01/04/2008

Autumn Issue

Upcoming Events
Elite Development Squad Camp 03.04-06.04.08 Brisbane QLD AIR Mid Year Meeting 12.04.2008 Sydney NSW ISU Congress 16.06-20.06.08 Monaco AIR Duke Trophy 26.07-27.07.08 Brisbane QLD AIR AGM 10.08.08 Sydney NSW AIR National Championships 26.09-27.09.08 Sydney NSW AYOF 14.01-18.01.09 Sydney NSW 2010 Winter Olympic Games 12.02-28.02.10 Vancouver CAN

Welcome to the Autumn issue of the AIR Newsletter. We would like to congratulate all our skaters competing overseas on their International Results. Since September last year our Teams have raced at 2 World Championships, 6 World Cups, and 2 International Competitions. On their way they have broken numerous Australian Records and we have achieved our first World Cup Medal.

AUSTRALIAN Youth Olympic Festival 2009 After a great Short Track Event at the 2007 AYOF, Short Track has been included in the 2009 AYOF. Invitations have been sent to selected National Olympic Committees and we are looking forward to at least 5 National Junior Teams to compete in Sydney in Jan 2009. You can be part of this International Competition either as a Skater, Official, or Spectator. To run a competition this size we need a lot of help so why not make plans to be in Sydney next year and be part of this exciting event in the 2009 AYOF.

Volunteers at 2007 AYOF

01/04/2008

Autumn Issue

OWI ASSISTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIA’S ELITE SHORT TRACK ATHELETES It is thanks to a successful partnership between the Olympic Winter Institute (OWI), National Federation Cooperation and AIR, that Australian short track athletes who show promise can develop their skills with a view to compete in the Winter Olympics, as well as other international competition events. Short track is one of six sports or disciplines that are offered as part of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Winter Sports Program. According to Geoff Lipshut, CEO of the OWI, the AIS Short Track program operated by the OWI includes providing coaching, domestic training and international competition support to all of the athletes who have been offered a scholarship and an opportunity to participate in the program. “The program includes funding for expert technical coaching, facilities such as ice time, support for athletes attending international events including the services of a dedicated physiotherapist, as well as uniforms,” Geoff said. The Australian Olympic Committee formed the Australian Institute of Winter Sports (AIWS) after the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, with the support of the AIS and Australian Sports Commission. The aim of the Institute is to enable the development of elite performances in winter sports by Australian athletes, through the provision of adequate funding, world-class sports programming and technical coaching. On July 1st 2001, the organisation was renamed the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWI). Geoff said the OWI started the program for short track athletes back in 1999, having witnessed the incredible skill and potential of Steven Bradbury (Australia’s first Winter Olympic Gold Medalist and captain of the first OWI Short Track squad).

This is great news for Australia’s world-class short track competitors as they now have the support they need to develop their skills, as well as support to compete in an international arena alongside the world’s best.

AIR/OWI Australian Short Track Team Lachlan Hay, Tatiana Bourodulina, Alix-Myra Anderson, and Jeremy Beck

And now a view of Short Track from one of our Elite Athletes On the ISU World Cup Circuit with Alix-Myra Anderson With all that has gone on this year, all that I have witnessed, learned and experienced, I just don’t know where to start writing this article. At first I thought I would start right at the beginning, but then I noticed that a full overview from the start of my journey to the end, would take pages. Then I thought about writing about each individual competition, but did not want to bore you with race details, names, heats and times which I am sure you have all already raided the OWI web site for. So, instead, I am going to share with you some of my own personal highlights about the trip, not just the ones on the ice, but those off as well. I want to share with you the moments that really stuck in my head, those special moments that made it ever so amazing and memorable.

