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First Time Skiers Guide – Part 1

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Have you ever wanted to go on a skiing holiday but never had the opportunity to go; yet thought what’s all the fuss about and are you truly missing out… well stop searching and indulge yourself into this three-part blog where you will discover my journey. Hopefully you will be encouraged and see that opportunities are always there and it’s about taking them and making the most out of it.

Let me give you some background information about me, and how my idea was brought to life. I’m Reece a third year broadcast journalism student at the University of Salford. I seen an advertisement on a social media website offering freelance journalists the chance to go out to France via ChaletFinder. I found this an offer I couldn’t resist so I pitched the idea of a first time skiers guide to the company and here we are.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank them for seeing the potential in my idea. They really supported me and provided my flights, transfers to the resort, ski passes, equipment and the most amazing accommodation run by Rude Chalets.

Shall we proceed to the beginning of this adventure?

The day had finally arrived to fly out to Geneva and transferred to Morzine, Portes Du Soleil. I don’t think there wasn’t a mode of transport that I hadn’t taken that day. It took a tram and train just to get to the airport, then a plane to reach Geneva and then I was picked up and driven to the French town. Within the time of five hours I had been in three different countries.

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View of the alps from the plane window.

We set off at 6:00am to catch a flight departing at 10:50am; my flight was from Manchester airport. ChaletFinder supplied my flight through EasyJet and before you ask the pictures of me in my bright orange jacket were a coincidence and not planned out. Although they complement each other well, as you will see in the photo below.

 

 

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Do I look like an EasyJet endorsement

After checking in all the luggage and camera equipment, Brad my camera operator and me thought it would be a smart idea to go and exchange our currency. A normal and straightforward process you’d think but that was far from it. Whilst we are at the currency exchange desk we deliberate what currency we should get because in our mind we were flying into Switzerland, so we exchange our money into Swiss Franks, forgetting to take into account that Morzine is based in France… and use the Euro!

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Arriving at Manchester airport

 

That’s what happens when you don’t start your day off with a coffee.

We only realised that we exchanged the wrong currency when we were halfway from our destination and talking to another passenger on the plane about our journey. I would like to give a shout out to the lady who sat next to us in row 23 a, b and c. You were very polite in enduring us chatting away to you the whole flight and for the offer of an alcoholic beverage.

It still hadn’t sunk in that I would be learning to ski in one of the best resorts in Europe. I’m going to be honest and tell you that before going out I felt confident that I would find it easy to pick up as I had done one lesson of dry skiing about five years ago when I was 17. I’m a very sporty natured person and extremely competitive, so in my mind combining these two attributes would surely only help me.

 

Find out how I got on in my next blog post…

 

Freedog Review: The Largest Urban Activity Centre in Europe

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Freedog is a newly built trampoline centre based in Swindon and the largest indoor park in Europe. Yes you read that right, the largest indoor park in Europe is in the county of Wiltshire!

The urban activity centre have been open for a few weeks, so I thought I would grab my GoPro and five volunteers to go down there to see what all the fuss was about.

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I will be honest with you, when I think of trampolining three things spring to mind; isolation, kids activity and sweat. It’s safe to say that two of the three of my opinions would be changed after my visit.

Upon my arrival, I found myself outside what looked to be an old industrial warehouse, I was intrigued to see how they have transformed this old building into a play area for adults and kids. Freedog did not disappoint, it was as if I had climbed inside my wardrobe and found myself in Narnia because you will be struck by how big the space is and the features within the facility. The park is 36,000 sq ft and boasts over 150 trampolines. A selection of food and drink is available in the arena, and free lockers for you to safely store your possessions.

I found the staff at Freedog were really helpful and friendly, which is refreshing to see as you could sense that they enjoyed their job.

The price to bounce for an hour is £10.00 but on your first visit you will be charged £12.00 as you have to have Freedog’s type of socks, which help give you more grip when doing their activities.

Now to revisit my preconceived thoughts about trampolining, I thought I would have to solo bounce around without really being able to engage with other people, and how wrong I was. The first activity me and my five volunteers done was dodgeball, which was a lot of fun and a great workout. However more importantly I could interact with other people. Fellow trampoliners became apart of a team for the brief period that they were playing. I even witnessed people trying to block the onslaught of dodgeball’s being fired at their team members. I hadn’t anticipated such intensity from other trampoliners, It was like being back in school playing p.e, where nobody wanted to be the reason their team lost so everyone would give one-hundred-percent effort.

The team games didn’t just stop with playing dodgeball, the foam pits became a platform for synchronised flips. I think some people were expecting to stand on a podium at the end of their go and receive a gold medal for the tricks they were pulling off. Maybe that’s the next step for Freedog, who knows but I can just see it now, the future of synchronised swimming being transformed into synchronised trampolining, and all the committee selectors would have to do is visit Freedog and they’d have a team ready to compete.
IMG_1886Other activities available include an open bounce area which offers you the chance to hone in on your bounce skills, and slam dunk which gives trampoliners the chance to dunk a basketball like Michael Jordan.

The other preconceived thought that I was wrong about, was the idea of trampolining being a kids activity. Although when you’re in the park you do feel like a little kid again running around and bouncing all over the place. I would strongly recommend that adults of all ages go down to Freedog and let of some steam and allow themselves to enjoy it. Don’t be the responsible adult taking your kids here and then watching from the cafe, join in and have some fun, let the inner child consume you for an hour.

Unfortunately my idea about the sweat has not changed but what do you expect when you’re bouncing around continuously for an hour.

The urban activity centre is a great new attraction to have in Swindon and will give their citizens an extra spring in their step, just make sure you are ready for a workout.

Below is the GoPro footage of the activities and fun that you can have at Freedog. Please watch, comment,like and subscribe.