The club AGM was held at the River House in Stirling on Wednesday 29th of October 2014. In line with our constitution, Eddie Guest stood down from his role as President after 6 years of service. The club owes Eddie and his family a huge debt of gratitude.
Under Eddie’s stewardship, the Club regained it’s feet after years of poor snow and dwindling membership. Knowing that the success of the Club rests on having youngsters excited about skiing and more particularly, racing, Eddie secured the support of Craig Lamont, our Head Coach. And so began the building of the race training programme which now covers weekends, half terms and Christmas and Easter holidays.
Eddie has ensured that all our huts have been well maintained and now most weekends the Cairngorm, Lochaber and Glencoe huts are filled with members, young and old, braving the gale force winds! Last season, families were out skiing on the hills having fun and improving technique while using the Ski Club huts as a refuge and a place to make new like minded friends. Alongside the race training programme, support for the Club holiday and other activites have thrived and last April we saw 100 Club racers from 2 to 92 compete in the Conveners Canter and 150 members join us at the end of season BBQ at Farleitter.
All this flourished under Eddie’s presidency and as a Club we thank Eddie for all he has done on our behalf. Eddie has handed over the presidency to me and I very much appreciate that I have some big shoes to fill! However, I am very fortunate to have the help and support of a great and dedicated committee. I am also excited that some more members have volunteered to join us in helping move the club forward; Kenny Waite, Kenny Carruthers, Mark Blyth, Mags Duncan and Neil Ross. They all bring new and different skills to the table which will really give us a fantastic base to build on.
Our club functions only through the selfless dedication of volunteers. For instance, today (1st November) a group of members including Craig Lamont, Jer Whittet, Bill Thomson, Sean and Lara Langmuir and kids, Moira and Cate Langmuir, Mark and Rachel Blyth and kids and our new hut convenor Mags Duncan are on Cairngorm fixing the walkway to the hut and making sure that it’s ready for use this coming season. We cannot thank them enough for giving up their time to do this on behalf of everyone.
I am meeting shortly with Jane Campbell-Morrison, chairman of Snowsport Scotland, to get an understanding of how SSS supports the clubs. I am also meeting with Janette Jansen who is the new General Manager for Natural Retreats, the organisation now running Cairngorm Mountain.
Our journal is underway, hopefully to be sent out pre-Christmas. It is only as good as the contributions sent in, so move fast if you have an article to submit! Craig Lamont, head coach, has set out the training programme for the coming season.
For myself, it was a huge moment of pride to become Club President (although I think my mum Myrtle Simpson, a past President, was more proud)! For those who don’t know me, I have been a member of the SSC practically since birth and have skied and raced on Cairngorm and Glencoe with the SSC from about aged 2 along with my 3 brothers, Robin, Bruce and Rory Simpson. Apart from 10 years when I lived in Cape Town and had no skiing whatsoever, skiing has been part of our family make up. We know that its a sport that everyone can do together, young and old. Our daughters, Jemma and Lucy have come through the club training programme and Jemma has been mentored as a coach by Craig and Gary and has now passed her alpine level one coaching. My Husband is the expert cook and fire maker at the end of season BBQ, taking over from my Mum and Dad at our family home, Farletter. Mat has worked for the past 14 years in Coach education and child protection roles for Tennis Scotland so has an understanding of the workings of governing bodies for sport. I work for Marks and Spencer, who I have been with for 28 years. Currently I am the General Manger for the Argyle Street branch in Glasgow .
To me, the Scottish Ski Club represents a club for families and individuals to find friends who enjoy a common love of being out on a hill in all elements! Either ski racing, ski training, back country ski touring, hillwalking , piste bashing, learning about avalanches, mountain safety or sitting out the weather in the club hut with like minded friends. Our club is over 100 years old and has been the backbone to the development of sking in Scotland. It has always provided a pathway and support to potential Olympic medalists as well as being a club for those who just want to go skiing.
Our new committee is very excited about the future of the club and I look forward to hearing views and ideas from all members about our way forward in a survey we will send out shortly.
I look forward to seeing you on the hills and in the huts!