Sochi drives first-time skiers to dry slopes – next they’ll be in the Alps!

Posted on 11 March 2014

A national campaign to encourage more people to give skiing or snowboarding a go has exceeded its targets just six months after its official launch, with over 10,000 people in the UK doing a one-off ski or snowboard session or six-hour course.

Ahead of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games interest in the ‘GO SKI GO BOARD’ campaign was healthy, but with skiing and snowboarding launched into the spotlight during February, the initiative saw visitors to its website increase by 650 per cent compared to the same period in January 2014, as well as a surge in numbers of people heading down to their local snow slope or indoor centre.

On the day Jenny Jones won her Snowboard Slopestyle Olympic bronze medal, Mendip Snowsports Centre sold out of snowboard lessons and Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre had all their ski and snowboard kit rented out. The following week, Chill Factore sold out of all ski and snowboard lessons and saw a 45 per cent rise in website traffic.

GO SKI GO BOARD, launched in September 2013, is aimed at giving people the chance to give skiing or snowboarding a go either for the first time or if they have not skied for several years. The campaign is delivered at 38 snow sports clubs and slopes across England and since its launch 5,930 people have signed up for a ski or snowboard taster session, with many of these being taken at one of the 24 Slide2Sochi roadshows which took place from September through to February across the country.

The GO SKI GO BOARD campaign has also hosted 4,160 people on a full six hour/ six week GO SKI GO BOARD session. GO SKI GO BOARD will continue to run throughout the spring and summer and into next winter season. The campaign is complemented by information on how to ‘Get Into Snowsports’ on the Snowsport England website, which saw a 240 per cent rise in unique visitors during Sochi 2014.

“More people getting into snow sports can only be a good thing,” said Julian Walker, director at “The knock-on effect will more people wanting to take the next step of skiing in a real resort and the French Alps will be top of the list for most people and this can only be good for rentals for owners of property in the Alps.”