Dear Northern (NSW/ACT/QLD) Interschools Community Members,
On March 13, the National Interschools Committee (NIC) met in Melbourne to finalise planning for the approaching event year, which will be our largest on record with 36 Event Days across 4 Australian Resorts involving participants from all States and most Territories, with WA and TAS to join our NSW, VIC, ACT, SA, QLD Championships in 2019.
Nationally, last year saw us break through the 20,000 event-entry level from 6,380 individual student participants across 675 schools, and our objective is to continue to work toward this 5% per annum average growth-trajectory in the coming years. 2019 will be a most significant year of wide-spread consultation with the Australian Interschools community and our School Snowsports Coordinators, as we seek to re-fine and align our events program to our SSA Pathways and Athlete Development programs, as we collectively plan strongly for the approaching 2020-30 period in our sport, in-line with the SSA’s purpose statement ‘To support Snowsports Athletes and Develop Champions’. Our Interschools Snowsports objective is to support that purpose through three core themes of sustainability – safety – success.
The below news stories covers some significant developments in 2019 Interschools & Participation, including:
- National Event & National Rules Developments
- Important Rule Changes
- School Coordinator Information Evenings & Small-Group Workshops
- SSA Participation & Sport Developments
- November 7th+ 8th National Snowsports Participation & Development Conference
- November 7th Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards
- 2019 Interschools Participation Initiatives
- 2019 Snow Prediction.
Whilst lengthy, it is full of important information for school coordinators and the Interschools community.
We look forward to welcoming you and your school Snowsports communities to the NSW Snowy Mountains in 2019.
Chair, SSA Northern Interschools Snowsports
Co-Chair, SSA National Interschools Snowsports
National Event Directions: The NIC has determined to continue to develop the Australian Interschools Snowsports Championships as an Aspirational event aligned with the sport pathway. During 2019, through a range of stake-holder consultation opportunities at the Sport, School, and Snowsports community level, the National Interschools Committee and the National Participation Committee (NPC) will develop a National Interschools Working Paper on: Rules / Event Scheduling / Teams Selection / Quality Events. The National Participation Conference in November will finalise adoption of the recommendations of the working paper.
- National Rules: A National Rules Committee consisting of 10 representatives from the NSW / VIC / ACT State Interschools Committees (4), SSA (2) and the Resorts (4), will develop consistent AUS Interschools rules for implementation in 2020.
- National Event Schedule: The NIC will review the 2018 & 2019 AUS Event Schedule, with an objective to develop a consistent AUS Event schedule for implementation in 2020. This will include a focus on minimising the number of days out of school for Division 1 competitors, minimising the number of days in attendance per division, avoiding event clashes where possible/practical, introducing twilight event scheduling to maintain the current 5-day program.
- Team Selections: The NIC supports the view that building and developing a Team culture (both the individual small team and the specific larger school team culture) at participating schools is at the very foundation, the fabric of what Interschools Snowsports competition is all about. Accordingly, the current requirements of schools to nominate and select their participating teams will be supported through the development of a Teams Selection information document that will endeavour to support all school coordinators in their critical and key roles to create a competitive, cohesive and successful Snowsports team culture within their schools. We are in discussion with a number of schools across a range of states in the development of a best practice team selection document, which we will share with school coordinators in a variety of school settings.
- Quality Events: The NIC Rules Committee will examine the alignment of National Interschools event course specifications, with SSA events for the same/similar age-group. The NIC will also look to develop competition-level appropriate Regional and State Event course specifications.
The NIC has determined that a number of new rules will be developed for the 2019 National Event. Over the coming month, the SSA Northern Interschools Committee (Northern ISC), the Victorian Interschools Committee (VISC), and the South Australian Interschools Committee (SAISC), will review these National Rule changes to decide on the appropriateness of the introduction of these rules at their respective State and Regional level events in 2019.
Equipment Loss on-course: To improve competitor safety and in-line with National sport development policies, any competitor who has an equipment loss of ski/s or snowboard during a course run will now be recorded as a DNF (Did-Not-Finish) for that run only. If a skier loses a stock, then that competitor will be allowed to continue down the course. At all 2019 Northern (NSW/ACT/QLD) events, this new National rule will also be adopted, along with an introduction of a new DQ (Disqualification) rule that will cover any circumstance where a competitor falls and/or comes to a stop, but does not lose any ski or snowboard, then that competitor will have a maximum of 10 seconds to recover and re-join the run, rather than the current rule which indicates “within a reasonable time”.
Race-Suits: To improve competitor safety and in-line with National sport development policies, Alpine Race Suits are no longer permitted for Division 5 Alpine events. They also remain prohibited in Division 6 Alpine events. At all 2019 Northern (NSW/ACT/QLD) events, this new National rule will also be adopted. Alpine Race-Suit use will remain permitted for Division 4 to Division 1 events during 2019. The use of Alpine Race-Suits for Division 4 to Division 1 is currently under review for 2020 events, by the National Interschools Committee. There will be wide-spread consultation with the Interschools community via direct communication with school coordinators during 2019, with final recommendations being presented to the November 7/8 National Participation & Development Conference. The NIC is collaboratively working with the National Alpine Committee (NAC) and the wider SSA sports community in a review of the use of race suits, in-line with a whole-of-sport approach that will provide an FTEM (Foundations-Talent-Elite-Mastery > go to https://www.sportaus.gov.au/ais/ftem ) Snowsports Athlete Pathway Framework to provide accurate stepping stones for athlete progression along the snowsports pathway with an emphasis on skills and foundational movements, rather than on competition and results.
