Articles

Aesculap was founded in 1970. At the beginning of its existence there were not many participants in the trainings offered. Only few showed an interest in the school. A circle of people emotionally connected with Aesculap was also small, which resulted in its slight impact on ski environment. Ski clubs with their ski schools for children, subsidized by the state that time, were an unquestionable competition for our school. As a matter of fact those schools aimed at competitive skiing and supplying 'new blood'. Nevertheless, the fees for training were always much lower in the beginning than those in Aesculap. In many cases, the training was almost free of charge due to subsides (in the form of ski equipment, etc.) for most talented students. Such a competition obviously pulled away children from Aesculap, even those with no particular sport aspirations.

The number of Aesculap members continually increased within the following few years as a result of good training work and systematic growth of its popularity. The number of people emotionally connected with the school (parents, grandparents, etc.) also significantly raised. Thus, still integrating community of Aesculap began to play a major role in the ski life of Jelenia Góra environment, which affected its development by propagating skiing. The school and club are now in.

All family members, especially those little ones on the ski runs, create a kind of nice climate by participating in the club's life. Parents are much interested in their children's progresses; they even become infected by the ski bug and start skiing themselves. There is also an event that shows signs of mutual warmth and affection as well as depth of friendship relations among the participants.(16kB) It is called the FAMILY COMPETITION. As the name indicates, children and their parents take part in it. A family with the best total time in a giant slalom wins. The FANCY-DRESS BALL is another integrating event that is annually held in the club. Children, teenagers and adults dress up as bakers, smurfs, pirates, chimneysweepers, and as many other interesting characters.

Łysa Góra has become a traditional place for meetings. The opening and closing ceremonies of the ski seasons at Aesculap take place there as well as fires, coffee meetings for members and supporters of the school, and meetings for instructors. Social deeds in aid of the micro-station are also organized there. The attractive lands of the Góry Kaczawskie (the Kaczawskie Mountains) are conducive to hikes - one can take a walk from Jelenia Góra. Also, "Łysogórki" MTB races for amateurs have taken place on Łysa Góra recently.

It is nice to be a host of the centre - always at home. However, some cleaning and new investments are needed from time to time, too. Aesculap invests as much as possible; each zloty saved is spent to modernize the sports base, which generally makes the training activity possible in today's times.

Łysa Góra seems to be irreplaceable when you look at the high prices in famous large ski centres or crowds of people on the ski runs in the Karkonosze (which is also connected with safety during the ski lessons given). On one hand, the school management is able to observe ski lessons given by instructors and control their work, and on the other hand - parents can always encourage their kids to more practice.

Although the founders of Aesculap faced numerous and insurmountable obstacles during the building works of the base, their systematic and hard work in developing and maintaining the base have started to bring visible results at last.

Ski School trainees and Aesculap Sudety Sports Club members have got an easier task today when planning their ski budget. As they are members of Aesculap, they pay much less for the lifts than they would normally do in other places.

Aesculap has made the sports base available to a lot of tourists. Friendly slopes, possibility to ski on artificial snow and at electric light, good catering and amenities as well as sanitary conditions - all that makes Łysa Góra Winter Sports Micro-station in Dziwiszów a place visited by more and more people. It is understandable that (due to its location) the majority of guests comes here from Lubin, Legnica and Wrocław. However, the first-rate objective of the centre is to change the routine of Jelenia Góra inhabitants, which means taking them out of their houses to fresh air in the mountains that are not far away from the town. It was not so long time ago when the inhabitants of Jelenia Góra spent their weekends in the Karkonosze. Now, they can go to the Góry Kaczawskie (the Kaczawskie Mountains), which is just a stone's throw from the centre of Jelenia Góra. After all these years (this year it will be 35 years since the foundation of Aesculap) one can say that despite many obstacles the school had to overcome, Ski School and Aesculap Sudety Sports Club (11kB)still exist and they are still needed for the community of Jelenia Góra. Over several seasons Aesculap stayed afloat only thanks to its financial independence, regardless of the conditions for sports and tourism development or political situation in Poland that time. Aesculap was an unusual formation as early as in the 70's. Fees for teaching skiing were charged, while other subsidised clubs gave ski lessons for free. One could say that Aesculap was a precursor for many today?s ski clubs and schools in after-war Poland (in terms of fees for teaching and pedagogical care). Aesculap has contributed to the development of tourism in Jelenia Góra by its economic activity and investments made (ex. the micro-station). It is the true confirmation of the right direction Aesculap has taken. Existence of the school is closely connected with both the demand for ski services and the level of the services that the school offers. That is why during this 35-year period of work, Aesculap has always aimed to modernize and improve their services. As Aesculap takes care of a proper training quality, it has become the only school that provides services of high standard in Jelenia Góra. And "Łysa Góra" Winter Sports Micro-station enjoys respect not only of Jelenia Góra inhabitants, but also the tourists from both Poland and abroad.

