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Snow sportspeople urged to take care this season

Media Release
23 June, 2004

Snow sportspeople urged to take care this season

ACC and the NZ Snowsports Council have renewed their call for skiers and snowboarders to prepare themselves by getting fit before they head for the slopes this winter.

Last season, new moderate-to-serious snow sport injury claims to ACC cost $3.7 million maintaining mountain sports in the top five injury sports.

“The body tires faster at higher altitudes, so it’s important to be fit. You should also take breaks when you do become tired so you don’t become a danger to yourself and other people,” says ACC Programme Manager Leonie McCormack Seven percent of New Zealanders participate in snow sports and the industry is expecting visits to the 14 commercial skifields to again top 1.2 million.

NZ Snowsports Council CEO Miles Davidson says the industry and ACC want to get information out to participants prior to the season starting.

"We urge skiers and snowboarders to use safety equipment. Snow boarders, for instance, can dramatically reduce the risk of wrist injuries by wearing wrist guards," he said.

Many commercial ski areas and off-mountain retailers supply wrist guards to people renting snowboards. Some also have helmets for skiers.

To make snow sports safer, ACC, the NZ Snow Sports Council and its member organisations have formed a coalition to promote safe practices.

This season, they are providing a wallet-sized snow sports safety card with tips on avoiding injury.

The safety card shows people exercises they can do to better prepare themselves for the slopes. These can be done at home or in the gym.

The safety card also shows how participants can protect themselves from injury once on the slopes, Mr Davidson said.

"Keep to the Code or you are down the road, is a key message being promoted again this year," he said.

"We want all slope users to abide by the code which is being promoted in the safety card and on posters displayed at the ski areas. "If people take responsibility for their behaviour on the slopes they, and others, will be safer, and that makes it more enjoyable for everyone," he said.

ENDS


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