National Event Invites: The NIC will review the number of individual athletes invited to compete in the 2019 AUS event, over the coming month. The number of teams invited to compete through the respective State Event rules will remain the same, that is ‘up to’ 6 from NSW + 6 from VIC, whilst ACT, QLD + SA have a differing team qualification. It is anticipated that the number of individual athletes invited to compete will increase through the introduction of a new rule which will take into account how many of the current “Top 15 individuals” from State level events already receive a National event invite courtesy of their team invite. It is envisaged that the new rule may develop along the lines of “Up to the Top 10 individuals outside of all team individual invite recipients, dependant on attaining an agreed minimum State performance level, will be invited to compete at the AUS event”, or similar. The NIC is currently reviewing the 2018 State & AUS event results to determine the appropriate re-wording of this rule. The Northern ISC will also review the 2019 Regional & State individual invite rule, in-line with this National level development.
State and Regional Event Athlete Exemption Rule: In-line with the trialling of Elite/FIS individual athlete exemptions during 2017 & 2018, which enabled a very small group of athletes (there were less than 15 exemption applications in 2019), and upon input from schools, the NIC will move to develop a new 2019 Exemption Rule for individual athletes only, and not teams as we did in 2018.
The exemption would apply only to (official & recognised/accredited) SSA ETS and/or NSWIS or higher-level athletes, and would be an exemption to compete in the National Event only, via direct athlete/parent application to the NIC, and due to official and confirmed training and/or competition requirements elsewhere, whilst Regional/State events are being held.
The exemption would be discipline specific, that is, as an example, if a SBX NSWIS athlete, the athlete can apply for a National Event invite in SBX and SBGS and SBSS only, and at the individual level only. If their school already had a team qualify, and the possible inclusion of the athlete to that team is appropriate within the context of the existing rules for team progression through to the National Event, then that would be approved. Again, as an example and matter of clarification, that same snowboard athlete would not be granted an individual exemption to compete as an individual in any ski events, etc. Again, they could be added to a qualifying school ski-team so long as it was within the context of the existing rules for team progression through to the National Event.
Fluoro-Waxes: The use of fluoro-wax at any Interschools event, in all disciplines, is no longer permitted. A new rule covering the implementation and governance of this rule will be developed in the coming month.
School Snowsports Coordinators are recognised as our key-partner target group as we seek to achieve even greater success with snowsports participation and athlete development at State, National, and International level.
Our objective is to better align our highly successful and inspiring events-program to ensure a stronger connection to the SSA Pathways and Athlete Development programs, across all disciplines, that improves our capacity to identify potential champions of the future. Our School Coordinators play a pivotal role in that endeavour.
Small Focus-Group Interschools School Coordinator Conversations: These were a great success in 2018, which were held during our NSW/ACT/AUS events, and these will continue in 2019, as we head toward our end-of-season NPC Conference. These small-group discussions enable a focussed and targeted approach to initiating change and direction.
We recently held a similar meeting in Victoria on March 13th with six Melbourne school coordinators. Similar meetings will be held in Canberra and Sydney, with more details to follow. Sydney-based school coordinators who may wish to contribute in these conversations should contact Cathy Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org We intend to hold these small-group conversations during our attendance at the Sydney Travelplan Ski Expo to be held at the Dockside Balcony venue at Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour (note that this is a new Travelplan Ski Expo location), on Sunday 2nd June.
- Sydney School Coordinators’ Information Evening – Tuesday 7th May – 6.00 to 7.00pm: This will be held at Loreto Kirribilli – 85 Carabella Street, Kirribilli. NSW
- ACT/Southern NSW School Coordinators’ Information Evening – Tuesday 14th May – 5.00 to 6.00pm: Venue TBC.
- To increase participation and community engagement in competitive Snowsports at all levels.
- To convert participants into competitors.
- Maintain development of Snowracer as a single centralised digital platform for all Snowsports competitions. This includes Event Entry, Event HQ, Live-Timing / Live-Scoring, and access to Results.
- Promote Participation in competition via Snowracer and other participation initiatives.
- Improve Coaching and Officiating to Interschools and other Pathway levels, through the development of a new SSA Officiating Framework that will include online training opportunities.
QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit - Thursday 7th + Friday 8th November
This is the first of two major Participation initiatives for 2019.
Since mid-2018, a small development group has worked on the Conference program and objectives. We anticipate a conference attendance of between 200 to 250, with the intended audience being school Snowsports Coordinators from across Australia, and industry representatives/leaders from the Resorts, the Clubs, the SIA, the APSI, and private providers servicing the Snowsports industry in Australia. The Conference dates are structured to coincide with the new Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards event to be held on the Thursday evening – 7th November.
