“You can’t beat being at the top of the mountain on a cold, blue ski day with an empty piste in front of you”
We caught up with Tim Fawke, the CEO of Snowsports England, to find out exactly where his passion for snowsports comes from.
When and where did you first hit the slopes?
Tim: My family moved to Norway when I was 5 and in 1981 there was not much else to do in the winter except ski. So the whole family learnt together. We came back to England in 1983 and I nagged my parents about skiing so I joined Aldershot Ski Race club.
Why did you fall in love skiing?
Tim: Couple of reasons – when I was young I loved it as I was good and liked the thrill of going fast and now I love being in the outdoors; you can’t beat being at the top of the mountain on a cold blue sky day with an empty piste in front of you!
Tell us about your best or funniest ski memory.
Tim: My funniest memory (that I can repeat anyway) was when I linked up with some friends from School and several of them were very new to the sport. They had missed their first lesson but went out anyway and got on a chair lift. They put the safety bar down, but when they arrived at the top they had forgotten about it and the sight of watching them trying to get off through the gap in the bar was just hilarious.
What’s your favourite ski resort and why?
Tim: I have a soft spot for Norwegian resorts as it is where I grew up skiing and going through the trees, but my favourite resort now is Bormio, as we have the English Alpine Championships there and they are so welcoming. Bormio is fantastic for great pistes and you can get around so easily and have so much fun without feeling like you need another mortgage.
Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to ski, but haven’t made it yet? What do you expect to find?
Tim: I haven’t skied in the southern hemisphere yet and would love to do some heli-skiing in South America!
Do you have any tops tips you’d like to share?
Tim: If you have got the ski bug then there are lots of clubs across the country that you can join that are great for kids to develop their skills and have a fun time.
How has skiing changed your life?
Tim: Skiing is my life! I competed until 1998 and didn’t quite qualify for the Olympics in Nagano so decided to go and do a degree in sports science. While I was doing this, I also qualified in all my coaching and instructing qualifications and then, when I finished university, I worked as an instructor in Meribel and an assistant coach for the England ski Team. I then became head coach in 2004. Then, in 2008, I also met my future wife in Meribel at the British Championships. I then moved to admin side of Snowsport England and became CEO in 2009. I have been in the role since and enable the organisation to grow and develop as we have worked hard to help develop and grow snowsports in England.