Spotlight on: Bristol Snowsports UBSC

UBSC are pioneers in many ways. From running the largest single uni trip on snow to pushing for more eco-friendly trips, they are one step ahead of the game, find out why

Describe your club in ten words

The home of student snowsports, and it feels like home!

What are the club’s biggest achievements?

Statistics aren’t everything but they certainly outline the University of Bristol Snowsports Club’s (UBSC) biggest achievements! We are one of the largest competitive university sports clubs in the UK and the team behind the biggest single university ski trip in the world, with over 2,000 students joining us in Alpe D’Huez in 2018. Our trip has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2011 with just 350 trip-goers; it is now a “festival on snow” renowned for its Bristolian music and extravagant production! However, UBSC is a whole lot more. We have raised over £4,000 for charity in a single academic year and have pushed for environmental initiatives to be considered by other university snowsports clubs. For instance, our brand manager sources all club merchandise from sustainable suppliers using organic materials or ‘green’ production methods. Finally, we are proud of our record beginner-level participation and our performance athletes who won a total of 122 BUCS points in the 17/18 season.

 Bristol know how to après.

Bristol know how to après.

Do you have any traditions?

UBSC has all sorts of traditions from events to rules (but I can only explain the former or I’ll be accused of ‘coaching’)! One tradition is that we go for a curry in Bristol after every Kings ski race. We toast each other for the undoubtedly rogue things done that day and celebrate any achievements. Another traditional event is our annual ‘Snowball’. It is the biggest social event of the year, a black-tie dinner and a dance that highlights a phenomenal winter season. Until the ball, the social secretaries ensure there is never a dull Wednesday with classic socials including ‘Girls vs Boys’ and ‘Valley Rally’.

What was the highlight of last season?

ADH 2018 blurs into one, so I’m going to cheat slightly and classify the trip as one highlight. It was 1 week of pure madness and outstanding events. The week featured popular DJ’s, race and freestyle competitions and UBSC takeovers of some of the most famous après venues in the Alps. The edit made by Entirety sums it up far better than I can, so turn your volume up and see for yourself!

 Why should students join your snowsports club?

I described UBSC as ‘the home of student snowsports, and it feels like home’ for a reason. Cheesy, I know, but let me explain. Although we technically have 2000+ members, it is 100-150 of these people that stick around every week and become family. We spend a lot of time together from competitions to on-slope training, off-slope training, and socials. You won’t be able to go a day on campus without seeing a friendly face, and it’s the same on the main trip. Moreover, there really is something for everyone and you don’t have to have done any of it before. We run freestyle, race, intermediate and beginner sessions at a heavily-subsidised price, so you can always be involved whatever the cost.

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What are you looking forward to this season?

The British University Dry Slope Championships (BUDS) always lives up to expectations! On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd November 2018, Bristol Snowsports will venture up to Edinburgh to endure good old Scottish weather and nights out in the old town. This weekend away is particularly special for me because I grew up on the ski slope, Hillend. I was a bit shocked the first time I went to BUDS because Hillend was no longer full of cute 10-year-olds doing slalom but rather host to almost two thousand university students! There are so many people that from a distance it looks like a giant ant hill has exploded at Hillend. The atmosphere really is incredible, and it is usually the highlight for many UBSC competitors.

Read the UBSC guide to keeping your trip eco-friendly here.

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