The project "SAFE SLOPE" has ended. The project took place 01.01.2017. - 31.03.2018. The project has been a success and the following has been done in the framework of the project:

1.Increase in the number (3) of ski instructor trainers in Europe by 2018

Level3 instructors completed several special training courses in order to become qualified ski instructor trainers. During the year, potential instructor trainers participated in training modules. Under the guidance of Finnish trainers, a special pedagogical module for trainers was conducted, in which more time was devoted to the adaptation of modern pedagogical methods and skills. Instructor trainers regularly trained in the GS slopes, participated in training camps, learning the special mogul and off-piste skiing techniques, and practiced training and teaching methods for ski instructors under the guidance of a Finnish trainer. All 3 instructor trainers trained Latvian and Estonian ski instructors during the project with the aim of obtaining ISIA performance Level 2.

2. Training (10) Estonian ski instructors for ISIA performance Level2 standards. Increase in the number (5) of ISIA performance Level2 (Estonian) ski instructors in Europe by 2018

The training process began with preparatory courses, during which 10 Estonian applicants improved their skiing skills under the guidance of Latvian trainers in order to enter the Level1 course. After the preparatory courses, all 10 were enrolled in the course. But 1 candidate got an injury during the course and couldn’t finish it. 9 of them received the Level1 certificate. In the next season (2018), the 5 best of this group were trained for Level2 courses in Latvia. The training process was carried out by Latvian trainers under the supervision of Finnish trainers. Before that, several preparatory sessions in Latvia, a special GS session, a pedagogical module, as well as practical classes with English and Estonian-speaking clients in Latvia were organized with the aim of strengthening Level1 knowledge in practice. As a result, in Estonia, there are now 5 Level1 and 5 Level2 instructors, and 4 of them can freely work in Russian language, which was also part of the project's objectives.

3. Increase in the number (25) of ISIA performance Level2 (Latvian) ski instructors in Europe by 2018

24 Latvian Level1 instructors first started a preparatory session in Latvia in order to start Level2 courses in Finland. The AKSA trainer divided the candidates into 2 groups. The first group went to Finland in March, the second - in December 2017. Unfortunately, 1 candidate was injured and couldn’t finish the course. In 2018 she joined the additional Level2 group made up of 6 existing LSSIA Level1 instructors. The leading trainer of this course was the representative of the AKSA, and he was assisted by Latvian trainers. Taking into account the forthcoming European Regulation on the mutual recognition of instructors' qualifications between European countries, additional attention was paid to the GS discipline, which will be a mandatory test for all top level instructors. GS exercises in February and March 2018 were provided by the Latvian sports club APEX. As a result, 30 Latvian instructors were awarded the Level2 certificates. 23 received Finnish certificates and 7 - Latvian ones.

4. Increase in the number (3) of ISIA performance Level3 ski instructors in Europe by 2018

5 experienced Level2 instructors that had formerly worked in Latvia and in Europe applied for Level3 courses. Before that, they completed several training sessions in Latvia, and a test was passed, after which the 3 best were enrolled in the Level3 course in Finland. Before the course, all 3 candidates trained regularly several times a week under the guidance of Latvian trainers, as well as regularly participated in the APEX gym training sessions with the aim of improving their GS technique. In the beginning of April, these Level2 instructors went to Finland, where they successfully completed a Level3 course and received appropriate certificates. In 2018, in Latvia, under the guidance of a Finnish trainer, they participated in several training sessions for working with handicapped people. Also, 2 of them worked as trainees and assistants in the Level1 training course in Latvia (February 2018) in order to be potentially prepared to receive instructor trainer qualification in the future.

5. Increase in the number (35) of ISIA performance Level2 ski instructors in Europe by 2018

At the end 30 Latvian and 5 Estonian instructors were awarded the second level certificates. 23 received Finnish certificates and 12 - Latvian ones. All three new LSSIA instructor trainers trained 12 Latvian instructors. Additionally, almost one half (15) of new instructors (35) can work with Russian-speaking customers after the courses. According to the project goals - project was finished successfully.

6. Developed guidelines for working with tourists from Eastern Europe

Project managers from each involved organization identified the instructors of their country who have the most experience working with tourists from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The representative of each country talked with the most experienced instructors and identified the most typical problems and their personal experiences with this group of clients. Subsequently, the representatives of the Member States electronically exchanged ideas about the structure of the project guidelines. 3 main sections were established: the historical context, problem areas, solutions. The final version of the guidelines was developed under the guidance of LSSIA. At the moment, the guidelines are available to all interested people for an unlimited period of time in LSSIA, which will ensure the access to project materials. National ski instructor associations of all EU member and Erasmus+ states will be informed about the guidelines (in the context with the final report of the project).

7.Developed guidelines for implementing an education module of ski instructor trainer qualification

Until now, every Baltic ski school used a different methodology to teach instructors and instructor trainers. Thus, innovative and uniform guidelines were developed for the specific Baltic region. Specific features of the region can be mentioned: lower mountains, shorter/lighter slopes, deficiency of natural snow. Consequently, the Baltic States need a large number of basic instructors, which don’t require high level skills and in-depth, long-term training. However, the emphasis in the Baltic region is placed on the safety aspects on the slopes. Taking into account the short winter season, instructor trainer in the Baltics is not considered a basic profession, which results in frequent staff rotation. Thanks to this project and the guidelines developed, it will be easier to prepare new instructor trainers in the Baltic region. At the moment, the guidelines are available to all interested people for an unlimited period of time in LSSIA, which will ensure the access to project materials.

8.An education module for working with handicapped persons

After the completion of Level3 courses in Finland, in which 3 Latvian Level2 instructors participated, as an additional training in Latvia, a session on working with handicapped people was conducted under the guidance of Finnish trainers. Also, such session was included in the trainers' education complex. Taking into account the extremely complex nature of this work, as well as the necessary special equipment, the trainings during this phase focused mostly on people with reduced mobility. Instructors trained within the project are able to work with people who have mild disabilities to teach them the necessary basic skiing skills on simple slopes. Also, a training module for such cases was developed and presented. This group also included one Level2 Estonian instructor, who had previously been the most successful. For the first time in the history of working Baltic ski instructors, we can offer basic level training in simple slopes for people with mild developmental or motor disorders.

Coordinator:

Latvian Skiing and Snowboarding Instructors Association (LSSIA)

Mobile phone: +371 29240099 (Juris Žagars)

 Partners:

   

Estonian Ski Association (Eesti Suusaliit) https://www.suusaliit.ee/

Alpine ski trainers support union (Alppivalmennuksen kannatusyhdistys ry)

Finnish National Association of Snowsport Instructors (Suomen hiihdonopettajat ryhttp://www.hiihdonopettajat.fi/en/