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Row over ski club's banning from Gloucester centre

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 28, 2012

Gloucester ski centre

Gloucester ski centre

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A MAJOR row has broken out on the slopes of Gloucester's ski centre after a team of youngsters was banned, along with their award-winning coach, for using the "wrong hill".

Chantelle Goddard-Jones has been teaching young skiers for 27 years with her club Team Slalom Plus, producing several national champions in the process, but the club been banished by the club's new owners, brothers Mark and Clive Hamilton-Davies, for what they say are "numerous" breaches of the rules.

Three clubs train and teach children there, Team Slalom and Gloucester Ski Club, as well as Western Counties Ski Club.

Chantelle said: "We had agreed some new timings for our training days but earlier this month something had been changed so two clubs, us and Gloucester Ski Club, wound up on the same slope at the same time.

"There was a 45-minute overlap where it was just going to be carnage, children were everywhere and there was going to be an accident. So I said I would take my children onto the other slope, which was completely free, until the other club had finished.

"I got a call from the owner telling me to get off right now, that I wasn't allowed on that slope because it's reserved for the public, for paying customers."

Soon afterwards, Chantelle, who is a paid employee at the ski centre, was called to a meeting with co-owner Clive, who told her Team Slalom was banned from the centre completely because of her actions.

No individuals have been banned, but the club as a whole is no longer allowed to train there.

Clive Hamilton-Davies said: "We are a commercial business, we're not run as a charity and Chantelle has not followed the rules, on several occasions.

"We have our reasons and she is now subject to disclipinary proceedings."

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  • Emdski  |  December 05 2012, 3:00AM

    This is a crazy situation, chantelle is an incredible coach. She has such a passion for the sport and it will be such a shame if future ski racers cannot benefit from her coaching. I trained with SLP for over 10 years, and have some of the best memories. I trained with other clubs and teams and none of them were quite as fun or good as SLP.

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  • jb1983  |  December 04 2012, 11:43PM

    Along with the majority of people who have heard about this situation think it's a terrible shame that talented local youngsters will be denied access to one of the country's best ski racing coaches in Chantelle. From my point of view the experiences that I had with Slalom Plus were absolutely incredible and there is no way that I would have been able to reach the level of performance I did without the coaching and guidance of Chantelle. I hope there is a resolution to this dispute that will see Slalom Plus and Chantelle able to remain part of this revitalised ski centre.

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  • Wbfinlay  |  December 04 2012, 11:59AM

    This is such a shame, I joined SLP over 10 years ago when I was 11, having spent many years with the team skiing for them nationally and abroad I can safely say that I have had some of the best times of my life with the team and will always have very fond memories of the club. Slalom Plus always seemed different to the other race teams, some thing which always made me and I'm sure the other members of the team proud to be apart of it. Chantelle and the other coaches could be tough but they always treated you with respect and fairness, we always trusted her judgement. Which is some thing that I feel helped to create such a strong bond between everyone in the club. When you consider the relationship Chantelle has had with the Gloucester Ski slope's through out the years and the constant quality of the racers she has trained it seems ridiculous that the prospect of her not being able to train on the slopes is even being considered.

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  • Snowball  |  December 03 2012, 11:29PM

    Hi Skifan are you Chantelle?? (As you seem to know an awful lot about her) I'm sure the owners have got better things to do than commenting on this article and surely it wouldn't be advisable when they are considering disciplinary proceedings. At the end of the day who took this to the citizen!!!!

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  • FreeRadical1  |  December 03 2012, 5:07PM

    I smell an employment tribunal...

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  • skifan  |  December 03 2012, 8:16AM

    Firstly I agree Chantelle wouldn't have listened if she felt health and safety was compromised. She has worked those hills for 27 years, so knows exactly what is safe and what is not. Let's look at one fact from this, in 27yrs of coaching children to race at high speeds, her accident and injury record is lower than any other coach at the centre. She also has produced more members to British and National Teams than any other club in the South West and at the recent All England Champs her team walked away with more medals than any other local club. I'm sure the instructor team at Gloucester would also argue about her being 'dead wood.' She has revitalised the teaching at the centre and her passion and enthusiasm to turn people from mediocre to great and push their boundaries is an opinion many share. Here's a link to the thoughts and story of another respected instructor within the ski world about Chantelle:- http://tinyurl.com/ck3rwt2 The nature of the comments below shows very little concern for the many youngsters left without their coach and seem rather mean and cruel. Whatever you may or may not think of Chantelle there are a group of dedicated and talented kids who are being denied access to arguably one of the best coaches in the country and that is a travesty.

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  • Snowball  |  December 02 2012, 11:31PM

    I take on board on what snow63 said but my dealings with Chantelle is totally different, she would have checked the situation with the manager, and gone with her own jugement of I dont care what anyone says we will train on this slope , she wouldnt have given a second thoutht to what anyone said. When it comes to the safety of her skiers she would worry about it if anything happened.

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  • Snowball  |  December 02 2012, 10:57PM

    I agree with karma 82 that having had dealings with Ms Goodard-Jones on the skiing circuit that time has caught up with her. Hopefully with the new management they will concentrate on bringing new customers to a vibrant ski centre which have been long overdue, Finally they are getting rid of the dead wood.

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  • Karma82  |  December 02 2012, 9:34PM

    Well well well, it was only a matter of time. I have no sympathy for her and i'm sure she'll get what she deserves. Im sure the new owners & mamagement know exactly what they're doing. Time for change on this circuit!

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  • skifan  |  December 01 2012, 8:22AM

    Clive Hamilton Davies comments show what a caring management team they must have at the slope and an employee who breaks a rule (made by someone with little experience in the business) to avoid injury is now to be subject to disciplinary proceedings.......I am shocked. No resolution as to how these young people can still train with their coach and no help here at all. I don't understand the charity comment from Clive, as far as I'm aware these youngsters pay to use the slopes so are paying customers, they don't ski for free. After the olympics and the success we enjoyed the legacy was inspire a generation. We need to provide opportunities for young people to strive and push themselves not rip them away because of nit picking stupidity. I'm sure every sporting body or association would be saddened by this situation, this is not helping future champions and is certainly not good for the sport or the centre!

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