Embracing the Challenge: Skiing Through Foggy Conditions

At the International School of Lausanne (ISL), the spirit of sportsmanship runs deep. The school’s commitment to fostering a global education extends to its vibrant sports culture, with students actively engaging in various athletic pursuits. On Friday 9 February, despite challenging conditions of foggy visibility and difficult terrain, ISL’s skiing enthusiasts fearlessly took to the slopes of Les Diablerets for an exhilarating ski race competition, showcasing their prowess in the snowy arena.

The Les Diablerets Ski Race organised by ISL was a spectacle of talent and determination. Students proudly wore ISL colours as they descended the slopes, leaving trails of excitement and camaraderie. This tournament, an annual highlight on the school’s sports calendar, brought together athletes from six other Swiss international schools, along with their coaches, and spectators to witness the skill of their skiing stars.

Ready, set, go!

Behind the Scenes: Organising the Event

Mr Kilmister, the event manager who works in the Activities and Sports department at ISL, emphasised the significance of organising such competitions for the students, stating, “It’s the only competition they get. Some of the kids ski in clubs, so they might do club competitions, but outside of that, most of them don’t have competitions, so we want to keep them active. That’s how international schools do it and even most schools organise different competitions for different sports.” He further highlighted the efforts put into providing facilities and equipment, explaining, “For the day, we have hired ski instructors, so they prepare the slopes, they prepare the gates, they do all the security measurements, and execute the instructions to the kids. I give all that responsibility, safety, and risk measurements to the ski school because they are most acknowledged.

Mr. Kilmister
Mr Kilmister and some of our ISL student participants at the top of the slope, preparing themselves, gearing up, before the race begins.

The dedication and hard work put in by the students in preparation for this event were truly commendable, especially in the face of adverse weather conditions. It’s not just about winning; it’s about the spirit of competition and personal growth. The Les Diablerets event is a culmination of months of training, emphasising the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, and perseverance.

Unity and Community: The ISL Ski Team Experience, Courage and Determination

Mr Harrison, one of the accompanying coaches, shed light on the camaraderie within the ski team, stating, “It is a really nice group, as they come together because of their shared hobby. They bond on those trips.” He also discussed promoting unity within the team, mentioning, “We think about the jackets. They need to wear them all at the same time, so they feel proud of putting the jacket on, representing the school’s identity on races like those. We kind of insisted on that this year, because we wanted to bring the community closer.

Mr Hawkins and Mr Harrison all decked out in ISL colours.
Mr Hawkins and Mr Harrison all decked out in ISL colours.

Despite the challenging conditions, students like Flaminia and Annabelle showcased their courage and determination. Flaminia (Year 5), a participant in the ski race, shared, “I am a little bit scared because I will race, and this is my first time.” Annabelle (Year 8) added, “Well, I really like to ski, but I learned not to fall, and I learned that my ski can pop up.”

Nicholas (Year 11), reflecting on his decision to participate, expressed, “I am in the ski team, and I love competing. Last year I also participated in the race, and most probably next year I will as well.

Primary students from ISL cheering on their classmates as they go down the slope.

Despite the cancellation of the second race due to worsening weather conditions, the echoes of cheers and the laughter of triumph reverberated through the mountains. With great excitement, the brave students who demonstrated exceptional skill and determination were rewarded with well-deserved prizes and medals. As they stood on the podium, their faces lit up with pride, feeling the warmth of recognition and celebration from the diverse school communities present.

Celebrating Success: Prizes, Medals and Legacy of the ISL Ski Race

Mr. Wislang giving out the medals to victorious ISL students.

The awards ceremony not only honoured the winners but also served as a reminder of the values of sportsmanship, perseverance, and teamwork that were demonstrated throughout the day. Each medal and prize symbolised more than just a victory; it represented the culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and passion for skiing.

The ISL Ski Race at Les Diablerets was not just a day of skiing; it was a celebration of courage, resilience, and camaraderie, which will leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who participated.

© Photo credit: Nathalie Meier & Mélody Spoerri