The Conference Outline.
Day 1 – Thursday 7th November – ‘Framing and Developing’ Snowsports Participation – 10am to 4.00pm
- Framing Participation: Keynotes, Panels and Workshops on Trends in Sport, Snowsports and Industry, including SportAUS, AOC, AIS, OWIA, SSA, NSWIS, Resorts, Clubs, Coaching, Training.
- Developing Participation: Keynotes, Panels and Workshops on Snowsports Athlete Pathways - from Participation to High Performance, including OWIA, SSA, Previous Athletes, Interschools, Schools.
- Inaugural 2019 SSA Australian Snowsports Community Awards – 6.00pm to 10pm
Day 2 – Friday 8th November – ‘Planning and Inspiring’ Snowsports Participation – 9.00am to 2.45pm
- Planning Participation: Keynotes, Panels and Workshops on Snowsports Risk Management, Child Safe Sport Strategies, and Participation Event Rules & Guidelines, including SSA, Interschools, Schools, Resorts, Snow Sports Research Academics.
- Inspiring Participation: Keynotes and Panel Presentations on the Athlete Pathway from School to the Olympics, through the inspirational & aspirational lens of previous and current Olympic Snowsports Athletes & Coaches.
The Conference and Awards evening dates are confirmed. The SSA working group is currently working through the finalisation of conference presenters and facilitators, with a view to seeking NESA accreditation for conference attendees. Costings for the full 2-day Conference package, to include all Conference sessions, including lunch, morning & afternoon tea, plus attendance and dinner/drinks at the Thursday evening Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards, are between the $350 to $450 per participant, with the final cost to be released with the initial registration papers due out to schools in early May – the beginning weeks of School Term Two.
QT Canberra, 1 London Circuit - Thursday 7th November – 6.00pm to 10.00pm
This is the second of two major Participation initiatives for 2019.
Established to compliment the Australian Ski & Snowboard Performance Awards being held in Melbourne on Wednesday May 1st, the Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards have been established to acknowledge and recognise athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs, schools, resorts, administrators and programs at the development and pathway level of snow sports. We anticipate a National audience of between 300 to 350 attendees.
The timing of the Community Sport Awards ties in with the end of the domestic winter season in Australia, is held outside of school holidays, and before many athletes and presenters depart for training and competitions in the Northern season. They are also being held during the 2019 National Participation Conference, also being held at the same venue in Canberra, with many attendees of the conference likely to also attend the awards.
An SSA working group will manage the development of this major initiative, with the wider Snowsports community now being consulted on the areas of the sport that should be recognised.
This event is planned to develop into an annual and very significant Awards and Celebration evening that enables us to promote and acknowledge SSA Programs and Activities at Community – Participation – Development – Pathways levels. There will also be a legacy component of this event, which will recognise previous and high-profile members of the Australian Snowsports community, in a National Snowsports Hall of Fame, a Legacy List, and enduring Life Membership.
Further details will be released mid-year.
Interschools Snowsports will add three further Participation & Development weekends to the 2019 Events Calendar, with half-day time-trial events scheduled during each of those three weekend periods. These additional event-experience opportunities have been developed following input from Schools, the Resorts and their respective Chambers of Commerce. They have been specifically scheduled for non-peak and lower volume visitation periods. These participation time-trials are for individual participants only rather than teams, and will be similar in format to our highly successful Amelia McGuiness Time-Trial events held in August.
Perisher - June 23 & June 30: The “SSA SUBARU / INTERSCHOOLS Participation & Development Series”, is a new participation experience scheduled for June 23 & June 30, at Perisher. The target market includes all existing schools wishing to practice their race-skills for the upcoming Regional events in Alpine GS & Snowboard GS, Ski Cross & Snowboard Cross, together with ‘new’ 2019 participants such as our youngest Division 6 competitors (Kindergarten & Year 1), new 2019 Schools, and any members of the general public who just want to give it a go. There will also be educational sessions and social functions around the event. More details on these Participation weekends/days at the Perisher Resort will be sent to School Coordinators in early May.
Thredbo – September 14: The “SSA TRAVELPLAN SKI / INTERSCHOOLS Experience Weekend”, is a new participation experience scheduled for Saturday September 14 at Thredbo. The target market includes the schools, parents and school coordinators who will compete in the Northern NSW & Queensland Event at Thredbo in 2020, along with any new 2020 Schools, and any members of the general public who just want to give it a go. There will also be educational sessions and social functions around the event. More details on this Interschools Experience at the Thredbo Resort will be sent to School Coordinators in early June.
It is planned that these new initiatives will develop slowly in 2019, with the intention to add these three weekends permanently onto the annual Interschools long-term calendar.
CLICK HERE for the Calendar of Important Dates for the Interschools Championships The dates include the entry open and close dates, course officials training dates and coordinators meeting dates in Sydney and Canberra.
CLICK HERE for the 2019 NSW, ACT, QLD Event Dates and Draft Schedule
Interschools Promo - Shorter - 2:21 minutes
Interschools Promo - Extended - 5:45 minutes
Interschools Promo - Short and Sweet - 0.48 seconds