As the largest and most inclusive sports club at this University, St Andrews Snowsports hosts an annual Ski Trip, throws the biggest pres, and shows energy and character like none other. This year, Val Thorens will host the highly anticipated St Andrews Ski Trip–which sold out in an hour and eighteen minutes–and 400 St Andrews students will spend a week in the French Alps, skiing, snowboarding and having what many have claimed to be the best week of their lives.
While SAS boasts over 440 members, a much smaller group actually competes on the race and freestyle teams. Many of the international team members who grew up skiing and snowboarding on real snow have learned to adjust to dry slope and indoor snow. Unlike other sports teams, SAS must travel to either Glasgow or Edinburgh to train; with just one training session a week, racers and freestylers compete similar to the way in which SAS does everything–with a huge amount of heart and enthusiasm.
Last weekend, the teams traveled to Glasgow for the Scottish University Dry Slope Championship–SUDS. The freestyle team did well, sending two snowboarders on to the finals. Jonty Casson made it to the men’s snowboard final, and Bronte Simon made it to the women’s snowboard final, placing third overall. Female ski-racer and first-year student, Jemma Clarke, placed sixth in the women’s individual race. Alongside Ms. Clarke was her childhood friend and fellow first-year student, Cameron Gibson, who placed twelfth in the men’s individual ski race. Both Jemma and Cameron qualified for individual duals, team relay races on two parallel courses. St Andrews’ first dual team included Amelia Amodei, Adam Robertson, Audrey Heriz-Smith, Cameron Gibson and Jemma Clark. The team made it to the semi-finals and will complete again next weekend.
This coming weekend, the teams will travel to Edinburgh where they will compete at BUDS– the British University Dry Slope Championship. Race Capitan, Amelia Amodei, commented that “This year’s freestyle and race teams are bigger than ever, so we’re really psyched for BUDS and hoping to do well…we’re hoping to do even better at BUDS because SUDS was only a warmup”.
While the teams consist of nationally ranked athletes, SAS’ recreational team offers students the chance to ski and snowboard with the same sportiveness but in a more relaxed setting. Rec Capitan Caitlin Vickers commented that “SAS is always looking for new members, and the Recreational Team is the perfect option for beginners and pro skiers/boarders alike. For those who love snowsports but find joining the race or freestyle team daunting, the rec team is a relaxed way to try what SAS has to offer.” While the teams are bound to dry slope in the fall, Ms. Vickers reminded us that once some snow arrives, the club will be offering trips up to the Scottish Ski Resorts.
SAS President Ella Stienert concluded that “SAS prides itself in being one of the most fun and inclusive clubs in St Andrews. We’ve got something for everyone; from great parties and socials to successful competitive teams, as well as the highlight of our calendar year–Ski Trip”. SAS is truly a club for anyone who shares a passion for snowsports and a really good time.