Text and photos by Michał Rażniewski

Supplement: Results of the poll carried out by Jarosław Bigosiński (of AWF Poznań) in 1993/94 season. The results are shown in his thesis titled "The Business Plan for Tourist and Recreational Development of 'Łysa Góra' Winter Sports Micro-station". Here is a citation of the thesis:

"People who live within a radius of 15 kilometres from the micro-station take advantage of its services twice a week or more. Those who live within a radius of 30 kilometres - twice a week or less, mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. Skiers from places that are located more than 30 kilometres away from the micro-station come here sporadically, usually just for a short, Saturday and Sunday's ski outing, which they combine with family visits. However, they come here for a longer stay during the holiday time. They usually stay at their relatives or guest-houses then. "Łysa Góra" Winter Sports Micro-station is visited mostly by the inhabitants of Jelenia Góra - the city of 87.8 square kilometres and 93,048 inhabitants. Eighty per cent of the responders know what the micro-station on Łysa Góra is and how to get there. Ninety per cent of people who rest on Łysa Góra have got secondary or higher education. They are mainly white-collar workers and they usually go skiing along with their families or friends. They expect fun, sensations and relaxation as well as safety, ski runs properly prepared, low ticket prices and no queues at the lifts. Taking people's expectations into account, equipment lending service, catering and amenities, possibility(12kB) to hire an instructor and services available are ranked less important. Five hundred people have taken advantage of the slope of Łysa Góra in the season of 1993/94, including students of the school, club members, parents and instructors. They are these ones who take advantage of the micro-station most often and know the place best. The necessity of creating good catering and amenities with cheap buffet, comfortable sanitary conditions and development of ski lifts are of the first importance for them. The analysis of the empirical data collected in the form of the above mentioned poll gives us an answer to the question why the training participants have chosen that particular club. Forty per cent of the responders have replied that they made their decision due to the safety guaranteed. Thirty-five per cent of the responders made the choice at the instigation of their families or friends who are already members of Aesculap. Twenty-five per cent of the responders have stated that they chose the club and school since they could not find any offers from other clubs or ski schools. The main motives of people who are not associated with Aesculap, but who visit "Łysa Góra" Winter Sports Micro-station, are good organization and capacity of ski runs. It is satisfactory that as much as eighty per cent of the responders who are not associated with the club has taken the advantage of the centre on Łysa Góra more than twice this year. They constitute regular clients and such are much important to every enterprise."

THE PRESS ON AESCULAP
by Michał Rażniewski

Local and national press has given a wide coverage to Aesculap Ski School over 35 years of its activity. They have been articles of various character: starting with introducing the school (ski school) as a regional curiosity going through a range of articles about everyday work of Aesculap and ending with short mentions of sports results.

