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Skiers and snowboarders urged to stay safe

Media Release
9 August, 2005

Skiers and snowboarders urged to stay safe

With the launch of the inaugural Safety New Zealand week ACC and the NZ Snowsports Council are reminding skiers and snowboarders to take care on the slopes.

Last season, there were 841 new moderate-to-serious snow sport injury claims to ACC costing the corporation $4.4 million.

“Not to mention the impact an injury has on the individual – it’s pretty hard to enjoy your snow sport if you are in a cast!” says ACC Programme Manager Angela Spackman.

She said the body tires faster at higher altitudes, so it’s important to be fit and to take breaks so you don’t become a danger to yourself and other people.

"And using proper safety equipment can dramatically reduce the risk of an injury bringing your winter fun to a dramatic and sudden end. Many commercial ski areas and off-mountain retailers supply safety equipment to people renting snowboards and skis.”

“You should also put some thought into your food and drink. The combination of exercise and cold can put a strain on the body, causing a loss of concentration and co-ordination – so it’s important to refuel with quality foods and keep well hydrated,” Ms Spackman said.

ACC and the NZ Snowsports Council run a joint injury prevention programme, that provides education resources on pre season preparations and conduct on the slopes. It includes a wallet-sized card with exercises which will prepare skiers and snow boarders for the slopes and tips for warming-up and cooling-down.

Skiers and snow boarders will be reminded to keep to the safety code during Safety NZ Week.

Council spokesman Miles Davidson said New Zealanders are participating more than ever in snowports with visits to the slopes topping 1.3 million for the first time in 2004.

“If the weather performs as we hope, and the snow comes, the 2005 season should be just as good,” he said.

“But we want everybody heading to the mountains to enjoy their experience. However a safe visit requires them to be considerate of themselves as well as others.”

ENDS

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