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Saas-Fee Preseason 2023
Saas-Fee was a great success this year. We travelled to Switzerland for three weeks in early September to get an edge on the Tabs and got plenty of on-snow training on the glacier and enjoyed the afternoons in the mountains by going on hikes, seeing marmots, playing beach volleyball, doing team runs and swims… If you couldn’t make it, don't worry, we’ll be back next year!
Strength & Conditioning
Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm to 5pm at the Blues Gym in Iffley Road Sports Centre
Gloucester Dry Slope Sessions
Friday evenings (sign ups and more information are distributed through our mailing list)
Varsity Trip 2023
This year Varsity Trip returns to Tignes from the 1st to the 9th of December! For more information, go to https://www.varsitytrip.com/ and subscribe to the mailing list where we’ll keep everyone updated about Racers Package!
Information about this year's BUCS Indoor Skiing Championships will be distributed to our members through the mailing list.
Get on our mailing list for more details!
Saas-Fee Preseason 2022
The club had a productive preseason in Saas-Fee in the last week of August and the first week of September. We enjoyed the mornings training on the glacier, and the afternoons hiking and playing beach volleyball.
The most important competition for OUSSC each year are the Varsity Races in December, who celebrated their centenary last year as the oldest still-running slalom skiing competition. OUSSC had a strong showing in last year‘s races: Our Men‘s Blues beat the Cambridge team, with David Schramm and Jorin Riexinger taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively in the overall individual ranking. Of note was also Katy Nicol‘s performance who won the overall individual women‘s event.
OUSSC also competed in the BUCS Indoor Skiing Championships. In the regional qualifiers in Michealmas 2022, eight out of eleven OUSSC racers qualified for finals, with only two other universities qualifying a larger number of racers at that competition.
The finals took place after the end of Hilary term 2023, which meant that unfortunately only two of our Men’s Blues were able to make the trip. Nevertheless, they performed well, taking 14th and 18th place in a strong field. It should be noted that only three other universities had second-placed skiers faster than OUSSC‘s second skier.
During Michealmas 2022, a few OUSSC athletes also participated in the Kings League, a slalom dryslope competition. In the Mixed Parallel Slalom Team Event for the Southern Theatre, OUSSC placed 13th out of 20 teams and 11th out of 19 teams in two competitions.
Varsity Trip - December 2-10, 2021
BUCS Dome Series Finals - April 13, 2022
End of Skison Dinner - April 29, 2022 @ Vincent's Club
Strength and Conditioning - Weekly Trinity Term
Check back later or get on our mailing list for more details!
Saas Fee Preseason
BUCS Dome Series 2021-2022
President's Update 10/2/21
As many of our members will be aware, the Varsity Trip has unfortunately been cancelled due to travel restrictions and the risks posed by the pandemic. It is, of course, a great sadness for the Trip committee and for all who wished to attend, and we thank them for their hard work and empathise with their disappointment. For now, we look forward to a time when we are able to ski once again, and to the potential for the Varsity Trip to resume as normal this December. I am delighted to hear from members new and old who have been able to safely navigate this situation to ski or snowboard in various parts of the world. It has also been great to hear stories from old members about years gone by and I enjoy sharing these with the rest of the current team so please do keep sending them to me!
Last night, we held a virtual Q&A with British female skier and four time Olympian Chemmy Alcott, and those who attended reported a great session to boost spirits (especially for those in lockdown). I hope we can attract more speakers in the coming weeks, and Morgan and I are working hard to get more names on board!
I share the disappointment of many in that so much of what we had planned and hoped for, be that training, socials, and the races, have been unable to go ahead. The committee and I also express our wish to all members that they and their families keep safe and happy. For the future, it is the intention of this committee, and one I will pass to whoever takes my place, to engage greatly with our Alumni community and bring people together for social occasions.
Some may remember alumni dinners in the past, and each year there is an end of season dinner at Vincent's Club in Oxford. It was our intention this year to hold a joint dinner for current members and Alumni at the latter venue to celebrate a year of skiing and to hear the stories of those who have left Oxford and ventured 'off-piste' into the real world. While I may myself be an alumnus when this eventually can occur, it is something for us all to look forward to.
