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Many skiing nations could improve their skiing safety if they managed to organize a government supported Ski Safety Council. In Sweden, we have the longest experience in the world of how to arrange and run such a ski safety council. We first formed a “Ski Safety Interest Group.” After six years' work we contacted the Swedish government's sports minister and explained in detail what advantages a government supported Ski Safety Council could have for our country. We stressed the amount of voluntary work we had performed almost without any economic support and the reduction in the rate of ski injuries that we could document as the result of this work. We also pointed out what advantages it would have for us to be a government supported council (besides the economic ones). Especially in countries with government controlled TV networks (like the Scandinavian countries), it is of paramount importance to be a government supported organization, because one is then able to use the TV-network for free commercials about ski safety. One can also receive government support for various campaigns for increasing ski safety. It is likewise easier to interest the press in your campaigns if you contact them as an official organization supported by the government.
The Ski Safety Council should preferably have representatives from different government organizations engaged in skiing and ski equipment, such as the board for consumer affairs. It should also consist of members of the ski doctor organization, ski instructor organization as well as representatives for those insurance companies that insure skiers. We have also elected to have representatives for the importers of ski equipment like the sports article seller organizations.
We have localized our Council in the Swedish Association for Outdoor Life and we share a secretary with this organization. Such a ski safety council should arrange regular ski safety seminars on a national level, it should collaborate with other similar organizations. Norway has built up a ski safety council based on the Swedish model and we have had a very fruitful collaboration with them. The Danes are trying to create a similar council. The formation of a National Ski Safety Council can definitely help to increase ski safety on a national scale.
National Ski Safety Council, TV-commercials, skiing safety
Professor, Head of the Department of Sports Orthopedic Surgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm,