Winter Olympics leave snowboarding and ski-ing legacy in Medway at packed Chatham Ski Centre
The Winter Olympic may be over but its left a legacy right here in Medway, it seems.
As pupils return to school from their half-term break today some will be well and truly hooked - on ski-ing and snowboarding. The surge in interest as led Andy Rushton, manager of Chatham Ski Centre, to want the Games back every year.
Sessions at the Capstone Road centre were sold out every day during half-term as youngsters were enthused by the exploits of athletes during the Sochi Games which finished yesterday (Sunday).
Taster sessions in skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and snow-tubing were fully booked throughout the week as hundreds took to the slopes.
Mr Rushton said the centre was normally busy in school holidays but this was exceptional.
He said: “In my 13 years here, I have never known anything like it.
"As soon as Jenny Jones got Great Britain’s first medal the traffic on our website soared by 400 per cent.”
He said about 90 per cent of people visiting the centre were trying out a sport for the first time.
Mr Rushton said he put the phenomenal popularity down to the Olympics and added: “We want to make sure this isn’t just a quick fix. We are now looking at a long-term strategy.
“We are open throughout the year. Once they have had their taster session we are offering discount vouchers to encourage people to return.
“We have had people of all ages get in touch. It’s really important that we maintain the momentum.”
To find out what’s on offer, visit jnl-chatham.co.uk, call 01634 827929 or search Chatham Ski Centre on Facebook.
The Sochi closing ceremony saw Kent’s Lizzy Yarnold, who won gold in the skeleton event, carry the flag for Great Britain.
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