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2019 will be our biggest year yet - a message from the Chairman on 2019 Initiatives

Dear Australian Interschools Community Members,

As the end of the school year approaches, we are in strong preparation for 2019 and a year of new and exciting developments at many levels of Snowsports. School Snowsports Coordinators and School Principals should note some important calendar dates in this E-News.  

Ski & Snowboard Australia / NSW Snowsports / Snowsports ACT Unification

On Monday 3rd December, the combined Boards of SSA and NSW/ACT (now known as the SSA Northern Management Committee – NMC) collectively met for the first time, in Canberra. This was an historic moment, with the ASC CEO Kate Palmer also in attendance as we recognised this important moment in Australian Snowsports History, becoming the first Olympic Sport in Australia to unify into a single organisation to govern the whole sport from the grassroots to the elite. This is an exciting development and time for our sport, and over the coming 6-8 month period, we will look to keep the wider Snowsports community informed of new developments and opportunities that will flow from this new direction. 

Interschools & Participation Development

The SSA/NSW/ACT Unification will initially have a small effect at Interschools management level. Our NSW-ACT-QLD Interschools Committee will now be known as the SSA Northern Interschools Committee. Our National Interschools Committee (NIC) will be maintained in its current structure, and includes Victorian & South Australian representation. The NIC reports to the SSA National Participation Committee (NPC), and includes Interschools, Resort, Sport and Business representatives. At NSW-ACT level, Wendy Olsen moves into an expanded role as the SSA Northern Operations Manager and is located in Canberra, Bec Clark moves into a larger National role as the SSA Pathways Development Manager and is located in Sydney, whilst Cathy Lambert is the SSA Northern Administration Manager and is located in our new SSA Jindabyne office.

SSA and National Interschools has opened a NSW-based office at the Jindabyne Sport & Recreation Centre, and we have leased significant operational space with exciting development proposals to be announced early in 2019. We are currently in significant discussions with the NSW Office of Sport and NSW Sport & Rec on both infrastructure and program development in Snowsports, that will greatly improve our capacity “To support Snowsports athletes and develop Champions.” 

Some Important and new 2019 Calendar Dates for School Snowsports Coordinators & Principals

2019 will be our most significant year of wide-spread consultation with the Australian Interschools Community in many decades, as we seek to re-fine and align all aspects of our highly successful and inspiring events program to ensure that it better identifies potential champions of the future, and links strongly to our SSA Pathways and Athlete Development programs, across all disciplines. Our School Snowsports Coordinators are recognised as the key-partner target group, if we are to achieve even greater success with our sports growth and development at State, National, and International level. Our focus moving forward will centre on three main themes of sustainability – safety – success.  

Focus-Group Interschools School Coordinator Conversations: These were a great success in 2018 in NSW/QLD, and will expand in 2019, as we head toward our end-of-season NPC Conference. These small-group discussions will enable a focussed and targeted approach to initiating change and direction. We are also considering creating three small ‘think-tanks’ in 2019, consisting of (invited/selected) Large / Medium / Small-School school coordinators, to test and discuss concepts. These meetings will be held in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, with the initial dates being March 13 + 14, and May 3 (Melbourne) / May 6 + 7, and June 3 (Sydney) / May 28 + 29 (Canberra). These meetings will also continue during our 2019 events period. More details will be forwarded to schools in 2019.  

SSA National Participation Conference - Canberra - Thursday 7th + Friday 8th November: This will be a major initiative in 2019. Throughout 2018, a small working group has developed the Conference program and objectives. The National Participation Conference will see over 100 School Coordinators – SSA Representatives – Resorts – Clubs - Officials come together in Canberra for a 2-day Conference focussed on Snowsports Participation & Development priorities, Interschools Snowsports Workshops, National Sports & Education directions, and Snowsports Pathway Developments. This conference will be held at QT-Canberra, located in the inner city at New Acton. The preferred location of Canberra, as the Nation’s capital, rather than a State capital, is a symbolic message to our National Snowsports Community. The conference will be a mix of key-notes from Sports & Education Leaders, small-group presentations from Sports Experts, small-group discussions on specific Interschools & Participation directions, and panel-style Q & A sessions. Registration details will be forwarded to School Coordinators & Principals toward the end of Term 1, 2019 (early April).

