Jack in for ski award

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Jack Bishop, standing, working on the slopes of Mt Hutt.

By Mick Jensen

Mt Hutt Skifield instructor Jack Bishop is in the running for an award at the 2018 Snow Sports NZ Annual Awards.

The 24-year-old has made the shortlist in the Instructor of the Year category, sponsored by New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance (NZSIA).

The Welshman has been an instructor on Mt Hutt for the last four years, and like many of his colleagues, enjoys a lifestyle that involves back-to-back winters.

He follows up his four or five-month stint here with work at ski resorts in Europe and Japan.

“I love coming to New Zealand and working at Mt Hutt.

“It might not have the size or facilities of some fields in Europe, but the people here are great.

“It is one big family on the mountain – and that’s what keeps bringing me back every year.”

Jack said he was surprised and happy to have been nominated for the Instructor of the Year award.

“To be honest I didn’t know too much about it until my boss informed me and NZSIA called me to tell me I’d made the last three.”

Jack is among a large pool of mainly overseas instructors working at Mt Hutt.

Some 50-60 will take to the slopes at busy times during the season to help skiers and snowboarders learn and improve.

Jack also enjoys working with disabled and adaptive skiers and has shared that enthusiasm and knowledge with fellow instructors.

He is working towards an advanced snowboard instructor qualification.

“I am living the dream and will continue to do so until I stop enjoying it.

“I instruct people aged from four to 70 years and to see them progress and to see regular faces week in week out, is cool.”

On the slopes, he encountered competitive people and others who were”happy to cruise”.

“I encourage people to have a positive attitude and to put the effort in if they want to improve. But most of all I tell them to have fun.”

The Snow Sports NZ Annual Awards are set for October 6 in Wanaka.