During the weekend of March 12-13, 2016, athletes of all skating backgrounds from 12 countries met at the Snowworld indoor ski slopes in Landgraaf, Netherlands for the first Sled Dogs Snowskates Ambassador Program.
Sled Dogs Snowskates are literally skates you can use in the snow with a comfortable, light boot, and an integrated unique base/ski with steel edges for a maximum control. Beyond your ski clothing and helmet, no additional equipment is needed. In fact, you don't even need a ski lift to have a great time on Sled Dogs Snowskates. Where there is snow, you can skate.
Led by ICP Director Kris Fondran (USA) and original ICP Examiners Krista Schreffler (USA) and Dave Cooper (USA), as well as Level 3 Canadian Ski (CSIA) James Nunn, an Australian working in Sweden, this inaugural and internationally diverse group of Snowskates Ambassadors brought their experience in ice skating, inline skating, skiing, snow boarding and skate boarding to the weekend. The goal was to collaborate to develop a training program based on the ICP methodology to be able to teach people how to use Sled Dogs Snowskates and have a great time.
Krista Schreffler summarized the weekend: "We approached this initial program with the mind-set of making no assumptions at the skill level of our future students so that all Ambassadors will be prepared to enable snowskaters to be successful even if they have never inline skated or skied! The ICP is a natural partner for this program as the methodology is a proven technique for success for inline skaters worldwide. It was so exciting to collaborate on and off the slope with all types of athletes from so many countries. Everyone participated with great energy, enthusiasm and were willing to openly share their knowledge and experiences. It's was easy to be enthusiastic when we all had so much fun!"
ICP Level 1 Instructor Evaldas Norvaiša (Lithuania) had this to say about the program "It was really great experience to spend all weekend around such interesting and inspiring people who are professionals and enthusiasts of different kinds of sports. I learned a lot from all of them. For me the most interesting thing was to share our knowledge of inline skating, ice skating, skiing and snow skating and see that they actually have a lot of similarities and a lot of techniques and movements can be quite easily transferred from one sport to another."
After the program, the Snowskates Ambassadors were able to put this new ICP Program to the test at the Sled Dogs Demo by teaching people how to use the snowskates for the first time. Most participants had some experience either skating or skiing so after some initial instruction, they were laughing down the slope on the demo Sled Dogs.
This coming weekend(18-20 March), ICP Examiner & Level 3 Canadian Ski Instructor (CSIA), Lorne Milne will be leading a second Sled Dogs Snowskates Ambassador program in at the Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer, Alberta Canada. Adding his extensive snow sport and skating knowledge to the program will certainly compliment our efforts of last week as we work on building the Sled Dogs Snowskates curriculum.
Although the season is winding down and it is almost Spring for us above the equator, there are still other Sled Dog Ambassadors programs being planned for the remainder of the year. Stay tuned for more international program listings.
A huge thank you to ICP Level 1 Instructor Michael Rivers (Cyprus) for recognizing potential synergy between ICP and Sled Dogs and to Sled Dogs Owners Tommy Syversen and Ronny Gydar for giving the ICP the opportunity to "Teach the World to Skate...in the Snow!"