Sheffield ski expert and illustrator goes global with Ski A to Z book

Kimberley KayKimberley Kay
Kimberley Kay
As athletes begin their quest for medals in Beijing Sheffield’s Kimberley Kay is hoping to make it easier for people to try winter sports with the help of her debut book Ski A to Z.

Ski A to Z, an illustrated guidebook for skiers, designed to demystify the sport and answer the questions all newbies have.

It sees Kim, who studied Design & Visual Arts as a mature student at Sheffield College, share her expert knowledge gained through over 40 years of skiing that has included racing, teaching and heli-skiing - and her more recent passion of illustration.

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Advance reviews have seen praise from far and wide. Pat Sharples, head coach of Team GB Snowsport, presently in Beijing for the Winter Olympics, said: “This is an absolute gem and one of the best ski books I’ve seen. It’s perfect for families who are planning on going away on their first ski trip, as well as regular skiers, and it really is what it says it is. The A-Z of skiing.”

Ski A to ZSki A to Z
Ski A to Z

Kim, who lives in Mosborough, said: “I am passionate about skiing and so have written the book to make it easier for people to get into the sport. Although skiing is a snowsport it can be done year round in the UK on artificial slopes and indoor snow centres.”

“Unfortunately it’s not possible to ski or snowboard in the city at present. Sheffield Ski Village was a place where local people could try the sport and was the foundation for Olympians including James Woods and Katie Summerhayes who are both competing at their third Olympics in Beijing this month.

“I skied at Sheffield Village the weekend that it opened, and have great memories of skiing there, most recently with my husband and stepchildren in the years before it closed.

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"Other than taking advantage of local snowfall and skiing at Plumbley in Mosborough, and on the hill at Rother Valley Country Park we and other Sheffield skiers presently have to travel to Leeds, Manchester or Swadlincote to ski. So I really hope that it’s not too long before the people of the city can enjoy skiing again at a local venue. In the meantime people can learn more about the sport with Ski A to Z and will hopefully be inspired to try skiing at one of the northern venues.”

Kim said the design and visual arts courses at Sheffield College had been the foundation for her career move to art and illustration.

"The college’s wonderful tutors and studio facilities made for a great foundation for my art and illustration business Inspire by Kim,” she explained.

"All I have learned has been put into the Ski A to Z book which I packed with insights, advice and over 100 illustrations.”

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“When the lockdowns hit, and skiing was not possible, I used the time to focus on ski tips and illustrations and felt that they would make a great book. I created the cover design, sample spreads and sent these off in the hope of the book being published. I’m delighted that Meyer & Meyer Sport are publishing the book as this will help more people experience the joy and thrill of skiing.”

Ski A to Z is available through book stores and online. For more information go to