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Summer News 2008 / 2009
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December 1 - Summer Reporting

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December 1 - Summer Reporting

As usual regular news reports of Australian cross country skiers competing overseas will be posted in the 2008/2009 Team Report section on this site. To follow news reports from other nations try the links on the top left section of this page.

The following report is an edited excerpt from the National Team report published in the recent Spring 2008 edition of Australian Cross Country News:

It is October 1st and we've just finished up a national junior development camp at Falls Creek. Twelve talented cross country skiers under the age of sixteen were invited to attend, training for three days alongside World Cup Team members Esther Bottomley and Ben Sim and with more experienced Junior Team members Georgia Merritt and Simon Flower. Coaches Paul Gray, Jacinta O'Neill and Cameron Morton put the athletes though their paces and provided valuable input to the midday and evening information and discussion sessions. The skiing really was remarkable for this time of year, and special thanks have to go to the Falls Creek Resort Management for keeping the tracks open and groomed after the official season closing. All up it was a very positive training camp, and I look forward to having most if not all of these athletes on the Junior Team within the next few years.

During the senior team training camp the previous week coaches and athletes had a team discussion that hasn't been necessary for a number of years. With six men already qualified for the 2009 World Championship in Liberec in the Czech Republic and another handful attempting to qualify, the selection of four athletes for each event (and only two for the team sprint) could potentially be quite a complicated process. We plan to use a combination of prior FIS point results and specific selection events to determine the starts for each race, allowing our most consistently performing athletes time to prepare for their main events and selecting the athletes in the best shape immediately prior to the championships to take the remaining places.

With funding assistance from the Australian Olympic Committee and the XC Towards 2010 project we are aiming to have more starts in World Cups this season than possibly ever before. Regarding Towards 2010, we should again recognise the efforts of Cliff Wallis from the Sundeck Hotel in Perisher, who presented a cheque for $6,000 to the project at the James Squire Dinner at the Sundeck in mid September. SAXC has named five skiers to the World Cup Team for the coming season - Ben Sim, Esther Bottomley, Paul Murray, Aimee Watson, and Andrew Mock. These athletes (and potentially others) will compete in World Cup events in Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Italy, Sweden, and Norway. Similarly to last year the main goals on World Cup are to have athletes into the final of a Sprint event and into the top half of the field of a Distance event.

Other important events during the season include the World Junior/U23 Championship at Praz-de-Lys in France, and the pre-Olympic World Cup at Whistler in Canada. As usual Australian athletes will also be competing in Continental Cup, Nation Cup, National Championships and an assortment of other events throughout Europe and North America. Potentially up to 15 athletes could be on-site in Trun to compete at the Swiss Championships in the middle of January. It will be a busy season, and the challenge again will be for us to provide support at as many events as possible.

Finn Marsland, National Team Coach

XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via info@hoppet.com.au.