In the meantime, please do keep and eye on our social media and our mailing list, and please do send stories and photos freely so that we may remember more active times together.
Committee Update 5/10/20
Firstly, welcome to all those starting Oxford this year, and welcome to any current students who want to get involved with us!
This year is looking a little different for obvious reasons, and so it’s changed the kind of activities were able to offer.
As of right now, we are waiting for our risk assessment to be approved by Oxford Uni Sports Federation, and so until then we can’t *officially* advertise what’s going on.
That being said, we can tell you what we will probably be doing:
On Sunday’s in University Parks, we will be running outdoor circuit style fitness sessions. These are a great way to safely meet club members.
On Monday nights, we would normally run trips to Hemel Hempstead, an indoor ski slope in order to train slalom gates, but COVID-19 has limited this. As a result, we hope to run two Monday sessions during term, where we travel to Hemel Hempstead in the morning, arriving at 12pm, for technical training on the slope until 6pm, before having a dinner break, and then heading back onto the slope for 2 or so hours of gate training. We recognise that people may have to attend things on these days, but unfortunately the kind of training we want to do is not offered over the weekend, so hopefully we will be able to find two Mondays that work for a lot of people. If you hold a UK drivers license and wish to attend, you will be offered a significantly lower price if you are able to drive a hire car.
The above session is not intended for beginner skiers, but beginners to racing (who are competent skiers) are encouraged to attend to get a feel for what skiing in this way is like. You will be able to rent skis, boots and poles, but you can also bring your own.
In terms of Varsity, if you don’t know our main competition against Cambridge takes place on the Varsity Trip, which is a huge ski trip open to all students at Oxbridge, not just racers. Instead of being held in 9th Week (December), it will take place between the 19th and 27th March 2021, in our 10th week. We intend to offer the option of arriving in resort a week early, on the 13th March (9th Week) in order to complete a weeks “Pre-Season” training, before the rest of the Trip arrive the following Saturday, an extended Varsity if you like!
In terms of club socials, current restrictions make in person socials basically impossible, but we’d love to do a online meet and greet at some point, and rest assured as soon as we can meet in person we will!
Of course, as everyone will be aware, things change very quickly, and we may have to cancel or reorganise things at short notice. We also have to collect detailed information on all participants in order to cooperate with track and trace, so getting accurate numbers, and making sure these attendees have paid membership, is crucial. To purchase membership, please head to our website www.oussc.co.uk where you can pay through Q Pay. It is compulsory to be a member in order to attend any ski training sessions, unless you request a Trial session, in which case the cost of the session is slightly more. Socials and outdoor fitness training is open to all.
In order to keep up to date with what’s happening, we encourage you to sign up to our mailing list, which you can do by sending a blank email to this address: email@example.com or you can provide your telephone number to be added to our OUSSC 2020/21 WhatsApp group. CLICK HERE TO FILL IN OUR FORM.
Thanks for getting this far if you made it, hopefully we’ve given you some information you wanted to know. We can’t wait to meet anyone new this year, and to see some friendly faces too. Much love to everyone and stay safe.
The OUSSC Committee
Landgraaf was a great success this year. We travelled to the Netherlands in early September to get an edge on the Tabs. Thanks to Chris Pickford for great team at the Langraaf slopes for a wonderful week.
Varsity Trip once again went to Val Thorens for a chance at reclaiming both pieces of silverwear. Alas, we were unable to secure the Men's or Women's Firsts titles this year despite putting up a well-fought effort against the light blues. The Men's and Women's Thirds were successful in their endeavour, taking home the titles this season. The Women's Thirds deserve special mention, with their combined time exceeding Cambridge's by over 3 minutes!
This year brough fierce competition for the 1st place title. David Schramm (St. Peter's) was challenged to retain his win from the previous year with a new David Edwardes-Ker from Cambridge. Schramm emerged victorious by 0.98 seconds, bringing home the individual trophy back to Oxford and resulting in his second Full Blue. Morgan Border (Somerville) was also vying for the 1st place title, after coming 3rd in the Varsity Races in 2018. Despite stiff competition from Cambridge racers, Morgan placed 2nd in the Women's races, leading on from the 3rd place racer by 0.89 seconds. This also resulted in her second Full Blue with OUSSC. Special mention to Helena Pickford, who placed 4th among the women, for coming out to yet another Varsity after many terms on committee!
