Presenting the LASS section of Snowsport Scotland, who encourage girls to get on board and help fellow shred heads progress by getting into coaching. Plus some end of season festivities...
Words by Lauren MacCallum
When you take a look at participation numbers of females in freestyle snowsports it doesn't take you long to realise that they are very low, especially when compared to their male counterparts. When you compare those low figures and take into consideration stats from the Womens Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) who are reporting that only 12% of 14 year old girls are doing the recommended level of physical activity it was evident that Snowsport Scotland, the national governing body for skiing and snowboarding in Scotland, should try something new to try try and boost the low level of girls engaging in freestyle snowsports.
LASS was then created as the new initiative to get more girls participating not just as a rider but actively participating within 'her' scene, by encouraging girls to actively participate within their scene Snowsport Scotland where then able to create and facilitate more opportunities for women and girls to be educated within the different avenues that skiing and snowboarding currently provide such as a coach, judge, shadowing, photography and various other alternatives that uniquely surround our sports. With LASS there to document and promote this activity, we hope to inspire, progress and chip down the barriers that seem to block girls from getting involved.
To ensure that this ethos was truly engrained, LASS teamed up with BASI, the British Association of Snowsport Instructors, and put together the LASS Scholarship which was to reward a UCKP level 1 Freestyle coaching qualification free of charge to a women who committed to the LASS days and showed great potential to be a coach and ambassador for UK coaching and who could really give back to the scene. Rio Peterson was that rad girl this year and LASS/BASI are stoked to have her progress into the British coaching system, as she will be a key player in the coaching scene in the up and coming years and hopefully follow in the footsteps of other excellent female coaches such as Lesley McKenna.
The LASS "Come Shred with Us" Days where held at Cairngorm Mountain, Nevis Range Glenshee and Glencoe, there were over 100 girls involved throughout the season and they created a laid back, progressive and super fun atmosphere where friends where made, tricks where stomped and laughs where most certainly had! There were also Roxy demos where girls could try out all the latest boards and ask questions about all the different tech. The days were open to girls who could fluently link turns on blue terrain and use t-bars, apart from that it didn't matter if you had never popped an ollie or were slaying front boards down street rails, everyone was welcome to come and get involved!
Overall LASS has had a fantastic pilot season and we look forward to holding dates next season! it's been great to see new faces keen to get involved and the standard of riding progress. LASS is an exciting and dynamic opportunity open to all and supported by input from everyone involved making LASS a true representation of what the girl scene wants to see.