SSA Australian Snowsports Community Awards Evening – Canberra - Friday 8th November: As part of the 2018 Snowsports Unification process, SSA and SSA Northern have agreed to develop a new and exciting “SSA Australian Snowsports Community Awards” Event. This evening awards event will be held in the QT-Canberra Ballroom on Friday 8th November, and follow the NPC Conference.  This additional SSA Awards evening will 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, and will include the Resorts, the Clubs, the Schools, the Volunteers, the Parents, the Athletes, the Coaches, and others. An SSA working group will manage the development of this major initiative, with the wider Snowsports community to be consulted on the areas of the sport that should be recognised. 

SSA Awards Evening – Melbourne - Wednesday 1st May: The SSA 2019 Snowsports Awards will be held in Melbourne at 7pm on Wednesday 1st May. Further details will be forwarded in early 2019. These annual awards will move toward a more Athlete, Sport and Industry focus at high performance level in future years. Details on applications for the SSA Snowsports School of the Year, and the SSA Outstanding Achievement of the Year for Small Schools, will be forwarded to all schools at the beginning of the 2019 school year, with applications due toward the end of March. 

Seasons Greetings and our thanks to all of our Interschools Snowsports Community for your endeavours and achievements throughout 2018. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2019.  

 

Regards,

Steve Cooper

Chair, Ski & Snowboard Australia National Participation Committee - NPC

Chair, Ski & Snowboard Australia National Interchools Committee - NIC

 

6th December, 2018. 

2018 Event Involvement Snapshot

The following snapshot indicates that our average collective growth sits at 5% across all main indicators, with the strongest growth this year in the Victorian, South Australian, and the ACT events, all of which have experienced 10+% growth. Our collective congratulations go to the respective State & National Interschools School Coordinators, our State Committee Members, our Employees, and our Resort partners. Our sport continues to grow in a healthy upward trend, across all key indicators – entry levels / participant levels / number of schools involved. We have broken through the 20,000+ Event Entry mark for the first time in our collective history !

2018 Event

Northern NSW / QLD

Sydney

ACT/Southern NSW

NSW State

NSW/ACT/QLD Totals

2018 Entries(2017 in brackets)

2,742 (2,652) +3.5%

2,312 (2,273) +1.5%

2,047 (1,837) 

+11%

3,408 (3,348) +2%

10,509 (10,110) +4%

2018 Participants 

1,243 (1,225) +1.5%

1,053 (1,036) +1.5%

983 (863) 

+14%

1,615 (1,527) +6%

4,894 (4,651) +5%

2018 Schools

212 (203) +4.5%

63 (59) 

+6 %

110 (103) 

+7%

200 (183) 

+9%

385 (365) 

+5.5%

 

2018 Event

VIC State Ski + Board

VIC State XC

VIC Totals

2018 Entries (2017 in brackets)

5,706 (5,224) +9%

726 (664) 

+9.5%

6,432 (5888) +9%

2018 Participants 

2,534 (2,312) +9.5%

397 (360) 

+10%

2,931 (2,672) +9.5%

2018 Schools

208 (188) + 10.5%

38 (39)

n/a

246 (227) 

+8.5%

 

2018 Event

South Australian Event Totals

2018 Entries(2017 in brackets)

218 (171) 

+27.5%

2018 Participants 

207 (161) 

+28%

2018 Schools

52 (43) 

+21%

 

2018 Event

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL 

Event Totals

2018 Entries(2017 in brackets)

3,380 (3,337) +1.5%

2018 Participants 

1,661 (1,598) +4%

2018 Schools

280 (233) 

+20%

 

2018 Event

NATIONAL 

OVERALL 

Totals

2018 Entries(2017 in brackets)

20,539 (19,506) +5%

2018 Participants 

9,693 (9,082) +6.5%

2018 Schools

963 (915) 

+5%

A Message to the Interschools Snowsports Community

In an exciting development and time for our sport, November 1st 2018, marks the date when NSW Snowsports and SnowSports ACT ceased to operate and be managed separately. We have unified with Ski & Snowboard Australia (SSA) and are now operating as ‘SSA Northern’.

SSA Northern incorporates existing Northern (NSW, ACT, QLD) operational activities, including the NSW, ACT and QLD Interschools Championships, and there will be new developments and opportunities that will flow from this new direction.

The draft schedule is now available for the 2019 NSW, ACT, QLD Interschools Championships. You will notice on the schedule are few changes and initiatives:

New name and new participants - The 2019 SSA Northern States Interschools Snowsports Championships August 20-25 at Perisher will invite ACT and QLD schools to participate in a bigger State event with the NSW schools. The same qualification rules will apply to NSW schools to qualify into this event. Participation from ACT and QLD schools will be optional in 2019. In its initial year and given the late notification of the new event, ACT and QLD schools will receive a SSA Northern States Invite as well as National Invite from their results at the Regional Championships. ACT and QLD schools can choose to enter both events or just the National event. Detailed information on qualifications for event progression for all states is provided further below.

Following the success of the 2018 National Race Schedule where most Primary Events were conducted over the first 2-3 days and most Secondary Events were conducted over the last 2-3 days, with the Cross Country Events on the middle day, we have moved to do the same at the 2019 SSA Northern States Event. We have also made a purposeful decision to avoid any future event clashes on the Cross Country Event Day, at the request of both the larger schools and the Cross Country Community, in an endeavour to maximise Cross Country participant levels.

The 2019 Subaru Australian Interschools Championships are now confirmed to be held in Mt Buller September 4-8. A draft event schedule will be published soon.

The National Interschools Committee (NIC) and National Participation Committee (NPC) continues National Rules Discussions. Through on-going small group discussions held during 2018, it has become apparent that significant research and evidence is required to facilitate agreement and change of rules which have existed for over 30 years. It is also evident that any change to the National Rules would have a flow-on effect to respective State Rules. The feed-back from school coordinators throughout our small group discussions indicates a very strong desire to be a part of that rules discussion, and there will be an opportunity for further school coordinator involvement in 2019. More information on this will be published by the end of the month.

At the same time, we are moving to develop additional result generation capabilities that would enable us to produce multiple (2019) event results based on different rules, for cross-comparative purposes that would better evidence the direction for change.

 

2019 NSW, ACT, QLD Rules of Qualification for State and National Events

NSW Schools

From the NSW Regional Championships subject to competitive times/scores, the top five NSW placed teams and the top ten individual NSW competitors from Divisions 1-5 in all disciplines, and Division 6 in Alpine and Ski Cross, will be eligible to race in the NSW State Championships (subject always to the discretion of the organising State Committee).

From the SSA Northern States Championships subject to competitive times/scores, the top six NSW placed teams and the top fifteen individual NSW competitors from Divisions 1-5 in all disciplines (other than in Slopestyle, see slopestyle qualification below), and Division 6 in Alpine and Ski Cross will be eligible to race in the Australian Interschools Championships (subject to the discretion of the Australian Interschools Committee).

 

ACT Schools

From the ACT-Southern NSW Championships, subject to competitive times/scores, ACT teams that place within the overall top 6 team placing’s, along with ACT individual competitors that place in the overall top fifteen individuals, from Divisions 1-5 in all disciplines, and Division 6 in Alpine and Ski Cross, will be eligible to race in both the SSA Northern States Championships and the Australian Interschools Championships (subject to the discretion of the Australian Interschools Committee).

 

QLD Schools

From the Northern NSW & QLD Championships, subject to competitive times/scores, QLD teams that place within the overall top 6 team placing’s, along with QLD individual competitors that place in the overall top fifteen individuals, from Divisions 1-5 in all disciplines, and Division 6 in Alpine and Ski Cross, will be eligible to race in both the SSA Northern States Championships and the Australian Interschools Championships (subject to the discretion of the Australian Interschools Committee).

 

Slopestyle Qualification

From the SSA Northern States Slopestyle Championships, up to the top fifteen individual competitors from Division’s 1-3, having received a minimum acceptable score, will be eligible to compete in the Australian Interschools Championships. There are no team invites. For State Slopestyle competitors a minimum acceptable score (for National Championship progression) will be determined by the Interschools Committee following completion of each event, and before invitations are extended to the National level of competition. Historically this has been a score which is a minimum 45% of the total attainable score (45/100) and is often as high as 55% of the total attainable score (55/100). The minimum progression score determined by the Interschools Committee reflects the Championship Division level (competitor age), the course conditions, and the skill-level and quality of the athlete field.  No National Championship points will be awarded to Slopestyle event results and only individual medals will be awarded at the National Event. 

Interschools Merchandise

Interschools has again partnered with The Regatta Shop to create Merchandise for the Interschools Championships. 

Trackpants, Teeshirts, Hoodies, and Zip Tops are now available for purchase online with the competitor names featuring on the back of the tops.

Merchandise is available for the Regional, State and National Championships.

