WINTER Olympic excitement is likely to spark an upturn in interest at Essex’s only dry ski slope - found in Brentwood.

To see what the slope which opened on Warley Gap in 1974 is like, the Weekly News’ Chris Phillips popped down give skiing a try.

The centre’s manager Steve Cis has already experienced the added attention the Games can conjure up and the Italian-born 47-year-old is now bracing himself for more of the same.

“When people see the Ryder Cup on the TV they play golf, everyone picks up a tennis racket during Wimbledon and when the Winter Olympics are on people want to come out and ski,” said Steve.

Anyone who follows me on social media will know just how accident prone I actually am having suffered 10 broken bones while engaging in sporting activities.

Naturally I feared an 11th due to the stereotypical image of the sport but Steve immediately calmed those nerves.

“Statistically ski-ing is one the sports you’re least likely to get injured in,” he said.

“People seem to think that you’re going to get seriously hurt but that’s from a bygone era and it’s actually quite a safe activity.”

I soon set out to test that theory and made a Bridget Jones type start to my slalom career as I dropped one of my poles and accidently set off down the slope.

Thankfully that did not end in disaster, just tears of laughter from those standing by.

However, once I worked my way back up the slope and managed to hang on to both of the poles I began to thoroughly enjoy the experience and the adrenaline rush.

As it was my first time I was obviously not fast but it was still great fun and I would definitely love to have another go.

According to Steve, learning on a dry slope could actually be far more beneficial.

“It’s a good way to start because it helps to encourage a better technique,” he said.

“We also have snowboarding here and snow-tubing and can provide all the equipment which is needed.”

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