A CORNISH sports company is giving south west youngsters the opportunity to work in the adventure industry all over the world.
The Penzance based Winter Sports Company has been running successful ski and snowboard instructor training courses in Sun Peaks Resort in Canada since 2009.
This winter season the company prepares to launch two new instructor training programmes in Italy and New Zealand. These provide clients with further opportunities to gain international ski and snowboard instructor qualifications
The business, run by husband and wife team Steve and Karen La Borde, has been expanding rapidly for the last three years. Their training courses are open to all ages, with special cut-price internships available to 18-30 year-olds.
Once qualified, snow sports enthusiasts are then helped to find work in ski resorts spanning the globe, including Canada, New Zealand, Italy and Dubai.
Penwith youngster Emma Weschke completed an 11-week course with the Winter Sports Company in Canada last season and became a level 2 qualified ski instructor.
The 18-year-old student, who was on a gap year before starting a Biology degree at Exeter University, now plans on teaching skiing during holidays.
Emma said: “I really wanted to go and do something adventurous with my year out and as I hadn’t been skiing for two years I was desperate to get on the snow.
“I was thinking of doing a working season but then I discovered the Winter Sports Company’s instructor training courses.
“It was an amazing experience, and we were taught by instructors at the top of their game. Now I have some great qualifications which will allow me to be a ski instructor during my uni breaks and once I have completed my degree.”
But for Emma the course was much more than gaining an internationally recognised qualification.
She added: “Whether it is a blue bird day or a blizzard, every day is a chance to explore the mountains in different conditions. It is the very peak of outdoor activity.
“You get to learn while exploring some wonderful terrain – from wild tight intense tree runs with fun drops and obstacles, to wide open stretches of deep powder bowls.
“Skiing is a brilliant combination of fitness, discipline, testing your body to try out new skills and stunts, showing off, exploration and adventure. Plus after an epic day on the mountain your instructors join you in the pub for a couple of beers and a game of pool.”
Liskeard teenager Josh Terry,18, and Sam Chick, 18, from Wadebridge took up internships and travelled to Sun Peaks Resort for three weeks last December becoming level one ski instructors.
The Winter Sports Company then found the boys work at Edmonton Ski Club in Canada where they spent three months teaching school groups, before returning to Sun Peaks Resort to attain their level two ski instructor qualification in March
Company director Steve, 55, is a qualified ski instructor and expert skier.
He said: “It’s so rewarding giving these youngsters a career that will take them all over the world. But one of the best parts is giving older people the chance to explore their adventurous side.
“We’ve had clients as old as 72 become qualified and they are now working as ski and snowboard instructors.
“And with our new courses planned next year, the opportunities for work in the adventure industry are endless.
“Some of our clients now work year-round throughout the world, although it’s also perfect for those keen surfers who want to be back on the Cornish beaches in time for summer.”
For more information see www.wintersportscompany.com/ or call 01736 763402.