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The Irish are coming
Sunday April 5, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

Did you know there is an Irish Association of Snowsports Instructors? Well, there is and it appears to be growing. And you do not have to be Irish to join.

Ireland is known for many things but perhaps not a tradition of ski instructing.

Or indeed skiing.

Its Association is though growing and this summer will be sending a delegation to Interski - a four year event that sees instructors from all the main skiing nations coming together to exchange ideas, network, develop teaching methods and demonstrate best practices.

It will be held in the city of Ushuaia and Cerro Castor ski resort in Argentina this summer.

Ireland will be there in the shape of Pete Gillespie, Warren Smith, Derek Tate, Shona Tate, Ali Smith and Vittorio Calfi.

All gained experience and qualifications with the British Association of Snowsports Instructors, BASI, and an Irish equivalent is now set up.

They will be skiing under the Irish flag at the opening and closing ceremonies and delivering a workshop to their fellow international instructors.

"We have been to all the international events and were at the last Interski in St Anton with a team of 3 people. This is the largest team we have sent and though people were slightly bemused to begin with now we are taken seriously," said Pete Gillespie.

Ireland has no ski resorts but does have a number of artificial slopes:

1.Ski Club of Ireland at Kilternan in Co. Dublin (artificial slope with dendix and snow flex)

2.The Ski Centre, Sandyford (rolling carpet indoor slope)

3.Craigavon Ski Centre, N. Ireland (artificial slope - dendix)

4.The Glen Centre in Cork (a very small artificial slope)

In days gone by portable lifts have been taken into the Wicklow mountains when there was sufficient snow. 

The Association now has 160 members and some are choosing to go through its system to gain their qualifications.

It does not see itself as a rival to BASI, but rather offers a different product.

It has the same 4 levels, but has a more flexible course structure. 

Level 1 is a 5-day course with BASI but with IASI it can be spread over a 12-week period with 2 hours per week so people do not have to take time off work.

For the level two examination the course is 6 days rather than 10. 

At level four it is possible to reach the grade without doing a speed test if people want to work in Switzerland, Canada or New Zealand.

The level 4 includes the ISIA speed test with an option for the Eurotest.

The qualification structure follows the ISIA  minimum standards and can issue both the ISIA stamp and ISIA card at level 4.

IASI has also updated its website and is now a good resource for instructors of all nationalities.

The Irish are comingThe Irish are coming

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the spirit of the mountains

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