Year-round waterskiing in the Pennine Valley

The Waterski Academy is a very special place. Although situated in the north of England, waterskiing is possible year-round. While the rest of us in Europe forget about our ski in winter and spend our free time at the gym, the members of the Waterski Academy put on their dry suits and caps and ski! Even when it is snowing! Time to get to know them a little bit better.

By Nick McGarry

The Waterski Academy is the brain child of BWSW Coach of the Year, Nick McGarry. He is a former British Team Member, a BWSW Director and an International Senior Judge. It is a Voluntary Social Enterprise with Community Interest Company status. Its aims are to improve and develop people’s Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social wellbeing via the wonderful outdoor pursuit that is Water Skiing. It also encourages it's members to be part of the organisation and facilitate its daily activities on a voluntary basis.

Entering into our seventh season we have built a family orientated facility to be enjoyed by all.

We promote Tournament Water Skiing and organise a number of Competitions every year.

As well as its Members and the centre also attracts “Pay & Play” users, Students on residential Courses and organised groups; schools and colleges, youth groups and charities.

The majority of our users ski purely for recreation but we do train current and future British Team Members. We can cater for the needs of wheelchair users as we are fully accessible, inclusive and open to all.

We run a subsidised “Schools Program” with all our local Schools, introducing kids to The BWSW "Cutting Edge" Program.

As a club we have benefitted greatly from our BWSW affiliation and value the information and resources we have access to. It has always been central to our ethos to support the Governing Body and any profit we make is ploughed back into sport.

Last year we supported the Tournament 200 club (funding British Team Travel), we have Invested in "Splash Eye" (competition software) for The BWSW North West Region so that we can hold World Class Competitions in our Region.

We have become a learning resource for the sport and run regular training courses in First Aid, Safe Guarding, BWSW Coaching and Driving Qualifications, and this year will be adding Emergency Procedures and Health and Safety training, specific to our sport, to the roster.

To build a successful waterski facility you need good people to create an encouraging atmosphere and good facilities but you also need good equipment. That is why from day one we have worked very closely with the Malibu Boat Company at Hazelwoods Ski World to ensure that there are always reliable, well maintained, top quality boats on the water.

We have built up a stock of equipment to be proud of, drysuits, wetsuits, impact jackets and shorts, Bluetooth helmets, booms, towers, every ski/board or training aid imaginable, we have invested in it and the usage is included in the cost of the lesson.

We operate a booking system and are available dawn until dusk 7 days a week all year round from our beautiful stone built Victorian reservoir keepers house. We can offer over-night accommodation on site and have also secured favourable rates for our visitors at the local B&B’s. Located in a picturesque Pennine Valley we are right in the middle of some stunning scenery.

Pennine Valley by Brett Jordan (Unsplash)

Rossendale truly is a hidden gem of a Holiday Location. Apart from The Waterski Academy, there is Ski Rossendale, Lee Quarry Mountain Bike Centre, Cowm Quarry Motocross, Quad bikes, Enduro and 4x4 off road tracks and loads more to do. We literally have miles and miles of cycle tracks and hill walks with of course plenty of Country Pubs. Just 40 minutes from Manchester Airport and 25 minutes from the City Centre with all its attractions we offer guest rates to all BWSW members and look forward to your visit soon.

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