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Meet The Team

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Halsbury Ski is run by a dedicated team of school ski travel specialists, who have over 80 years’ experience in crafting tailor-made school ski trips and know the resorts we offer well. They are also a team of linguists, speaking five languages between them, which allows them to liaise closely and effectively with local suppliers to ensure that trips are hassle-free for group leaders.

Simon Thomas

Head of Halsbury Ski

The head of our ski department and an all-round ski guru, Simon is truly passionate about skiing, which he first learnt during his time in the armed forces, where he travelled extensively. Simon has been to nearly all of the resorts that we feature and has over 10 years’ experience in this role at Halsbury Travel, as well as a further 3 years in general school travel. This wealth of experience has helped him and his team develop Halsbury’s thorough ski programme.

“Apart from skiing, I love mountain biking, hiking and all forms of après-ski. I firmly believe that you can have almost as much fun off the slopes as on them and this is something that we keep in mind when arranging extra activities for our ski groups.”

James Babb

Ski Specialist

James developed a passion for skiing on his own school trip to Bulgaria. Having grown into a fully-fledged ski addict through school, he later moved to Val d’Isère and Meribel for two years before returning to the UK and embarking on a career in the school skiing industry. James has skied in over 50 resorts across France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Andorra and the USA, so if you ever need any advice on where to go, he is definitely the man to ask! Just let him know what you’re looking for and he’ll find the right resort for your school.

“My passion for skiing was ignited by a school ski trip and I love the fact that I now help future generations to enjoy such incredible experiences!”

Gail Biggins

Ski Specialist

Gail has been arranging school ski trips for over 10 years and has skied many resorts across France, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, the USA and Canada – so she’s well placed to advise you on the most suitable destination for your next school ski trip. For Gail, who first learnt to ski over 25 years ago, what she enjoys most about skiing is that it allows you to get out into the Great Outdoors, get active and spend quality time with friends and family – and she thrives on helping group leaders to provide young people with the opportunity to experience this.

“The best bit about my job is going out and meeting people, building relationships and knowing that students are going to have an amazing time. It’s great to be part of giving them those new experiences and skills.”

Beth Hall

Ski Specialist

A skier since childhood, Beth has visited many of the world’s top resorts, from the Alps to New Zealand. One of her favourite resorts is Prato Nevoso, which she has visited several times. Beth cites the friendly atmosphere and sheer variety as two of the reasons why she keeps heading back to the Italian resort. Beth’s role involves meeting Group Leaders at their school to discuss their next ski trip, and deliver presentations and parents’ evenings. Beth has worked in group travel since 2001 and she thrives on the opportunity to work with schools to provide young people with experiences that will stay with them forever.

“My first ski experience was with my family in Chamonix. I remember it being truly terrifying, yet exhilarating. I continued to learn in New Zealand at the weekends on my ‘gap year’. There is something quite special about the mountains that left me wanting more.”

David Reilly

Ski Specialist

David started skiing at the tender age of 3, as he was lucky enough to grow up close to the ski resort of Glenshee in Scotland, and he’s been a passionate skier ever since! A former teacher, David, a BASI trained instructor, has now been involved in the ski industry for more than 20 years. Having skied extensively in Scotland, the Alps, North America, Bulgaria and even Greece, David really is well placed to advise and assist teachers on choosing the best trip for their pupils.

“My initial school ski trips were day trips to the Scottish resorts. I remember the excitement and the thrill of heading off with friends to experience a great activity. Nowadays, school children have the wonderful opportunity to visit great resorts in the Alps, Bulgaria and North America!”

Giulia Decimi

Ski Operations Manager

Giulia grew up with the snowy peaks of the Dolomites a fixture of her morning walks to school and still associates the mountains with happy family holidays. She is always keen to take any opportunity to travel to the slopes, especially if it involves accompanying groups, as she loves being out in the field, seeing the fruits of our ski team’s labours. Having started out as a ski rep for Halsbury, Giulia’s time with us has seen her take on a number of roles within the company. As Ski Operations Manager, she is responsible for coordinating all the team members within the operations department and ensuring that communication flows smoothly between them. Giulia is also on call whilst our groups are away to help provide assistance with any problems or questions that may arise.

“I fell in love with the idea of building memories for future generations, making them aware of the cultural differences between countries and the importance of the environment that surrounds us, so I started out as a ski rep and now, here I am!”

John Pinca

Hotel Contractor

Based in Italy all year round, John is responsible for maintaining good relations with our hoteliers and ensuring that guests’ needs are met and even exceeded. Having dedicated the last 20 years of his life to school ski travel, John uses his vast experience to source new products for us and to ensure that we are able to provide our customers with competitive prices. John is half-Italian and speaks both Italian and French fluently, which means that he has been able to enjoy the very best of British and European culture. John first learnt to ski over two decades ago, in the tiny Italian resort of Monte Pora. He loves the freedom of being outdoors that skiing brings and thrives on the mountainous scenery and clean, fresh air.

“What do I enjoy most about working in school ski travel? Seeing the enjoyment from the kids, especially those that have never seen a mountain, let alone know what snow is really all about.”

Audrey Algrain

Ski Trip Coordinator

Audrey moved to England from her native Paris over 10 years ago and speaks three languages fluently. Having worked as a French teacher in a local sixth form college, Audrey worked as a group leader for us during school holidays, before joining us full-time in 2009. For her, the school travel industry is incredibly rewarding and she has seen first-hand what a great experience school trips are for students! As one of our Ski Trip Coordinators, Audrey will take on all the administrative tasks involved in organising your trip; from booking your hotel and transport to arranging your après-ski activities.

“It’s really rewarding working in the school travel industry, making sure that groups have a great time on their trips. It’s such a fantastic experience for children!”

Celimen Helshani

Ski Trip Coordinator

Another linguist, Celimen hails from beautiful Provence, in southern France, and speaks three languages fluently. Joining us in 2006, Celimen has visited many of the ski resorts which we work with and knows our local suppliers well. Once you have chosen your destination, Celimen will use all her knowledge and experience to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure that your school ski tour runs smoothly.

“I have always loved travelling and always organised my own itineraries. Then, one day, I realised that I could make this passion my career and I have never looked back!”

Giulia Piras

Ski Trip Coordinator

Our resident Italian, Giulia was born far from the Alps on the beautiful island of Sardinia, but this has only helped to foster her love of the mountains. Passionate about travel, Giulia works closely with teachers planning ski trips to Italy, to ensure that all the details of their trip work for them. As a native Italian speaker, Giulia is well placed to liaise with local suppliers in Italy and makes the arrangements for everything from ski lessons to après-ski activities.

“I love the fact that my work allows children to enjoy experiencing travel and wintersports. I enjoy working closely with teachers to ensure that their trip is the experience they want for their students.“

Henry Clegg

Ski Trip Coordinator

Henry specialises in our Austrian resorts, having lived in the Tirol region where he worked as a ski instructor. In fact, Henry has skied most of the resorts we offer in Austria himself, allowing him to draw on his own personal experience to help make your trip even better. Henry first started skiing at the age of 8 and has some great memories of his own school ski trips, and the fantastic times he had with his friends. He loves using his knowledge and experience to organise trips to a part of the world he is truly passionate about, knowing that the pupils will enjoy it as much as he did.

“I’m never happier than when I’m on the slopes. I love the whole atmosphere of a ski resort – being surrounded by mountains, delicious food, and a different culture and language. For me, it’s the whole package.”