Ski & Snowboard Australia works closely with its club, resort and institute partners to ensure that the opportunities are in place for Australian snowsport athletes to progress through their sport and achieve at their highest level. The diagram below outlines the pathway for each of the disciplines overseen by SSA and includes the respective stages and categorisations for each level of the pathway. The full document can be viewed on the SSA website.
For cross country skiing the key recognised pathway programs are the State Teams and Squads. These are operated by the relevant state organisations, NSW Snowsports, Snowsports ACT XC and Ski XC Victoria. In addition, a number of pathway opportunities are run by SSA XC. The U16 Emerging Talent Camps act as a stepping stone between the State Junior Teams and the National Junior Team. SSA Futures Camps are generally used a feeder into the State Squads, and can also be tailored for club or resort pathway programs.
There are plenty of other opportunities available to progress within the development pathway. Many skiers gain their first taste of cross country ski racing through the Interschools or resort based junior races such as the Paddy Pallin Junior, Snow Trek & Travel Mini-Series, or Lake Mountain Mini-Series. A great step after this is to take part in the Joey Hoppet at Falls Creek, which provides the opportunity to ski alongside the best juniors in the country while gaining a taste of international competition. The Interschools to the Olympics pathway brochure provides examples of other racing opportunities.