Will Marcinowski is passionate about his job.
That passion has been key to the Ohau Snow Fields instructor’s success. Last month, he was named Snow Sports New Zealand instructor of the year.
Mr Marcinowski, who has spent the past four winters working at Ohau, said it was the family atmosphere of the small skifield that kept bringing him back.
“Whatever we do with our customers, we just go above and beyond.
“If you go to other skifields, it feels like you are going to a factory or warehouse.”
Originally from Dunedin, Mr Marcinowski has always felt a connection to the area. His mother was a “dam baby”, as her parents were working on the hydro-electric dams when she was born.
His mother was a ski instructor at Ohau Snow Fields during the ’80s, and taught Mr Marcinowski to ski when he was 5-years-old. He enjoyed many holidays to the Ahuriri, he said.
At 16, he switched to snowboarding, although he instructs both disciplines.
Teaching people how to ski and snowboard was “rewarding”, he said.
“At Ohau, we get a lot of people where it could be the only lesson they will ever have.
“Different people [who] don’t really ski much come here, so you really want to make it enjoyable for them, and be as relatable as possible.”
The nine-to-five life is not for Mr Marcinowski – in the summer, he heads over to Westport to work as a cave guide.
“I really like my summers, so I like to do some sort of outdoor job.”
Mr Marcinowski said he would be back working at Ohau next season.
“It’s easy to do a job when you love it.”
Ohau Snow Fields snow school director Nathan Hunter said it had been awesome to watch Mr Marcinowski progress in his career for the past four seasons.
“He’s been a real inspiration to the local children. He has worked with the local school for a number of seasons,” Mr Hunter said.
“Will is one of the most requested instructors in Ohau, on both skis and snowboard.
“He creates a fantastic atmosphere in his lessons with his energy and skills as an instructor. His lessons are interesting and exciting.
“Will’s personal riding is also full of energy and exciting to watch – it inspires people to take up snowboarding.”