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BASI blows out 50 candles at the House of Commons

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thursday 17 January sees BASI, hosted by Danny Alexander (MP for the constituency that includes its HQ at Grantown-on-Spey), lunch with 40 international guests to celebrate its 50th anniversary at the House of Commons. The British Association of Snowsport Instructors ... founded in 1963 as BAPSI (the British Association of Professional Ski Instructors) and then for most of its life the British Association of Ski Instructors) ... is now middle-aged and snowboard-friendly.


Not all ski chalets have clock towers


Sir Steve Redgrave, five times an Olympic gold medallist, a recently qualified BASI instructor and now president of BASI, will be tucking into the salmon as a star guest of the occasion.

I don't anticipate an international food fight (or snowball fight) at the long table, but will keep you updated on interesting/amusing developments. The bulk of the reportage will appear in sober form on Winterhighland ...

http://www.winterhighland.info/forum/read.php?2,152284

... so check there for anything serious and Scottish (respect).

In the meantime, please reflect with a sanguine smile that only two months ago 250 French (ESF) ski instructors planned to flashmob Parliament Square to boost business. The combined anarchy/influence of snowHeads (not all, it has to be said) played some part in the cancellation of that event. The ESF's court action against British tour operator hosts, who are mainly unqualified (but only show clients around the pistes without teaching them), is ongoing.


It never happened


That's one topical background issue of Thursday's event, but expect positive news about British ski instruction on other fronts.

In the interests of a good lunch, impeccably sober journalism and Anglo-Scottish harmony, I trust that there will be wholehearted approval of the BASI ... err ... bash. Thank you.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 17-01-13 2:05; edited 5 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
A couple of things to illustrate this news, and give a bit of background:

Firstly, a report by Planetski on the funeral of Frith Finlayson in 2009 describes an amazing BASI pioneer: essentially the founder of the organisation in 1963. Frith signed my BASI licence in 1975 and was a giant on the Aviemore scene in the early days ...

http://www.planetski.eu/news/930

And a classic six-minute film on the state-of-BASI in 1976 ...


http://youtube.com/v/2DPh-7vZ2Ww

On a personal note, the guy who BASI-trained me in 1975. I hit lucky - you didn't choose your trainer - and I got Ali Ross ...


Ali, son of crofting parents north of Inverness, worked for Frith Finlayson in the early days. He became a truck driver, with exceptional mechanical skills (he once converted a gas board truck into a mobile home). He taught skiing in Wengen for many years and was a BASI trainer who innovated theories of carving technique. He worked intensively with the Sunday Times on the landmark book 'We Learned to Ski'. At one time he ran a ski slope built on scaffolding at Lord's cricket ground, which was a useful location for attracting celebrity clients. He continues to teach skiing in Tignes.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Comedy Goldsmith,

I've got a couple of his books...he's got a lot to answer for wink
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An update (very briefly) ... today, at the House of Commons, BASI signed an agreement with Edinburgh University to align its qualifications with the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework. This is expected to significantly raise vocational opportunities and transferability of BASI qualifications, with new research opportunities.

I've updated the Winterhighland thread on this, quoting from the BASI press release ...

http://www.winterhighland.info/forum/read.php?2,152284

I'll post again to sketch out the feel of today's events ... later on.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Comedy Goldsmith wrote:
An update (very briefly) ... today, at the House of Commons, BASI signed an agreement with Edinburgh University to align its qualifications with the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework. This is expected to significantly raise vocational opportunities and transferability of BASI qualifications, with new research opportunities.


Does this mean BASI members can obtain student loans to finance their courses Puzzled
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You'll need to Register first of course.
So, what was it like to enter the gothic wonder that houses our elected lawmakers and expenses fiddlers ... to celebrate the gods of ski instruction?

First up was the experience of entering the building itself. We'd been warned that "serious ID" would be essential. In the event it was never checked, but more important than who goes in is what they're carrying. Since Westminster became one of the world's most policed security zones it's featured a long ramp from the pavement of Parliament Square into a micro airport terminal, incrongruously planted in front of Sir Charles Barry's palace (constructed over 20+ years after 1840).

Since I was only carrying a stink bomb, a whoopee cushion and a plastic trumpet, the scanner and metal detector were cleared without issue. A photo ID card was generated. "You must wear this on this lanyard at all times", and we immediately headed for the dark and cavernous Westminster Hall, which eventually leads to the Central Lobby. This is the 'crossroads' or 'village square' of Westminster (if it wasn't an octagon). It's the place where MPs meet their constituents to hear their complaints and petitions (and rarely their compliments). It's a fantastic concoction of stone and mosaic (with a built-in Post Office), where you regularly see the likes of Nick Robinson capturing the day's political drama for the TV bulletins. This was our waiting area for the fun to come.


The Central Lobby of Westminster. Meet your ski instructor here.

