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Emma Lonsdale to open New Viewing Gallery at Kendal Snowsports

March 20, 2014

Kendal Snowsports Club opened a new viewing gallery for spectators to watch their friends and families on the slope and inspire more people to take up skiing or snowboarding.  The viewing gallery was opened on Sunday 30th March as part of the Club’s 30th anniversary by local Winter Olympian Emma Lonsdale and has been funded by £50,000 secured from Sport England’s ‘Inspired Facilities’ Fund together with a similar amount from the member’s own funds.

The Inspired Facilities fund is part of Sport England’s £135 million Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of the Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country. The new facility will allow spectators to watch people honing their skills in a safe and comfortable environment.

Active Cumbria Senior Manager Bruce Lawson said: 'It’s great news that Kendal Snowsports Club has been able to develop this much needed viewing gallery.  As the Sport and Physical Activity Partnership for the county, Active Cumbria is often asked by sports clubs and organisations to provide advice and guidance to support proposed facility improvements and funding applications.

I was delighted to see that the club had followed up on the guidance we had provided in order to help them to secure the Inspired Facilities Award through Sport England.  It’s not an easy task to raise funding for such developments, but the club had clearly outlined why the viewing gallery was needed as well as clarifying how the members / users views had been used to develop the project.  It was also significantly important for the club to present how such facilities would bring in new users and what impact it would have on sport locally.  Finally, the club was also able to successfully demonstrate its sustainability through positive budget forecasting and that it would continue to deliver sport for the locality.  By evidencing all of this, I am confident that the new facilities are needed and will be well used by the local community for many years to come.'

Club Chairman Peter Townley said: “People have always told us they have enjoyed the experience on the slope at Kendal but now they can enjoy facilities off the slope as well. We really hope people will come down on Sunday 30th March and see the new facility and also watch the Club Members take part in their annual Race Day. It is also a great opportunity for people to meet and congratulate Emma on her performance at the Sochi Winter Olympics. We would also like to thank Steve Ramsbottom from Mellor Architects who designed the gallery, and all the fantastic craftsmen from Team Northern and Ian Wells Joinery who have given us this fantastic facility”

The viewing gallery will be opened by freestyle skier Emma Lonsdale who has been a member of the club since shortly put on her first pair of skis at the age of 2. Following the opening racing will begin and there will also be a warm welcome with refreshments and opportunities for people to find out how they can learn to ski or snowboard or improve their skills.

Kendal Snowsports Club is one of 16 Hub Sites Snowsport England is working with to get more people skiing and snowboarding in England. Jan Doyle, Head of Development at Snowsport England, said “This is great news for the people of Kendal and surrounding area having such a great facility on their doorstep. The club is run by a great team of volunteers who not only give so many people the opportunity to take part in the sport but have shown how a slope in England and their coaches can help progress an athlete through from grassroots to Olympic level.”

The club is also part of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign which is aimed at giving people the chance to give skiing or snowboarding a go either for the first time or if they already ski or snowboard to improve their skills. Since its launch 5,930 people have taken a TRY ski or snowboard taster session across England and has received a terrific boost from the success of Team GB at the Olympics and Paralympics.