INTERVIEW WITH ZOFIA KIEŁPIŃSKA
Supersnow: When did your passion for cross- country skiing appear?
Zofia Kiełpińska: I think I was born with passion for running. My father was Polish Champion in cross-country skiing. I was growing up in times, when it was normal to make it possible for children to practice sports. As a result, each school was under the patronage of a sports club and as a result, children wanted to do sports. In those times, however, it was very difficult to get skis. I was lucky that I got my cross-country skis from my dad. They were much too long, but it did not bother me. I always wanted to be a sportsperson, so in my adult life I combined my passion for skiing with professional work. Passion for sport has grown with me. I liked running as a child and now I also like to do it. Today we have many more possibilities, so I continue to develop my passion despite my age. For me development means not only that I still practice sport, but also that I can help others develop in this field. Since I have the opportunity to make some decisions in this matter and the possibility of supporting others, I do it.
Supersnow: Do we have good conditions for training that sport in Poland?
Zofia Kiełpińska: Weather conditions in Poland are certainly not the best for skiing. In recent years, there is less and less of the snowfall. There is also the problem of land ownership – are we allowed to run on private fields? Fortunately, thanks to the Supersnow equipment, we have the possibility to use the technical snow to prepare the routes, like the cross-country trails on Równia Krupowa and Biały Potok.
Supersnow: What do you think about the Winter Activity Zone?
Zofia Kiełpińska: I am for every zone of activity, and even more the winter one. In my opinion, skiing gives children many opportunities for development, so I will do everything to make these children use it. The creation of a special winter zone is a very good idea, because in such a place we can provide various activities combined with fun. If we are able to interest these children, if they have fun and will enjoy it, then they will be more likely to participate in such projects. For at least half an hour they are active and also have contact with other children, with other people, and above all with parents.
Supersnow: What is the significance of supporting such sports initiatives in Poland?
Zofia Kiełpińska: Every initiative that makes the family out of the house is worthy to organize. The activity zone can be combined with various activities. It can be done anything with skis it is enough to have people who have a bit of fantasy. Skis should not be associated with multiple overcoming distance and your body exhaustion, as there are sportspeople who do it professionally . The child can not be tired, the child should have fun. This fun should last until the child wants more and says: this is what I want to do. But to be able to do this we must create the right conditions for him.
Supersnow: Do you think modern technologies can contribute to the increase of popularity of winter sports in Poland?
Zofia Kiełpińska: Technology arouses interest. We are already a tech – people. It is technology when we use social media for promotion. it is a technology when we use all the social portals, most often used by young people. So we can treat them as a tool to reach youth. We always have variant A, B or C during the World Snow Day organization time. Variant B - when there is no snow, but the weather is nice. Then I made a phone call to the Supersnow President and the snow appeared. When I wrote on Facebook that the routes would be ready people did not believe. And yet it worked. So I am happy that making one call to Supersnow may solve the problem with the lack of snow. A snowy hill encourages children to go out of the house. It does not matter whether they come with sledge or skis. Not everyone has to ski from the beginning. The most important thing is that the child wants to come back and by watching other children, he is encouraged to train skiing too. I am trying to apply for funding to various institutions, both EU and the Ministry of Sport. During the holidays children had organized ski and skating schools. They spent holidays on Równia Krupowa. Everything was possible thanks to the snow produced by the Supersnow snow gun.
Supersnow: Were there other winter activity zones except of Równia Krupowa and Biały Potok?
Zofia Kiełpińska: There were activity zones under Nosal and under Wielka Krokiew ski jumping, but in those places the organizer was not only Town Hall but also other entities.
Supersnow: In the coming years, what will be crucial in the development of winter sports in Poland and abroad?
Zofia Kiełpińska: Climate seems to be the key factor in the ski industry development. As we can see the skiing activities, like downhill skiing or cross-country skiing are conditioned by the snow availability and its production as well as snow storage, building of indoor facilities such as tunnels or indoor ski centers that give us opportunity to ski all year long.
Supersnow: What is your opinion about the cooperation with Supersnow?
Zofia Kiełpińska: Cooperation with Supersnow is very good. It is not just about buying the snowmaking equipment, there are also people, who prepare the routes for the winter season. It is very important after the summer season, when there is a need for cleaning the water culverts and repair the route. The event you made last year in Wisła confirms that the company is trustworthy and always meets the challenge. First of all, I like that you are always ready to work and cooperate. You deal with all the difficulties very well, you are able to cope with really serious tasks. I have the impression that the word "problem" does not work in Supersnow - it's just an idea, a task to do and this task is done. That is how I perceive you. We do not cooperate with each on a daily basis, but when we have a project together, I really appreciate the fact that there is no word "problem", especially because I never use this word at work. Every project brings some obstacles: technical, administrative, formal, legal, but the point is to try to solve them. And this is your strength. You can face challenges.