Schröcksnadel on skiing immigrants

Peter Schröcksnadel has vowed to continue programmes aimed at getting more kids on the pistes.

The Austrian Skiing Federation (ÖSV) president said today (Thurs): “Our offer must be better and more desirable than a holiday in Egypt. (…) Holidays in the south are our major competitor.”

The influential businessman explained in an interview with the Salzburger Nachrichten: “Around 250,000 children used to participate in school skiing courses a year. Now 115,000 are doing so. This is why we have to approach new groups. Kids from immigrant families have been missing so far, we need to get them on the snow. These groups have been neglected.”

Schröcksnadel, who turned 70 in July, is promoting weekly skiing lectures for school classes but also organises one-day skiing trips for children and teenagers. Skiing is one of Austrians’ most popular sports despite soaring lift pass prices and comparably high costs for equipment. Hundreds of thousands tune into national TV station ORF’s live broadcasts of World Cup skiing races each winter. The new season starts with a women’s giant slalom in Sölden, Tyrol, this Saturday (22 October). The men’s first race will be a giant slalom in Sölden the following day.

Schröcksnadel told the Salzburger Nachrichten that ÖSV was not affected by the economic crisis. The entrepreneur underlined the positive effects of business activities concerning the Alpine World Ski Championships 2013. The event will take place in Styrian winter sport resort Schladming. Schröcksnadel also pointed out that ÖSV’s contracts with its partners were long-term agreements. “Furthermore, I would like to make aware of the fact that only four per cent of ÖSV’s annual budget of 40 million Euros are public subsidies.”

Asked whether he ever had political ambitions, Schröcksnadel recently told the Kronen Zeitung: “I had the opportunity to become economy minister in a conservative government. But I always found the sports ministry more interesting. I was never offered to take this position.”

Schröcksnadel told the paper he did not like being compared to French political leader Napoleon Bonaparte. “I don’t want to be a Napoleon because I do not want to copy others – and because he died in exile.”