On Sunday 12th February 2023 at the 26th English Alpine Championships in Bormio, Snowsport England held an open meeting for Clubs, Academies and Coaches.
Facilitated by Tim Fawke – CEO, Dominic McGonigal – Chair and Gareth Case – Member Director, the meeting covered several key issues including an update on the Snowsport England Strategy, Safeguarding as well as a Q&A.
Dominic McGonigal introduced himself to the attendees as the new Chair of Snowsport England and commented on the positive landscape of training and competition at a club level and the good choice of high quality Academies available for aspiring athletes and their parents.
He did address that it is acknowledged that there is work to do on the talent pathway, which will require the support of Academies, Clubs and Parents alike; and work was still needed in Safeguarding, a point later addressed by Gareth Case.
Gareth highlighted the work that was to be done and his proposal of an accreditation process and completion of a survey to gather raw but important data on employees and qualifications. There is a desire from SE to gain further input from Academies, Clubs and Parents in regard to the talent pathway and safeguarding.
Gareth was keen to encourage communication with stakeholders in regard to membership, acknowledging that whilst this has not historically been a strength, there is progress being made with the appointment of a new Participation Manager, Jade, and a new Participation Officer, Steph. They have both been working on the creation and implementation of ‘Club Connect’ which will provide forums for discussion as well as 1-2-1 meetings between clubs and SE.
Tim Fawke gave an overview of the SE strategy and the 3 key pillars of the strategy and how this has been developed alongside Sport England 10 year strategy “Uniting the movement”.
The strategy focuses on Leadership, Participation and Talent and there will be further information out on this during 2023.
The open meeting moved in to the Q&A session at this point. There was, overall, a positive response to the work happening in Safeguarding.
There were questions raised about the talent pathway, notably, what was going to be happening as there had been lots of discussion. Dominic McGonigal explained that work was still ongoing but that the next step was for proposals to be put forward and that SE would work with academies to ensure this was done effectively.
Questions then moved towards GBS and were not always answerable from a Snowsport England position, it was agreed that Snowsport England would seek to work with GBS to ensure there was greater clarity around team selection processes.
It was felt there were still further questions that needed to be answered by GBS about the agreement and Dominic McGonigal agreed to seek clarification on these from GBS.
Snowsport England would like to thank everyone who attended for their engagement and support and will continue to work together for the betterment of Snowsport.