Students to raise ski club from the ashes

Students Becks Povall and Alex Horner want to help the clear up

Members of the Sheffield ski club have vowed to help in the cleanup of the city’s Ski Village, after it was reduced to ashes in two separate blazes this week.

Student skiers and snowboarders have spoken of their shock just days after the village was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Sunday and Tuesday morning.

South Yorkshire police said the second fire is currently under investigation as a suspected arson attack.

The ski club told Forge Press that members would be willing to spend days of their summer volunteering to clear up the wreckage.

A Facebook page named ‘Re-open Sheffield Ski Village (Project Ashes)’ received over 1,000 members in just six hours.

Alex Horner, a snowboard instructor who has worked at the ski village for the last two years, said how they now need to look to the future.

He said: “It is a devastating blow from a staff point of view; it is such a weird circumstance.

“It has been so important to so many people for so many years.”

Around 50 people are employed at the village and it is now unclear what will happen to their jobs.

Horner, a second-year Accounting, Financial Management and Economics student, said: “I haven’t had anyone speak to us from management. They haven’t said anything official.

“It could take anything from three days to three months to work out what will happen.”

Povall spoke of her distress when the group learnt their training facility had been burnt down while at a competition in London.

She said: “We heard rumours and saw the images on the internet and we were just shocked.

“For Sheffield Ski we have really pushed the club forward this year – it’s just like having the carpet pulled from underneath our feet. It is such a huge blow to us.”

As Povall explained, the club may face logistical and financial difficulties as the next nearest place to train is the Snow Dome in Castleford – a 38-mile car journey.

The first fire at the village on Sunday destroyed the main building, which included a bar, bowling alley and boot store.

Incident Commander Stuart Nicholson said: “We were pumping around 3,000 litres of water per minute onto the fire from the River Don.

“There is very little remaining of the building.”

A second inferno on Tuesday damaged the ski lift control room.

The large number of fire crews involved in the incident were called from the Central, Rivelin, Darnall, Elm Lane, Tankersley and Lowedges.

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