The photo essay of Nina Smolarz run in Polska Issue No 45(273) of 1997 was the first significant publication that propagated the school (owing to the newspaper's wide range). The article was short, albeit meaningful, and one could compare it to the school curriculum that time. The following is the excerpt from the mentioned article: "[...](16kB) The are few who go in for competitive and professional sports. Millions support. However, there is a third form of sport, most favourable for a man, and it is called - PARTICIPATION. Aesculap Ski School has got 150 members at the age of 4-45. Parents sing up their children, observe their progresses, and later they also begin to like skiing and have the courage and... they finally become trainees themselves. They go into the mountains on every Sunday during the entire year, and they find happiness and have a good time together there [...]."

Another article about the school was printed in IMT Światowid of December 1984, an illustrated tourist magazine. The photo essay of Kajetan Adamowski titled "Hu-hu-ha, it's winter..." was published along with it. His comments under the pictures were in the similar tone as the one of the previous article. "[...] They simply disarm even these skiers who are uptight by waiting at the ski lifts. And you can always find a parent(15kB) who queues instead of them. And then, here they are - kiddies with rosy cheeks bitten by frost. And you have to wait until each tot is on the top. Well, these kids ARE so nice that you cannot hurt them at all. They amusingly run down the slope. Once in Indian following a "mistress" or "mister" and repeating every evolution with such a grace. Another time -without ski poles, hand in hand. Easy? Perhaps you could try - the fun takes place on Mała Kopia ... [...]"

There have also been articles of serious contents. Wiesław Darkiewicz in Dziennik Polski of 13 March 1988 introduces Aesculap as an organization that fights for "[...] new development and spatial order of the mountain lands, which would bring a healthy man again into sound mountain nature of the 21 century [...]"

Bogdan Mościcki in Gościniec (of 1 January 1988) also writes in his article titled "Winter Sports Micro-station" about the situation of tourism in Jelenia Góra province and the role that Aesculap plays in development of the region. The following short excerpts are HISTORICAL today, in its full meaning, since the majority of the plans mentioned have already been completed. "[...] Stanisław Rażniewski, vice-president of Aesculap and main animator of the activities mentioned here, says that the 450-meter long Jumbo-matic, located on the slope of Widok at the side of Chrośnica village, will get off the ground still this year. A T-bar lift (900 meters long) on the north-east slope of Łysa Góra, also at Chrośnica side, will be of second importance. The ski lift will be available in the forth quarter of 1988. A 1150-meter T-bar on the north slope of Łysa Góra (708 meters above sea level) is going to be the main ski lift in the area in the 90?s. {this project did not come into effect - M.Rażniewski's note}. Thus, a lot of skiers may appear in Dziwiszów and Chrośnica in the winter season of 1988/89, not only for a couple of hours. [...] The project of "Łysa Góra" Winter Sports Micro-station, encompassing the prospective summer-resort villages (Dziwiszów and Chruśnica), is an attempt to the economic revival of the two villages at the same time. If that happens, parking lots in Chrośnica and Dziwiszów must be built and the public transport from Jelenia Góra to Przełęcz Widok (Widok Pass) and Chrośnica must be provided. So far only PKS (National Transport Company) buses run but they hardy even run... [...]."

Translation: Katarzyna Weryk

APPRAISAL OF "ŁYSA GÓRA" MOUNTAIN

"Łysa Góra" in Dziwiszów near Jelenia Góra was discovered for the skiing by the indefatigable propagator of this sport and recreation - Mr Stanisław Rażniewski the graduate of the first age group of graduates of our Academy in 1949. More than 30 years ago in this region a ski School and Sport Club Aesculap was established so as to train the children and youth (not only from doctor's families as the name could indicate) in the skiing. In course of looking for a convenient place for schooling the attention was once drawn to a mountain situated northwards from Jelenia Góra, on the road towards the cities of Świerzawa, Złotoryja and Legnica.

This choice was hitting the jackpot. A large northern slope of Łysa Góra mountain having the height of 700 m above sea level with a beautiful view of the Karkonosze mountains (from Śnieżka peak to Szrenica) was managed. The renowned winter resorts such as Karpacz or Szklarska Poręba are overcrowded in the winter season and frighten with the necessity of waiting in long queues and with quite high ski ticket prices, not To mention the lack of parking places, badly serviced roads and many other shortcomings, which many of us experienced ourselves. A certain counterbalance for them is the winter sport resort on Łysa Góra mountain.

