Winter Olympics attracts new interest to Silksworth ski slope

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Silksworth ski slope has had a ‘greater demand than we could supply’ since the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The slope, which holds sessions throughout the year, has had an increase in both skiing and snowboarding attendance.

Michael Dodds, the Centre Manager of Silksworth, said: “The usage of the slope has taken off, and we have had a greater demand than we could supply.”

We encourage people of any age to join. The initial part of getting children to try the sports is a pathway to foundations of skiing, we try not to hold them back from this but push them on.”

Open to all ages, the slope is popular with locals and has become a regular training ground for local university teams, as well as Silksworth’s own Polar Bear and Ravens squads which are made up of regular racers.

Maureen Mearns, Secretary of the North East Ski Association, added: “People should get out and try it. If you don’t try you never know.

“After seeing the results of the Olympics, snowboarding attendance has gone off the walls, and hopefully the Paralympics will continue to encourage more people to try the sport.”

“The perfect opportunity is here for people to learn a sport which wouldn’t normally be available in the UK.”

The slope is open all year round and provides the only dry slope facilities in the North East. The upper part of the slope has recently been refurbished, and uses a mist system to cater for different weather types.

Mr. Dodds said: “Learning on plastic is difficult, but once you learn on plastic you can tackle any slope. The best way to develop is to practice, and some of our staff here have been champions in the past.”

The slope caters for all ranges of abilities, with private ski and snowboard lessons, snow tubing, and group bookings available.

Freestyle sessions are held on Monday and Friday nights for £9.90 per two hour session, between 7 and 9pm.

To contact the centre for bookings or enquiries, ring the centre on 0191 553 5785/93, or email silksworth.sc@sunderland.gov.uk. Equipment can also be hired at the venue.

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