As the hand-shaking and idle chatter dragged on, the towering figure of Sir Steve Redgrave entered the space. BASI's top brass gathered around their new president, voices hushed in reverence, at which point there seemed only one obvious question for your correspondent to ask the 5-times gold medallist: "Did you row here?". Sir Steve had clearly thought of this, appreciating the convenience of an urban waterway flowing past the famous elevation of the building, and countered "It's not possible. They've planted security barriers in the river to prevent you getting alongside it." He then explained the rowing race which pitches the House of Commons against the House of Lords.

Pretty soon, we were off to the riverside terrace bar for reception drinks and schmoozing, before lunch and speeches commenced.

[More to come]


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 18-01-13 9:38; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
[More to come]


Can't wait! Cool
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
maggi, me too. Fun thread, thanks David.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Do BASI pay Sir Steve Redgrave? And is that him in the red jacket doing skating step turn?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Chapter 3. Down to business

Entering a dining room - Dining Room A of the House of Commons in this instance - with one long table for over 40 guests, one's thoughts immediately turn to the seating plan. Since this was essentially a lunch with an unpublished guest list, I'll be partially discreet about identifying my neighbouring diners and the private chat. And it probably isn't the done thing to take notes (so I did this on my lap). Suffice it to say that I was astonished to find myself sitting directly opposite a senior officer of a well-known national skiers' organisation, the name of which will be very familiar to players of this organ. Suffice it to say that I was relieved to be wearing a bullet-proof vest. [only joking: there was a cordial handshake, and the gentleman concerned was most polite in passing the ketchup when I embarrassingly requested this]

That said, it later transpired that a gentleman two seats away from me was filming a time-lapse video of the long row of diners on a mobile phone, showing wine glasses emptying at astonishing speed. Hopefully this material will never see the light of day - this wasn't some budget chalet 'unlimited wine' meltdown, and should have been treated more respectfully.

To my left was a lady involved in disability snowsports at a strategic level, organising thousands of ski lessons at indoor snowdomes etc. for those with various degrees of paralysis. Interesting to discover that hardly any level of spinal cord damage prevents one having a slide, providing the hardware is sophisticated enough. OK, I'll mention her name, because she's clearly a star of British skiing: Rachel Easton of Disability Snowsport UK.

On the right was someone I'm sure won't mind being name-dropped: Andrew Lockerbie. Andrew is currently teaching for the BASS ski school in Megeve, and organised my last BASI refresher at Wycombe Summit dry slope (which later burned down). He once chaired BASI. More recently he's run the Chill Factore snowdome in Manchester. He's a one-time stunt skier, who pulled off a unique performance for a Visa commercial in 1994. Check this out, because Andrew had a seriously dangerous wipeout filming this video and could have been badly injured ...


http://youtube.com/v/8or-pAxuw48

Andrew and Alex Leaf (also present at the table) run World Class Skiing, which includes an instruction camp on the Hintertux Glacier. If you want serious teaching from top professionals, these guys are brilliant.

That's all for now. More later, with highlights from the speeches.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
musher, I've got a free app - Ski better with Ali Riss Little Angel
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Really interesting thread. Sounds like a great event.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Cynic wrote:
Do BASI pay Sir Steve Redgrave?


Even by your standards that is pathetic
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Suffice it to say that I was astonished to find myself sitting directly opposite a senior officer of a well-known national skiers' organisation, the name of which will be very familiar to players of this organ.


Comedy Goldsmith, as we are not all forensic scientists, assume you are talking about the Tea Club. Do you think whoever put out the place names had a wicked sense of humour or was it just coincidence? Conspiracy theorists this way please...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Bode Swiller wrote:
Do you think whoever put out the place names had a wicked sense of humour or was it just coincidence? Conspiracy theorists this way please...
There are clearly dark forces
though dark forces with a sense of humour
at work here.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
[quote="admin"]
Bode Swiller wrote:
Do you think whoever put out the place names had a wicked sense of humour ...

I've checked this with a government statistician. He explained that - as there were approximately 20 diners on each side of the table - the probability of me sitting opposite said gentleman was around 5%. So I'm putting it down to pure chance.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bode Swiller wrote:
Comedy Goldsmith, as we are not all forensic scientists, assume you are talking about the Tea Club.


I thought the word "organ" was the clue? Little Angel
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I must admit I was using 'organ' as in 'snowheads' ... i.e. 'playing snowheads'.

Looking back at the sentence, obviously 'organ' could be misinterpreted as 'organisation', or 'sexual/other body part' or 'wind-powered musical instrument comprising pipes'.

Clearly, if I'd intended to identify the person I would have done so and I think he/she has a right to privacy at a private function. I think we each saw the amusing aspect of the face-off.
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admin wrote:
There are clearly dark forces work here.


I had nothing to do with it Wink



Comedy Goldsmith Interesting stuff about our seat of power O_o
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