You can view and purchase items at https://www.theregattashop.com.au/pages/the-ski-shop

2018 Interschools Rules of Racing

The Interschools Rules of Racing have been updated for the 2018 season. The changes are highlighted in blue bold print. 

2018 Interschools Rules of Racing

Here is a list of Rule Changes for 2018:

  • 1.8 - Entry fees increased from $45 per event, per competitor to $47. $30 registration fee remains the same.  For individuals that do not compete at the Regional level and join for the first time at the NSW State Champs (XC or Slopestyle events) the school will be invoiced their registration fees.
  • 1.4 - All volunteers must be 19 years or older and cannot be enrolled at school (High School, College)
  • 1.10 - If payment for entry fees is not received by NSW Interschools prior to bib collection, a purchase order from the school must be provided.
  • 1.14 -  School students from all ability levels are encouraged to enter, with an emphasis on fun and participation in the initial Regional Championships.  As the competitions move into the NSW State and Australian event, the level of competition and the degree of difficulty increases.  It is advised that all competitors must be able to execute linked turns and ride a chairlift/T-bar confidently, prior to competing in Regional Level events.
  • 2.13 – Concussion must be taken seriously to safeguard the long-term welfare of all competitors.  All cases of concussion must be reported to the NSW & ACT Interschools Committee immediately.  Competitors suspected of concussion must be removed from snow and may not resume competition on the same day.  Any competitor suspected of concussion must be thoroughly assessed and monitored by a healthcare professional.  Competitors with concussion must progress through a Graded Return to Sports (GRTS) protocol.  Competitors must receive medical clearance before returning to sport.  For further information, please refer to the Ski & Snowboard Australia concussion Policy and Guidelines. https://www.skiandsnowboard.org.au/resources/concussion-guidelines/
  • 5.12 – No race bibs are to be discarded on course or on the mountain.  If race bibs are found, they can be identified, and those competitors will be asked to donate $50 to the Kosciuszko National Parks & Wildlife Service.
  • 7.14 – From the State Slopestyle Championships, up to the top fifteen individual competitors from Division’s 1-3, having received a minimum acceptable score, will be eligible to compete in the Australian Interschools Championships.  There are no team invites.  For State Slopestyle competitors a minimum acceptable score (for National Championship progression) will be determined by the Interschools Committee following completion of each event, and before invitations are extended to the National level of competition.  Historically this has been a score which is a minimum 45% of the total attainable score (45/100) and is often as high as 55% of the total attainable score (55/100).  The minimum progression score determined by the Interschools Committee reflects the Championship Division level (competitor age), the course conditions, and the skill-level and quality of the athlete field. No National Championship points will be awarded to Slopestyle event results and only individual medals will be awarded at the National Event.
  • 8.2 – Volunteers who fail to check in at the event registration desk or fail to report to the top of the course after checking into the registration desk, the school will be penalised $110 per official.
  • 8.11 – Interschools requests that Gate judges are not accompanied by smaller children whilst on course.

 

  • All competitors must wear an approved snowsports helmet.  Other protective wear is recommended but is not compulsory.
  • Alpine Race Suits are permitted in Divisions 1 – 5 only.  No Race Suits are permitted in Division 6
  • Competitors must wear either a snowsports jacket and pants, or soft-shell jacket and pants, unless competitors are wearing a race suit, when competing in their timed runs.  Outerwear such as hoodies, long sleeve shirts, school jerseys and track-suit pants will not be permitted on-course when competing and/or training. This rule is being introduced for course and competitor safety reasons, and is in-line with NSW Department of Education school snowsports clothing guidelines.  Failure to wear the correct and approved race clothing will lead to removal from the event and the event result.

 

Please familiarise yourself with the Rules of Racing before your competition.

Interschools Handbook 2018

The Interschools Handbook has been updated for 2018. The handbook includes helpful information on what to expect at Interschools events, and information for school coordinators, volunteers, team managers and parents. 

There are some important updates that we would like to highlight for 2018:

  • Race entry fees are $47 per race, per competitor at each Championships. The annual once-only registration fee remains at $30 per participant and is invoiced and paid at the ACT-Southern NSW Interschools Championships. For individuals that compete for the first time in the season at the NSW State Championships (in cross country or slopestyle), the school will be invoiced for their registration fees after the event.

  • Volunteer Course Officials must be 19 years or older. Birth dates are now verified on the volunteer waiver form.