XC Towards 2014 raises over $25,000

With the 2013/2014 international racing season already underway in Europe Ski & Snowboard Australia are pleased to report that the XC Towards 2014 project has exceeded its fundraising targets for the year. XC Towards 2014 banked around $26,500 this year, more than double than has been raised in any other year. The main beneficiaries of this fundraising effort are Australian athletes, with all money raised going towards international competition and training expenses.

XC-Towards2014-Cocktail-Team

XC Towards 2014 evolved out of fundraising campaigns leading into Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010, and after Sochi 2014 it will morph into XC Towards 2018. Since 2005 the major contributor to the project has been Cliff Wallis and the Sundeck Hotel, whose initiatives including fundraising dinners and the Sundeck Cup have contributed $5,000 or more every year. This year the project received a boost driven by team athletes and coaches. The “Drive for 25” (title stolen from the USA) brought more attention to XC Towards 2014 leading into the Kangaroo Hoppet, and then the Cocktail Party hosted by Mandy Milne and Patrick Montgomery in October really capped the whole effort off with over $9,000 raised just on one evening.

Towards 2014 funds for the coming season will be directed towards three main areas of athlete expenses: Sochi 2014 preparation, where money will go towards World Cup expenses and the pre-Olympic training camp; the 2014 World Junior/U23 Championship in Italy, where all accommodation, land transport and event fees will be covered; and the Australian Junior/U23 tour to Sweden, where the team is trialling setting up a European base in Ostersund. There will also be a small contribution to athletes competing at the other major event of the season, the World University Winter Games in Italy.

“When allocating funds we wanted to make sure our Olympic athletes were well supported, but also that the next group of athletes aiming for 2018 or even 2022 were receiving support as well,” said Finn Marsland, Australian cross country skiing high performance manager. “This is the first time that we’ve ever been able to cover all expenses for athletes at the World Junior Championship, so it’s been a great stop forward”.

The newly formed SSA XC sub-committee for Fundraising (headed up by National Coaching Director Allison Stoddart) already has plans for 2014 underway to keep the momentum going. Keep an eye out next year for a new dedicated fundraising website, more social functions and similar initiatives, plus the usual suspects the Sundeck Handicup Cup and the Kangaroo Hoppet waxing appeal. Thanks again to everyone who supported XC Towards 2014 this year. To follow the progress of the athletes that you’ve assisted keep coming back to AUSXC and also follow the athlete blogs and twitter updates on the right-hand side of this page.

Donations can be made to XC Towards 2014 via the SSA website.

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