Its value is firstly the access without bigger problems you can nearly always reach this place on a dry road from Jelenia Góra or Legnica. Secondly - the vast, always good prepared and safe parking for cars and buses. You can fasten your skis right on the parking and from there - reach the lifts. And thirdly, most important, are the skiing conditions. There are four lifts, two 900 meters long: a ?T-bar and a ?plate-stick lift, the third one is a plate-stick lift 700 meters long, and the fourth is a 300 meters long plate-stick lift for the children beginning their ski course and the last one is a 100 meters long lift for the smallest children. So, there is somewhere to ski for the advanced adults and for the beginners, as well as for the kids. At disposal are there three over kilometer long ski routes, well prepared by the ratrak working all the time. The routes are safeguarded with colored netting, and the lift pillars are covered with protection mattresses. The capacity of the lifts is so big, that in working days you can ski without a break. In the weekends the place attracts so many skiers, that you can have a rest in quickly moving queues. (15kB)The skiing time is from 9 am to 10 pm, thanks to illumination of the slopes. The evening skiing, however a little more expensive, has its unique value and atmosphere. The lift personnel is fully qualified, kind, looks stylish in their elegant ski-suits. If need be (better not), there is a professional medical assistance, also ski instructor's advice does not cost too much. It turns out, that not only German, Austrian or Frenchman but also Pole is able to carefully organize and efficiently manage the ski center. In large degree it is the work of Mrs Teresa Rażniewska, the president, who manages this winter complex with firm hand. This picture of ski center, friendly for the skiers and all willing to spend time in fresh air, in beautiful place, is completed with the catering places, and ski-service with ski rentals professional workshop enabling the repair, sharpening, smearing the skis, etc. Also the standard of toilettes (not high throughout Poland) deserves to be appraised. Taking all this into account, it's worth while to visit this center on Łysa Góra mountain, both for the fans of mountain skiing and running skiing, as besides the downhill ski routes there are also running routes for the fans of wandering the hills and valleys. All this at quite moderate prices, affordable for student and pensioner.

So we invite you to Łysa Góra. You'll not regret! You'll see there a special kind of "Sabbath of witches" ( this time on the skis). These fabulously colored silhouettes of girls smartly moving on the slope. Eh! How their hips wave in the rhythm of slalom turns. When you get fatigued, you ground on ski sticks and look at their charming evolutions with genuine pleasure. I've been there many times, have had much skiing, and what I've seen and survived, I am telling You now. Let me add that there are hotel places in Dziwiszów in agro-tourist w farms. I've seen elegant prepared places, with free access to well equipped kitchen with gas, and hot water in the bathroom just like in Europe". All this at quite moderate prices 25 złoty for one. However this information is a little late in this ski season, but the fans of pedestrian or bicycle wanderings, and all fans of spending time in the nature will succumb the temptation to visit those beautiful areas in the spring summer or fall. Besides, the next winter is ahead and of course many others.

Author: Ryszard Jezierski

ROZTARGNIONY STASIO

From the archives: There used to be a sports club with a resonant name "Stal" (meaning 'steel') in Cieplice. Stanisław Rażniewski held the position of Trainer-Coordinator there.

Stanisław Rażniewski, one of the most interesting figures of Lower Silesian sports, keen activist, former member of AZS Wrocław and Stal Cieplice, skier and tennis player, youth educator and coach. Now, he manages Aesculap Ski Club in Jelenia Góra. There are several anecdotes about Stasio's eventful sports life. Here are just three of them:

Stanisław Rażniewski

Train Station in Jelenia Góra - meeting point of Stal members who go to Zakopane in order to participate in the National Ski Championship. In the case of being a team leader, Rażniewski obviously appears first. The others (Jan Maria Klamut, Egon Myśliwiec, Jan Bartkiewicz, Romek Oberstein) come a little bit later. They take their places on the train. Departure time comes near. A stationmaster blows a whistle and waves his green flag. The train leaves. Suddenly, one notices that Staszek is not in the compartment. "Look, look there," one shouts, "Stasio is still standing on the platform." Indeed, he became lost in conversation with a acquaintance of his and missed the train.

