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Olympic dreams of snow centre
Wednesday, 24 December 2003




FUTURE Olympic skiing champions could come from Suffolk if a 350million winter sports destination goes ahead, it was claimed today.

Snoasis, a scheme planned for the former Blue Circle cement site, in Great Blakenham, is planned to include the first UK-based British Ski Academy.

The academy, which offers full and part time residential ski coaching, is currently based in France but attentions could be switched to Suffolk if the scheme goes ahead.

Malcolm Erskine, founder of the British Ski Academy, said: "Snoasis is a wonderful opportunity to really push Britain forward as a skiing nation.

"One of the big things holding us back in the past has been a lack of facilities, but the Snoasis slope and facilities will enable a very high standard ski academy to be set up.

"We're currently based in France because of the lack of facilities in the UK. A UK-based academy would also allow a higher number of children from all backgrounds to take part and train to be top skiers."

The Snoasis centrepiece is a giant indoor ski slope measuring over half a kilometre long with a 80 metre drop, which is big enough to host World Cup Slalom events. Combined with a 200 bed student village it would make an ideal location for an ski academy.

Godfrey Spanner, Managing Director of Onslow Suffolk Ltd, the company behind Snoasis, said: "Skiing will not be the only winter sport which could establish an academy at Snoasis, there is also the potential for

Snowboarding, Bobsleigh and Ice Skating to have UK based residential academies.

"Nothing would please me more than to see a Snoasis academy trained entrant and hopefully medal winner in the 2012 Winter Olympics, or maybe even earlier."

Set to open in 2006, the winter sports resort also includes an 18-hole golf course, a watersports centre, horse-riding facilities and health and fitness centres.

An eight screen multiplex cinema, a casino, bars, restaurants, a 350 room 4-star hotel and 350 self catering chalets, and a 5,000 seat indoor arena are also planned.

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