NSW Snowsports and Snowsports ACT merged with Ski and Snowboard Australia on 1 November 2018. There are still many loose ends to be tied, but the two State Snowsports organisations are now effectively part of the National body and newly re-baptised jointly as SSA Northern.
There is a saying, however – the more things change, the more they stay the same. In this case the changes will be seen initially in logos and centralized administration. Under that the combined voices of the merged organisations will improve communications and lobby power with National and State government sporting bodies. The merger has been applauded by the Sports Commission, the Aust Olympic Winter Institute, NSW Institue of Sport and NSW Department of Sport. In fact, it is the first time an Olympic Sport has amalgamated its National and State bodies. It is a model that will be closely watched and evaluated by other sports.
Other things stay the same. The people you see doing the work, planning and communicating in Snowsports generally and XC specifically will be those you are used to seeing about the place. The new SSA Northern Management Committee (NMC) is currently made up of the board members of NSWS and SACT. The various working committees for the disciplines are made up of the combined committees from both State organisations. The funds from NSW and ACT have been combined but will be identified as Northern funds and managed by NMC and the working groups.
The combined XC committees will now be known as Northern XC (NXC). The regional (Sydney, Canberra and Jindabyne) activities of this group will still be organized by their local committees with the benefit of new support.
The Nordic Shelter will continue to be managed by the working committee of volunteers with a special interest in the facility. Funds for day-to-day expenses, maintenance and development will come from fundraising, grants and donations, just like they always have done. SSA has agreed, and NPWS has been re-assured, that the facility will continue to be provided for the use of XC skiers, just like it always has been.
From the outside, there may not be much visible change, especially in the short term. From the inside, there will new assistance and support for volunteers and participants. And it is planned that there will be a lot of change in the form of more support, services, bright ideas and a deep pool of knowledge and experience. It is all unfolding and there are many unknowns – a very exciting place to be!
20 November 2018