Bavaria skiing experience

One cadet's amazing skiing experience in Bavaria gaining a skiing qualification and pushing herself out of her comfort zone, thanks to a CCFA small grant. 

Image 1 Rubene Small

One cadet's amazing skiing experience in Bavaria gaining a skiing qualification and learning even more about her own self confidence, thanks to a CCFA small grant.

Every year the Trustees of the CCFA make available up to £15,000 to be awarded as grant support to benefit CCF cadets. The grants are awarded annually in December by the Trustees Grant Selection Committee.

The scheme is designed to support individuals taking part in activities which would not ordinarily be funded by an individual cadet's contingent. This includes overseas expeditions and advanced level training courses.

Cdt LCpl Sintija Rubene from Bedford Modern School CCF, is one of the cadets that have benefited from a small grant. She talks, in her own words, about her incredible skiing experience in Bavaria gaining not only a skiing qualification, but pushing herself out of her comfort zone:

This was a rare opportunity to spend a week learning how to ski in Bavaria. Thanks to the funding I received for the necessary equipment, I was able to excel and take on a new challenge every single day.

The thought of skiing down red slopes a thousand metres up seemed ridiculous to me before I put skis on for the first time. However, it turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I do not say that lightly. I did not simply earn a qualification, but I also overcame various fears every day that I strapped on those boots, and due to particularly outstanding instruction I eventually learned to trust in my own ability (which was a definite eye-opener).

 The first day was dedicated to laying down the foundations for correct posture, and consequently, good technique. I learned how to snow plough, turn and stop on a green slope which helped me get used to the unusual equipment and terrain. Once I was able to stop, I gained the little bit of confidence needed to begin my learning journey.

To start off I was placed in the lower level beginner group as I had not even put skis on before, however after mastering the basics I was quickly moved into the higher level beginners group on day two after pestering my instructors for yet more challenges. This is where I unexpectedly found a love for the sport I never imagined I would get to try. I’ll admit that I was less confident than the others in my new team when I first joined and thought they were miles ahead of me. However, my instructor Dave noticed and helped me swiftly catch up on some blue slopes in the morning. I remember saying to him, whilst looking at an intimidating red slope in the distance, “I could never do that”, but he simply told me to wait and see.

True to his word, our instructor gently introduced us to a red slope on day three due to outstanding weather conditions at their favourite resort. He eased us in by entering the main red from slightly lower down just as we came off a blue, which made it seem less frightening and we all managed it very well. And then came the moment we took the chairlift to the very top for the first time. I froze. Not having realised I had a fear of heights until now and I felt like I couldn’t move a muscle. My group coaxed me into skiing the flatter part at the very top and although scared, I did alright. The tipping point came soon after that, when I first encountered a fairly steep part of the red. To make matters worse it was very icy and as I tried to turn right I fell quite hard, for fear of going over the edge since the slope was at an angle. I got up with shaky knees and snowploughed down to the meet up point (where I received a lot of advice on how to deal with the slope style and lots of encouragement). This enabled me to tackle the next, even steeper, section of the mountain with considerably more confidence than I had at the start.

With each turn I grew increasingly more accustomed to the speed and sharp movements that traversing the mountainside called for, and was soon looking for even more challenges. The highest of skills that I was given permission to do was carving and even though this was not part of the beginner course’s plan, our instructor felt that our skills were at a level where we could handle the high speed manoeuvre. If I had to pick my favourite skill from the week it would be carving. I can’t really compare it to anything I’ve done before, it’s just this exhilarating feeling when you do it right that makes you fall in love with skiing all over again.

I thank you once again for granting me this opportunity; I will remember it for the rest of my life.