Varsity Trip 2018: Redemption
The return of Varsity Trip to Val Thorens this year meant the return of both the (in)famous night slalom and of the Men's Blues trophy to the Thames Valley. Over a very close-fought campaign the Ladies' Blues were just pipped to the post by CUSSC however the Ladies' 3rd team fought back with a hard-earned win and several gutsy races.
Special congratulations are due for several standout performances over the competition: on her varsity debut Morgan Border (Somerville) claimed bronze in both the ladies' GS and overall competitions and Appin Mackay-Champion (Pembroke) took home 3rd in the ladies' slalom, also on debut. On the men's side greatest success was had by men's captain David Schramm (St. Peter's) who bested his own strong performance in 1st year to this year take victory in the men's slalom, silver in the men's GS and tied victory (to a hundredth of a second!) in the men's overall.
This year we were also pleased to be working with a production company from UKTV who are producing a new documentary series in the French Alps and are keen to feature the varsity races in the opening episode! More news on this as we hear it!
Thanks to our sponsors: Ski Bartlett and Sputnik for supporting us through the year and to Chris Pickford for travelling with us to Landgraaf for some victory-defining pre-season slalom training.
Onwards to BUSC!
Landgraaf Summer Training
This year, we headed out once again to SnowWorld in Landgraaf, NL, for five days of preseason race training. Everyone put in a lot of effort into their time on snow and in dryland training. Typical days would begin with breakfast at 8am and an on-snow training session from 9am-12pm. Lunch was then served, followed by 1pm-4pm on-snow or dryland session. A short break preceded dinner, and another evening training session from about 6pm-9pm would follow. The short distance to the race course meant that athletes could get upwards of 10 runs in the two-hour slots booked for gates. Those who went on the trip truly made the most out of the time there, which was reflected in their improvement. This is likely a consequence of each OUSSC member's desire to wholly and utterly shoe the tabs.
Preseason training this year saw a group of keen skiers head out once again to Hintertux, where the racers were coached by Impulse Racing. It was a cracking week with plenty of new faces! We had some shocking visibility, days in pow and glorious sunshine; in true OUSSC spirit we powered through, whatever the weather and snow conditions, anything to beat the tabs.
OUSSC headed out SnowWorld, Landgraaf for an intensive two days of SL training, a first for the club. All racers put in 100%, training on a full FIS length course and made the most of the 7am-11pm skiing hours! The park rats amongst us jumped in the park and had some fun. We'll be heading back twice in 2018 - get in touch with one of our club captains for more information!
"The three day trip to Langraaf indoor ski area was jam packed full of gate smashing and good laughs. Technique was looking slicker and slicker with massive improvements from everybody on the icy cold slalom slope. Get ready Cambridge, we’re smashing it! #shoethetabs"
Ollie Hull - 3rd yr slalom newbie, ready for his debut this coming varsity!
For the first time since 2008, both the men’s and women’s Blues teams triumphed at the Varsity Races, held this year in Val Thorens. Several individual performances were rewarded, with Natalie Knowles sweeping the board in the women’s races, picking up trophies in the women’s slalom as well as the women’s overall trophy. Sterling performances from Helena Pickford, Alex Jelicic and Josh Deru added a further three silver medals and two bronzes to OUSSC’s haul. All of the races were extremely close, but a special mention goes to the men’s 3rd’s who were beaten by only 0.08 seconds. Surely one of the narrowest margins in varsity history!
Finally a big thank you to David Lewis who supported the teams throughout training and fore-ran the races, obviously leaving an OUSSC friendly line on the course.
A stalwart team of OUSSC racers traveled to Alpe d’Huez for the BUCS Alpine Championships this Easter with the mountain claiming one ACL and the racers three top ten finishes!
OUSSC’s summer training took place in Hintertux last September with CDC performance. Tackling the tough terrains of sheet ice, rivers and slush, helped the teams gain those extra seconds on race day.
Our partnership with Digme Fitness this season allowed us to improve our strength and agility with targeted HIIT and spinning training sessions, giving us the edge over Cambridge. They also donated our superfast and stylish new catsuits.