Gordon Skiers, as they are known today, had their humble beginnings at the Alford Ski Centre in 1988. The “team” was originally called Alford Ski Race League and comprised of 20 youngsters of different age groups selected at a trials night.
The youngsters met for training every Tuesday throughout the year – the only breaks being during the school holidays!
The aim was to make ski racing available and affordable to the catchment area of Alford and the North East of Scotland and to foster a team spirit amongst the racers. Financial support came from many sources: local government, Alford businesses, oil companies, fund raising events and inevitably PARENTS!
There were many characters involved in this evolution process and without their unstinting efforts Gordon Skiers, as we know them today, would not exist. Who can forget Nora Anderson the manager of the ski centre, Keith Morris and Ali Anderson, the first trainers on the dry slope. The first chairman of the organising committee was Morven White, who also ran the ski shop at Alford, aptly called “White Out” – now the Alford Bistro!
When the group graduated to snow at the Lecht, training was under the watchful eye of John Clark, then Director of the Lecht Ski School.
Since the very early days the club has always insisted on the wearing of helmets for trainees and coaches, both on dry slope and snow, with the catchphrase “no lid – no slide” proving a popular reminder to all.
It was in September 1990, with only a couple of years training under their belts, that the Ski Race League instigated the Alford Challenge, a dual slalom competition with the racers competing in teams against Bellahouston (Glasgow Ski Centre) and Aberdeen Ski Club! The team spirit and enthusiasm that was evident then has continued in the many events that club has entered on dry mat and snow in the intervening years.
Things moved on rapidly and as expertise grew the “Team” began to expand. In 1992 the team was renamed Gordon Skiers and dry mat training was split between Alford and the dry slope at the Lecht. Adults were also invited to be members of the club, not just the racers themselves. Snow training continued at the Lecht, under the umbrella of the Lecht Ski School, however now with Hugh Clark as director of training. The first Lecht Bairns Race took place in January 1993.
The club rapidly progressed to be a major force in Scottish racing circles, with club members competing and performing outstandingly well not just on the Scottish circuit but also in British competitions and at international events. Some have gone on to become Scottish and British team members whilst others are now actively involved in coaching.