Cross Country skiing in Perisher has a few challenging weeks ahead of us. With Sydney locked down for most of the rest of our winter season it will be up to those of us still here to maintain and promote XC enthusiasm for the members of our community who will be able to travel to Perisher.
We have significant resources - good snow, a committed volunteer group and a strong community of XC enthusiasts. We also have a very committed coach who is managing our athlete program, albeit one with a lot of uncertainty. Interstate travel is unlikely in the near future. There are 3 FIS sanctioned events scheduled from this coming weekend, concluding on Aug 22. (1 in VIC and 2 at Perisher). It is unknown at this stage if the FIS events will proceed but the one scheduled for this weekend has already been changed to NSW and VIC state based (Non-FIS) events. This is a selection year for the Bejing Winter Olympics and I imagine there is a lot of anguish in the minds of our elite athletes.
What can we do to maintain enthusiasm and promote our sport? We can start by presenting our traditional events and activities for as many skiers as can get to them.
Available options have been discussed with various race organisers and we have come to the conclusion that any events being held in NSW this winter will be run on the Perisher trail system including access to the Porcupine/Mt Wheatley trails. Presentations will be held at the Shelter (outside, of course) and we will approach event organisers to come up with snacks that can be handed out COVID-safely – something different and give the sausage sizzlers a break.
Starting tomorrow, Friday (29 July), the NSWACT XC SPRINTS will be held to give our athletes a good run. Then the Kosci Tour on Saturday and the PXC Cup on Sunday. We will endeavour to come up with interesting variations of our trails that will include Porcupine Link, Rock Ck and Valhalla - Dan the Groomer will get a workout!
Why are we telling you all this? We will need help all through XC Week – to share the load with running the events, but also by encouraging the locals to come along and participate. The usual event organisers and participants from Sydney will still be in lockdown (except for Gus and Ian Hordern who will represent KAC) - so it will be up to the locals to make sure that events and activities have people to run them and participate in them. How can you help?
XC Winter 2020 was quiet, relaxed and a bit lonely. XC Winter 2021 is more complicated but offers us the opportunity to share it more actively with our friends. Join us!