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Snowy Mountains ski resort bans toboggan-run fun to “maximise safety”

Rohan Smith, May 31, 2018 7:00PM News Corp Australia

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Fun on the slopes at Mt Buller. Picture: David Caird media_cameraFun on the slopes at Mt Buller. Picture: David Caird

safe kids

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Toboggans have been banned at some Australian snowfields.

Thredbo ski resort in the Snowy Mountains south of Canberra, announced this week that the fun, cheap, family-friendly activity was no longer allowed.

The resort said it was a safety decision.

“To maximise safety for guests, employees*, and resort property, Thredbo prohibits* the use of toboggans and other miscellaneous* snow sliding equipment that is associated* with ‘Snow Play’ within our leasehold* area,” the resort website said.

“We acknowledge* that tobogganing is a favourite winter pastime*, however it also has inherent* risk as there is limited ability to control the equipment being used. The safety of our guests and staff is our number one concern.”

The resort’s website has a photo of someone tobogganing with a red circle around it and cross through it to make the new rule really clear.

Things do sometimes go wrong when you slide down a snow-covered hill really fast

Many families that love tobogganing were upset.

“Thredbo and Perisher have banned tobogganing for the ski season,” Lisa Benham wrote on Facebook.

“Guess we won’t be taking our little ones to the snow this year. Apparently* it’s dangerous … Really?? More than skiing? Oh wait, you don’t need a lift pass to do it.”

ABC News’ Siobhan Heanue wrote on Twitter: “Next they’ll ban snow fights. So many families take the drive up to the resorts and muck around in the snow because they can’t afford to ski.”

Lea had a great time tobogganing at Mt Hothan, in Victoria. Picture: supplied media_cameraLea had a great time tobogganing at Mt Hothan, in Victoria. Picture: supplied

But other snow users have welcomed the ban.

“Thredbo just does not have the room for the snow play,” Anthony McRae wrote. “I witnessed* too many people taking their toboggans up the bottom of the (ski) run. This is a nightmare for skiers coming down that run. I say good on Thredbo.”

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Craig Cleal agreed.

“Great, the things are out of control — accidents waiting to happen.”

Perisher, another Snowy Mountains resort, also states on its website that tobogganing is not available on its snowfields, but may be available next to one of the car parks when there is enough snow.

Toboggans still welcome at Mt Baw Baw in Victoria. Picture: News Limited media_cameraToboggans still welcome at Mt Baw Baw in Victoria. Picture: News Limited

Victorian locations that still offer tobogganing include Lake Mountain, Mt Buller and Falls Creek and in Tasmania the ski resort at Ben Lomond welcomes toboggans.

Many locations across the US and Canada have banned toboggans in recent years.

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GLOSSARY

employees: workers

prohibits: bans

miscellaneous: collection

associated: linked to

leasehold: the area rented

acknowledge: agree

pastime: hobby or activity

inherent: an important part of

apparently: as far as we know

witnessed: saw

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

QUICK QUIZ

1. Where is Thredbo?

2. What does the symbol look like that Thredbo has created to show the new rule?

3. What does Siobhan Heanue think will happen next?

4. Why does Anthony think the ban is a good idea?

5. Name three other possible places to toboggan.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Tobogganing is banned at Thredbo!

There are a number of opinions on this topic. Read the article carefully. Draw up a FOR and AGAINST chart. List all the reasons for and against banning tobogganing that are mentioned in the article in the appropriate column.

In a different colour write any other reasons you can think of for each side of the issue.

Time: Allow 20 minutes

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Critical and Creative Thinking

Extension: What is your opinion?

Based on the information given in the article and anything else you already know about skiing and tobogganing, write a letter to the Thredbo Ski Resort Management either in support of their decision or against it. Include reasons for why you agree or disagree with this issue. Also try to include a possible solution to the issue.

Time: Allow 20 minutes

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?

How could ski resorts, parents and children make it safer to toboggan and avoid this fun activity being banned?

Use full sentences to explain your ideas.

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