Skiers and snowboarders pining for the fun and frivolity of a holiday in the mountains can join hundreds of others in an evening of virtual après-ski, hosted by the biggest names in winter sports.
Organised by UK youth charity Snow-Camp, the ‘Snow-Camp Alpine Evening’ is taking place tonight (May 5) and anybody keen to add a slice of snow-inspired cheer to lockdown is able to attend virtually.
Thousands of British skiers and snowboarders were left deflated without their annual pilgrimage to the slopes this year as resorts were closed and operators forced to cancel holidays amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
This evening’s charitable event aims to bring together those who are yearning for the mountains with a light-hearted schedule that includes a cocktail making masterclass, retro fancy dress competition and raffle with prizes including vouchers to get kitted out for next winter.
The virtual event will be hosted by Ski Sunday’s presenters Graham Bell, Ed Leigh and Chemmy Alcott, all of whom are ambassadors for the charity. The trio will be sharing tales and anecdotes throughout the evening alongside other big industry personalities including Olympic Bronze Medallist Jenny Jones, BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner and The Telegraph’s ski technique editor and celebrity ski instructor Warren Smith.
“During these difficult times it’s even more important to come together as a community, share some positive stories and have some fun together,” said Dan Charlish, who founded the award-winning charity in 2003.
Snow-Camp is the only UK charity to use snow sports as a way to help inner-city young people transform their lives and skills, a number of whom will be sharing their stories during the virtual event.
Since its inception the charity has supported more than 10,000 young people across the UK in London, Bristol, Scotland, Cardiff, the Midlands and the north west of England. This year, for the first time, the charity had to postpone the final stages of its programmes, including first-time trips to the mountains, due to the spread of coronavirus.
“Supporting Snow-Camp is always a priority for me, having seen the life changing work they do. But especially now in this pandemic when the young people have had their structure and learning through participating in sport taken away,” said four-time Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott.
During lockdown the charity has adapted its support for its young people by offering online coursework, video calls, webinars and one-to-one counselling sessions – many have had their futures put on hold. Other winter sport charities have also turned to the public for support as they face an uncertain future and reduced fundraising possibilities.
The Alpine evening is free to attend but viewers are welcomed to donate to Snow-Camp throughout the course of the event. “Our fundraising events are essential in helping us continue our work with young people across the country, and this evening holds particular significance with all our regular events having to be cancelled or postponed. So please do join us, it’s going to be a night to remember,” said Charlish.
Skiers and snowboarders can register for the Alpine Evening on Snow-Camp’s dedicated website. All those that register will then be sent a private link to join a Zoom video call at 7:30pm on May 5. Numbers are not limited – “The more the merrier,” said Charlish.
The event comes as fears mount that traditional après-ski, which sees large crowds gather in Alpine huts, on terraces and in packed resort bars, could be a thing of the past if resorts enforce social distancing regulations as the world adjusts to living with Covid-19.
The event is set to stream live from what the charity has dubbed ‘Chalet Snow-Camp’ – a virtual venue brought to life using images of the uber-luxury Chalet Rocher, in an attempt to bring some Alpine charm to the living rooms of the nation.
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