Ski & Snowboard Australia is pleased to announce the following staffing appointments for the 2018/2019 International season:
2019 World Championships, Seefeld, Austria
Head Coach: Valerio Leccardi
Wax Technicians: Randy Gibbs, Paul Moore
2019 World Junior/U23 Championships, Lahti, Finland
U23 Coach: Valerio Leccardi
Junior Coaches: Callum Watson, Teresa Riman
2018/2019 Junior Development Tour, location TBC
Coaches: Iris Pessey, Phillip Bellingham
2019 Winter Universiade, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Coach: Paul Kovacs
The 2019 World Championships will be main focus for the World Cup / COC Team next season, with only a small number of World Cups specifically targeted. The core of the team will be based Davos in Switzerland once again, the home town of head coach Valerio Leccardi.
“This will be the third major championship in a row that Valerio, Randy and Paul will form the nucleus of the support team,” said SSA XC Program Director Finn Marsland. “Over the coming months we hope to be able to confirm physiotherapist, assistant coach and manager positions for Seefeld, but first we need to secure additional funding.”
At the 2019 World Junior/U23 Championships in Finland dual Winter Olympian Callum Watson and Swede Teresa Riman will make their international coaching debut. Both individuals have held key coaching roles within the NSWXC dryland and winter programs in 2018, with Watson’s coaching involvement with NSWXC extending more than four years.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity and welcome the trust that SSA has put in us,” said Watson from Perisher, where both he and Riman have been helping to prepare NSW athletes for the Australian Junior Championships this weekend, and where Watson added another national title to his belt in the 15km freestyle last Sunday.
This will be the third time that an AUSXC Junior Development Tour will be organised, aimed at 16-17 year-old athletes with potential to progress to the World Junior championships in the following years. Former French racer Iris Pessey and two-time Winter Olympian Phillip Bellingham bring a wealth of international training, travel and competition experience to the tour, as well as recent coaching experience with juniors from around the country. The dates and location for the tour will be determined over the coming month.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me to share my knowledge, experiences and love for skiing, as well as my interests in event organization and team building,’ said Pessey from Falls Creek, where she is working for the winter with the Falls Creek Nordic Centre. “I’m looking forward to helping these juniors grow as skiers of course, but also as young adults.”
For the 2019 Winter Universiade in Russia, three-time World Championship representative Paul Kovacs has been hand-picked to lead the XC component of the Australian Team. Kovacs has been to three WUWG himself, twice as a competitor and once as assistant coach in 2011, and is looking forward to giving back to sport after hanging up his racing skis earlier this year.
“I’m extremely excited to step up into a coaching role and supporting the nordic skiing community just as it always supported me as an athlete,’ said Kovacs. “The World University Games events provide great experience for athletes, and I can’t wait to be a part of it again.”
Athlete selection policies for all major events are available on the AUSXC website: https://ausxc.com/national-team/selection-criteria/
Expressions of interest from athletes for the World University Winter Games and the AUSXC Junior Development Tour will be called for later this winter.