"He will take a taxi and catch us in Wrocław," one says, "only this chase will surely involve all our travelling allowances. It won't be easy with food in Zakopane." Nevertheless, Rażniewski does not lose his head; he gets into a huge Humber (it was in the 50's) and orders the taxi driver to go to Jaworzyna, instead of Wrocław. There, he joins his team. Everybody is happy as their allowances are partly saved.

* * *

Another trip to Zakopane; this time for a central competition. The journey to Kraków was trouble-free. Only the Kraków-Zakopane train was terribly crowded. But that was not a problem for the skiers. They simply put their skis and ski poles into a compartment, placed their rucksacks on their skis and took their random seats. Exhausted, they soon fell asleep.

Sportsmen from the Karkonosze stayed in FWP Belweder Holiday Camp in Zakopane. As Stasiu was the leader, he had some necessary waxes with him in his rucksack. Since he slept few hours on his rucksack taking it for a pillow, waxes melted and glued everything together inside. Carefully, Rażniewski pull out the clothes that were smeared with black sticky Swixes, Klisters and Hollmenkols. Only a pair of long johns 'survived'. No sooner had the fellows started to roar with laughter than they stopped doing it after hearing Stasiu's question of what they would use to apply on their skis during the competition.

* * *

Again in Zakopane. Skiers from Stal practice jumps on Krokwia, and runners have their routes nearby. Downhill skiers goes everyday to Kasprowy Wierch and practice slaloms in both Gąsienicowa and Goryczkowa halls there. Rażniewski has got a downhill ride training scheduled on that day. As he has got a morning lift ticket to Kasprowy, he has to leave early. Moreover, a walk to Kużnice station also takes some time. Just before leaving he discusses the training details with his mates, takes the equipment and leaves quickly. "It is quite late," one says, "but he still might catch the lift."

At that moment, the door opens and Stasio comes bursting in, screaming: "Where are my poles? I took the wrong ones." He gets the right poles and heads for the lift, accompanied by his wife, who has decided to see him off to Kuźnice. Preparations of skiers and runners are over. They are about to leave when the door opens again. Teresa is there. "Boys", she says, "Staszek took my skis by mistake. Where are his?"

Andrzej Klamut
Anecdotes about sports and sportsmen: Gazeta Robotnicza, Issue No 12 (11996) of 16-17 January 1988

Photographs: from the archives of Stanisław Rażniewski

Translation: Katarzyna Weryk

CONGRESS OF IVSI IN ZAKOPANE [IVSI Congress Lech /Arlberg 2005] 24.02 - 03.03. 2001

The members of our ski school were invited to the participation in the CONGRESS OF IE IVSI IN ZAKOPANE 2001. Our DEMO-TEAM counted 38 persons + 5 The skiers from Jelenia Góra presented themselves excellently on the slopes of Szymoszkowa (where this meeting of ski instructors from the whole world took place). On Sunday, the Polish day of the event also other DEMO-TEAMS from Poland were present. Namely: the hosts - instructors from the ski school Tatry-Ski, besides them the team from Malta-Ski from Poznań, Le-Ski from Wrocław and ATOMIC Funcarving Demo Team Poland.

The opening of the congress took place near the Hotel Kasprowy. All groups participating in the shows as well as the guests and publicity took part in the opening. The foreign guests were having their performances in the next days of the congress. Beside the shows also workshops for instructors were organized - during them the experience in the teaching of skiing were exchanged, also the international competitions of ski instructors were organized. But the most important, were the every day lectures about skiing theory, mountain safety, organization of skiing, methodology, modern audio-visual techniques in teaching. Polish lecturers played important role in this congress. For example Ms Ewa Powolny-Wyszkowska (with the cooperation of Mr Maciej Powolny) presented the lecture entitled: "Ski instructor as a teacher of not only movement activities".

