In many parts of the world, student ski races are only made possible by the help of all parents of the students involved. Local ski clubs in North America and Europe traditionally organise these events, with parents forming volunteer groups to organise and coordinate the events.
Ski race events are incredibly complex. They require months of planning, marketing and arranging, and on the day, there are hundreds of elements to think about, including transport, accommodation, lift passes, rental, food, snow conditions, timing equipment, race gates, course-setting, fences, jumps, sponsorship, staffing, results data, ceremonies, prizes, website updates, dealing with anything that doesn't go right... the list goes on. As you can imagine, even after charging a fee for participation (which goes towards many costs and staff wages), the Imagine team have an incredibly busy and difficult time during ISSCC every year. We continue to do it because we believe it is a unique opportunity for students - and it's strangely fun!
Over the years, community-minded school teachers and parents have stepped forward to offer assistance in whichever way they can, and we couldn't do it without you.
Roles can include: gate judge (standing by the side, spotting if racers miss a gate), prize organiser, marketer (sharing ISSCC info), sponsor, school team leader, chaperone, entrance guard (checking the right people enter and exit the race area), logistics coordinator, data checker, course set-up and take-down, moving things around on skis, photographer/filmer, and others.
Volunteering can be a lot of fun. You get to socialise with other parents and teachers, in some cases you get a closer view of the action, and it can be more rewarding and interesting than standing around!