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Southampton Ski Centre to act after Natasha Richardson tragedy
BOSSES at Southampton’s ski centre will review their crash helmet policy following the death of actress Natasha Richardson.
But managers at The Alpine Centre in Bassett have ruled out making all skiers wear hard hats.
Instead they may extend the range of special activities for which the safety helmets will be mandatory.
The movie star’s accident has renewed debate on whether helmets should be made obligatory for people taking to the slopes.
Current policy at the centre means it is only compulsory for those tackling ramps and rails or practising race-training through poles.
Ms Richardson, star of films including The Parent Trap and Maid in Manhattan, died after a seemingly innocuous knock to the head while skiing on a nursery slope in Quebec, Canada.
Keith Diaper, manager of the dry ski slope at Southampton Sports Centre, said: “We constantly review policies here and no doubt when I meet with my staff we will review it in light of this accident, but you can’t force someone to wear one and it will still be a choice.
“We do say to parents, particularly those with youngsters in the kids’ club, that we advise them to get their children to wear helmets, but at the end of the day it’s the parents’ decision.”
Keith, who has worked at the centre for six years and as manager for four, believed major accidents, particularly on artificial slopes, were rare.
“I would say for the majority of our business we deal with beginners and I haven’t come across a head injury since I have been working here. If we have certain injuries then we assess what needs to be done and act on it.”