Mr Tadeusz Gospodarek presented analytically his "Multimedia in the teaching of skiing" with humour, and fluency. Mr Jacek Gracz had an interesting lecture entitled "Psychical amplifications in the teaching of skiing" and the senior of Polish skiing Mr Andrzej Ziemilski in his work "Certainties, which ceased to be certainties" humorously reported the process of ski techniques and modes passing by.

According to the newest trends of skiing a lot was spoken about carving. The Austrian delegation brought for the congress a new film. "Carving emotions" presenting this technique; The presentation took place in the hotel Kasprowy. It was presented by its author: Mr Fritz Waldherr. Now a few words about this congress of skiing (I cite the words of an Instructor - lecturer of PZN - professor Kazimierz Chojnacki). "...The INTERSKI Congresses constitute the most authoritative forum of thought exchange and presentation the skills connected with the skiing. The technical and methodical aspects were discussed, aiming at unification of skiing style, which was not easy task, due to the difficulties in reaching consensus on it of individual national schools, which prefer their own teaching solutions. Organizer of the Congresses of Ski Teaching was in the past and is nowadays the International Association of Ski Instructors (AIES), and they were held every two or three years..." (end of citation).

So far 16 congresses have been held by now. In various countries: at the beginning mainly in the Alps, later on also in Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway) and also in Japan, Canada and USA. No everyone knows that the International World of SKI visited Poland once. It happened in 1959 - in Zakopane. This was the 5'th congress of INTERSKI. In the years 1967-2000 ( following further professor Chojnacki) "... the development of sport skiing was always bringing about its wide spreading among the amateurs and the need for teaching. There was no difference this time, which is proven by lively activity of the Interski Congresses. For example the VIII Congress of INTERSKI in the USA (Aspen) in1968 enriched the traditional forms of performance by synchronic run, in which also women took part. The Austrians suggested then a long training course for the children, youth and adults, in the uniform methodical scheme on shortened skis.

Also the "snow gardens" for children were demonstrated. Aiming at uniformity of the style of skiing, the typical features for the two dominating schools: Austrian and French were defined... "(end of citation). At the end of the 70's and in the 80's a great deal of time of the congresses was devoted to the teaching of children and invalids, just then also the joyful skiing was born -a style which did not pay much attention to the technical requirements of skiing. Still popular was the synchronic run and various forms of high-mountain and sport skiing. Lately its renaissance is surviving the Scandinavian technique TELEMARK. But the hit of the last successive seasons has been of course the carving style. On the XVI Congress in Beitostollen in Norway the majority of performances was dominated by this new style and equipment. This year in Zakopane the carving ski were indivisibly dominating the on the slopes of Szymoszkowa. There was also a carving route arranged. All participants of the congress were able to try it.

Michał Rażniewski

I've made use of some excerpts of a new book (Brochure 1 - Library of Ski Instructor) by Kazimierz Chojnackie entitled. "Selected problems from the history of skiing "

Translation from Polish: Mirosław Ludorowski

2 - 9 APRIL 2005. POLISH INSTRUCTORS AT IVSI CONGRESS

Twenty-two members of SITN-PZN with the chairman, Józef Wojciech Gajewicz, went to Austria in order to take part in the Congress. The group also included Demo Team, great team of skiers who have been active for two years now. There were 16 representative groups, including us, from various countries. Some shows, workshops, lectures and other events were organized there. Instructors from the entire world arrived in Lech. Let us remind you that the similar Congress took place in Zakopane in 2001. Polish skiing schools were invited that time. And our school was there as well. Children - participants and instructors of SN I SKS AESCULAP demonstrated synchronized skiing. The performance of Aesculap's DEMO-TEAM was very well received. We received generous applause from the international audience.