2021/22 - A weird and wild year. Here's our summary, and what to expect!
With the ever changing restrictions in each country last year due to COVID, in some instances it felt we were were taking one step forwards and two steps back. We managed to get an October camp out that was a huge success and a Feb half term trip to Sweden to attend some of their races (which was a a huge success too taking home quite a few medals!). But the last minute demand thanks to COVID made commitment to booking and organising camps incredibly difficult. So I (Jake) spent most of the season working close knit with one of our Team GB athletes travelling the world on the European Cup tour with a hint of the North American Cup races in Jan.
This opened up many doors for us as a team. We made great friendships with the Canadians, Italians, Americans and has now allowed us to collaborate where and when possible. Ultimately, this will keep our costs similar to the last five years, and not having to hike the price up due to inflation. It also means we have more eyes, more cameras on the hill. Which results in better coaching ratios and quality.
Although I spent most of my time one on one, I managed to squeeze off to a few Audi races and the ones I couldn't, we had our trustworthy and wonderful Laurence Willows attend race support for the kids. This enabled our athletes to get the best support for the dedicated parents who drove their youngsters out to the events. As a result - Our youngest athlete Henry Randall took home the U13 overall gold, as did our eldest in the U16 Audi kids tour cat Elizabeth Pragnell. Charlie Cooper also bagged a very respectable third overall in the U16 category, with another year to go, watch out for this one next season!
So moving on, we'll kick off our first ever Summer camp in August at Stelvio Glacier. Last year we trained alongside the Italian World Cup team, and what an experience for our athletes. For an Alpine example - When would you get to share a course and train alongside Rocket Ryding, or Henrik? That's one of the beautiful things about ski cross, is tracks are limited, so all the best skiers in the world can train and share tracks. This creates some epic friendships along the way not to mention some brilliant experience.. In March, we had breakfast next to Olympic Gold winner Ryan Regaz... The look on Charlie Coopers face was priceless!!!
We're also headed back to Stelvio in October to train alongside GBS, which is a great opportunity to show off your skills and get a snippet of what to expect when representing your country in the future. We've had many athletes progress through our program to get selected for GB, and they'll be many more to come.
So with the new season in mind, this is the perfect time to welcome new athletes. It's exciting the new prospect of an English Ski Cross squad forming with Snowsport England, which should in-turn boost the profile of ski cross and convert/introduce more athletes into the exciting discipline.
For more information on our ongoing planning program, don't hesitate to get in touch!