and train people who are starting on the same journey as me, an extremely rewarding experience.”

If you are keen to begin your Snowsport coaching journey, check out our coaching website and get all of the information you need in one place.

We can provide you with the very best in Ski Instructor training through our coaching courses too. With a course to suit everyone in various locations across the country, follow this link to easily book on and take that next step, you won’t regret it!