Anyone who has come across our brand at some point knows that Uller is joining a bombardment, and that anything supporting the sector will be more than welcome. For this reason, and although one is never completely wise, we love meeting those who have been in the industry the longest... even more so if they are at the foot of the track!
For today's article, we took a little time from our friends at Era Escòla, the longest-running ski school in the Baqueira-Beret resort, to find out what it's like to be part of a team like theirs and other curiosities that you will find throughout the interview, in addition to how well the Uller ski goggles fit them. How does a ski school really work? Does anything go to be an instructor of this modality? The truth is that they have been offering quality education for more than 50 years and at Uller we are lucky to have them as collaborators.
We spoke with Jordi Arribas, president of Era Escòla, and with Juanma Paba, in charge of Online Advertising and Marketing at the school.
ULLER: Hey guys! It is a pleasure to have you for this special article.
ERA ESCÒLA: First of all, I would like to say that we are delighted to be able to collaborate with you and to publicize our activity in the world of snow as professionals in the different modalities that we offer, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, telemark and snowboarding.
ULLER: The pleasure is ours. You have been in the sector for more than 50 years, and not everyone does that!
ERA ESCÒLA: The truth is that it is time. The 50th anniversary was the 2014/2015 season. We feel very proud.
ULLER: It is very exciting to see the historical tour of the school that you detail on your website. What was it like for Jordi to receive such a special and long-standing legacy?
ERA ESCÒLA: The impression and responsibility at the moment they tell you: “You are the president of Era Escòla, the pioneer ski school in Baqueira Beret since 1964”, at first supposes a combination of emotion and a lot of responsibility. Representing a group of more than 200 professionals is a great challenge in Baqueira Beret, a very competitive tourist destination where you must be up to the task.
ULLER: Focusing on the human team, what requirements must a person meet to become a monitor in a school like yours?
ERA ESCÒLA: First of all, you must have the necessary degree or homologation that allows you to carry out the teaching activity. Previously, they must have passed an access test at any authorized center and acquire the different degrees of sports technician at a theoretical and practical level.
ULLER: Being a teacher of any kind of sport is a challenge that requires preparation, both theoretical and practical. What advice would you give to a person who wants to start in the world of teaching skiing? Do you think that everyone who knows how to ski is capable of giving ski lessons?
ERA ESCÒLA: In my opinion, the main characteristic that a teacher must have is affection and passion for the work he is doing. The professional must internalize that, when a person comes to hire a class, as a general rule, they seek to have a good time and feel safe on the slopes. If he also learns, the teacher is noteworthy.
ULLER: Those of us who do not dedicate ourselves to this beautiful part of skiing, teaching it, are curious… what is day-to-day life really like at Era Escòla?
ERA ESCÒLA: At Era Escòla, day-to-day life implies a further degree of experience, an essential characteristic to improve as an institution and as a center of reference at the state level. Dealing with people helps us to be better professionals and, in turn, is a reason for the exchange of opinions at the teaching level and internal competitiveness within Era Escòla. Every day is a goal and one more day of mastery.
ULLER: Speaking of skiing itself, you have approximately 200 instructors currently on staff. In what types of skiing are you specialized?
ERA ESCÒLA: Era Escòla specializes in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, telemark and snowboarding, modalities that can be taught through private or group classes. In addition, we have Ski Camp, the Era Escòla club designed to teach and improve the practice of alpine skiing from the age of 4 during weekends and holidays. Other activities such as excursions or the practice of some modality other than alpine skiing such as snow or snowshoes are also programmed. Learning with other children helps promote coexistence on the slopes and respect for the environment in the unique setting of Baqueira Beret.
ULLER: Skiing is much more than a sport, especially when we experience it with friends and interact. Does any of your teachers remember any curious or funny anecdote while teaching a class?
ERA SCHOOL: Perhaps the most anecdotal thing is the initial impact when you receive an important or well-known person, be it from the world of television, athletes... I remember a few days ago, when a teacher told us that his student was familiar to him. It turned out to be a television presenter, a funny situation that was much talked about among the teachers. Although the most satisfying thing for a professional is to see the evolution of a collective class that starts skiing or another modality, and manages to get down its first slopes. It is when the teacher feels accomplished.
ULLER: Regarding the people who come to you to request classes, what is the profile of the most common customer at the school? And on the other hand, how many clients do you get in the whole season? Are we talking about hundreds, thousands…?
ERA SCHOOL: Normally the people who visit us to hire classes are from 4 years old to adulthood, either to learn or practice their favorite sport in the company of a professional. In addition, being teachers in the area, they are very knowledgeable about Baqueira Beret and provide information on the surroundings of the Aran Valley. Regarding working hours and clients, we can impart more than 60.000 hours with a clientele of over 45.000 users.
ULLER: Looking to the future, what does the school look like 10 years from now? What are your next steps?
ERA ESCÒLA: It is very difficult to predict the future. What is clear is that, from the beginning and at a particular level, each professional has been improving their theoretical-practical capacity and has been concerned with adapting to new trends and teaching methods. The new incorporations are qualified with the new formations and the most veteran teachers have been contributing their enriching experience, a perfect combination to constitute a quality school. At the institutional level, the technology and requirements have been introduced as an organization to make itself known through the RRSS or any advertising system that serves to spread more than 50 years of experience. In short, predicting the future is difficult, and knowing where to go is often complex. However, we have the idea of knowing how to take advantage of the circumstances and find out how to continue acting in the present, to move towards a future with the maximum possible stability.
ULLER: And finally, what do you think makes Era Escòla a benchmark in Baqueira?
ERA ESCÒLA: The plus of Era Escòla lies in its more than 50 years teaching classes and having gone through unique experiences and experiences, circumstances that are the result of a school with a great capacity to adapt at all levels. But above all, what moves us forward is the growing motivation for what we like the most: teaching the different modalities with the maximum possible professionalism. Being a teacher is a privilege!
Skiing, like the vast majority of sports, is not something you learn on your own, and the slopes may not start out being so familiar to each other. For this reason, going to schools where properly trained teachers can introduce you to this world that we are so passionate about is a real luxury, and without a doubt, it is not something that should be done without. Thanks to their work, thousands and thousands of people enjoy a sport every season that, in Spain, we are lucky to be able to offer thanks to our topography and climate. It's something like reading: how can you enjoy a good book without first learning to put words together?
The moment we let ourselves be taught, we will be starting the house with a good foundation. So the roof, when the time comes, will be sucked.