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Snowsports Participants to take Responsibility

Media Release
18 July, 2005

Snowsports Participants to take Responsibility for Themselves and Others

The NZ Snowsports Council and ACC are calling on skiers and snowboarders to be well prepared and act responsibly on the slopes this season.

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,” he said.

Mr Davidson called on skiers and snowboarders to follow the Snow Responsibility Code which is being promoted in Smart Tips, a wallet size information card, and on posters displayed at the ski areas and retail outlets.

In the last year, there were 841 new moderate to serious snowsport injury claims to ACC, which spend $4.4 million supporting people injured on the slopes.

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.

The Smart Tips brochure, was distributed by ski areas throughout the country with season passes sold pre season.

The balance of the 40,000 cards will be distributed at ski areas and through NZ Snow Industries Federation retailers during the season.

“The best protection is to avoid the incidents that cause injury in the first place and the Smart Tips help you do just that,” Mr Davidson said.

ACC Injury Prevention Programme Manager Leonie McCormack said safety equipment such as wrist guards for snowboarders and helmets for skiers and snowboarders reduce injury risk.

“Wrist guards and helmets can be rented and wrist guards are often supplied when hiring snowboards,” she said.

Mr Davidson said snowsporters should get their gear checked at the start of each season and all vehicles including 4-wheel drives should carry chains.

“When on the slopes keep to the code or you are down the road. That’s the key message being promoted again this year," he said.

ENDS


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