Watch: youngsters try skiing at Silksworth

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Outdoor fun went with a swish for dozens of youngsters on World Snow Day.

The English Schools Ski Association (Esskia) held a training and taster day at Silksworth Ski Centre today, giving more than 100 youngsters, aged four to 17, their first taste of the sport.

Young skiers at Silksworth.

Young skiers at Silksworth.

“We have got 117 children here for their first ever taste of the sport and we are also teaching 45 more experienced young people how to ski race,” said Esskia’s Lesley Martland.

“The idea is to give them a taste of the ski experience and hopefully they will be back for more.”

Dean Randall manages the ski centre for Everyone Active, the firm which operates Sunderland’s leisure centres on behalf of the city council.

Organisers had been overwhelmed by interest in the event, he said: “The response has been absolutely superb – we’ve had to turn people away unfortunately.

“It is the first of these events we have had, but we are certainly going to be holding more.”

Michelle Squires, from East Herrington, had brought Grace, 11, and eight-year-old twins Rose and Henry down for the event.

Elder daughter Madeline, 17, has been a regular at the slope over the years, but this was a first taste of skiing for the younger three.

“When the letter came through, I thought ‘why not?’,” said Michelle.

“I loved it. I definitely want to come again,” said Grace, while Henry had just one question: “Can I have lessons?”