VIDEO: Sheffield Ski Village sadness of Sochi’s Summerhayes

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This is the shocking state of Sheffield’s once-iconic ski village – the slope which helped produce a generation of skiers representing Team GB in the Winter Olympics.

Once renowned for attracting the country’s top skiers, who flocked to Sheffield’s world-class facilities to train, all that now remains of the alpine-style village is a dilapidated slope, the charred remains of buildings, piles of rubbish, graffiti and weeds.

Sheffield Ski Village in its current state. Photo: Rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick

Sheffield Ski Village in its current state. Photo: Rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick

The site has been plagued by theft, vandalism and arson, with its owner keen to see the area flattened and replaced with new housing.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch a video about the state of Sheffield’s Ski Village submitted by reader Giannis Kipreos.

The ski village was where 18-year-old freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes, from Waterthorpe, fell in love with the sport at the age of six and where she trained twice a week for 10 years.

Fellow Olympian James Woods, 22, from Crosspool, also discovered his talent on the slopes in Sheffield when, at the age of 10, he took up the offer of a free ski or snowboard lesson at the Parkwood Springs site.

Sheffield Ski Village in its current state. Photos: Rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick

Sheffield Ski Village in its current state. Photos: Rossparry.co.uk / Tom Maddick

And James Machon, 24, who grew up in the Hope Valley - and competed yesterday in the first freestyle half pipe skiing event ever held in a Winter Olympics - also trained there. Sheffield boasted the only artificial half-pipe in the world at the time.

Speaking to The Star from Sochi, Katie, a former Westfield School pupil who came fourth at last year’s World Championships, said she fears for the next generation of aspiring skiers from Sheffield.

“I was six when I first started skiing at the Ski Village after my mum and dad took me and my sister up there for a day out - and that was it, I was hooked,” she said.

“I joined the ski club there and would train twice a week for 10 years.

“If the Ski Village hadn’t been there I would never have started skiing. It was massively important to me and where I am today.

“I went back up there a couple of months ago to have a look around, and it was so sad to see it in such a state.

“I train all over the world now, following the snow, but in my early days having the slope on my doorstep was invaluable.

“I don’t think there will be as many skiers coming from Sheffield now we haven’t got the Ski Village.”

James Woods’ dad Chris also voiced his concerns.

“I’ve no idea what the ins and outs are about Sheffield Ski Village, but it is such a shame the Woodsies and Katies aren’t going to be coming from this city any more,” he said. James spent any minute of every day at the Ski Village – in summer holidays he was there all day doing that stuff.

“There was a whole community with a team spirit, and they all developed.

“There were problems at the Ski Village, with bits sticking up and you could hurt your thumbs on the grid, but, for what it was, it was great.”

Former Sports Minister Richard Caborn said he would like to see a snow dome built to replace the ski village.

“We need to move on now and dry ski slopes made of nylon are a thing of the past when you think people are training in indoor snow domes now.”

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for sport, said: “It’s wonderful the Ski Village was such a valuable resource for our GB athletes and the city would be upset if there were never to be any facilities for skiers in Sheffield ever again.”