01/04/2008

Autumn Issue

World cup one brought me to Harbin, China. A gray landscape of jam-packed concrete buildings, strange smells, hectic traffic and the ultimate discord of Chinese cab drivers tirelessly leaning upon their horns. I was extremely nervous and excited as this was the first time I was to compete internationally for speed skating. Out of the whole Harbin experience, the two main events that stick in my head the clearest, was the reaction I had the first time I walked into the huge arena, been absolutely taken aback at the sheer size of it (Only to later find out that it was small compared to other stadiums we would soon visit), and the feelings I had after finishing each race. It was a feeling of pure excitement, adrenaline, awe, and the desire to get out there and do the whole thing again. In fact, I even remember puffing to myself after a 1500m, “OMG, lets do THAT again… when’s my next race…?” It had been the first time I had competed against such a large group of such high level skaters. Before each race, I believed I would be left for dead out on the track, but got the surprise of my life when I discovered that I wasn’t THAT bad compared to other skaters. I was thrilled just been able to hang onto the pack. World cups five and six were held in Herenveen – Nederlands, and Torino - Italy. Ever since I started speed skating, I had wanted to see and skate on a ‘long-track’ rink. But, as you all know, none exist in Australia. So when the coach of the National team, Ann Zhang, mentioned there was a long track at the rink in Herenveen, I made her promises she would let me have some spare time to skate around on it. It’s amazing how fun a long slab of ice can be. Watching me skate around the track amongst the crowds of other skaters occupying the ice must have been the same as witnessing a schoolgirl enter wonderland for the first time. It was also in Herenveen where I had my first international ‘stack’ during a race. Torino, was a learning experience of a different sort, as it was there that I learnt what it was like to have to sit in the stands, and watch everyone ELSE race and live the excitement. Yes, I disqualified myself not once, but TWICE in the qualifying rounds, meaning that I was officially out of that competition, and excluded from any further racing. Still, there was much to learn from watching and studying the other skaters which I will most likely have to face in the future. The World cups concluded with the last two remaining comps held in Quebec – Canada, and Salt Lake City – Utah. Quebec was not that eventful, and the only real memories I carry back from there are the clothes shopping, the out door ice rink, the strange sight of it snowing upwards in the midst of a blizzard, Apollo

Anton Ohno been DQ’d along with Lee Ho Suk, and having a very comical B final, and most of all, reaching the last strand of patience with travel. By this time in our world cup trip, we had missed planes, lost bags, toured every corridor of every airport, and even had flights turned around. But the final Competition in Salt Lake definitely made up for that. The ice was fast, the spirits were high, and I even managed to make a new PB. But the best thing from Salt Lake, one of the top highlights of the whole trip, was seeing Tatiana Bourodulina carry the Australian colors in third place over the finish line. When you see something like that, you feel a sense of pride to be an Australian and to see other Australians do so well for our country. Yet, from the whole trip, the BEST thing I experienced was the support and friendship of my team. They were there for me through thick and thin, teaching me, supporting me, making me laugh, and putting up with me when I was struck with clumsiness. Yes, the whole expedition may sound all fun and excitement, but there were also many times where it was hard, frustrating and nerve-wrecking, and it was at these times that my team were there the strongest, and for that, I thank them all greatly. I hope that one day you all have the chance to experience and witness all that I have. And my advice to you all is that indeed, hard work pays off. If you really want something, its not going to come to you if you sit on the couch, no one is going to get it for you, you have to get out there yourself. Take care all!

Alix – Myra Anderson. (photo courtesy of de Groot Photography)

01/04/2008

Autumn Issue

News From the Board Welcome to the first newsletter for 2008. I would like to thank Brett Throssell for taking over the role of Newsletter editor. If anyone has an article or information they would like to include in the Newsletter please contact Brett or Kerry McDuling. The AIR Junior Squad had a very successful trip to the ISU Junior World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Bolzano and then onto Germany for the Munich Junior Challenge. Some great results were achieved by the team of Marissa Earle, Grant Hester and Noah Essaghir. AIR would like to thank Pam Cavanagh for her role as Team Leader on this trip and to congratulate Pam and the Team on their results. The AIR/OWIA Team also have just finished the 2007-08 ISU Season at the 2008 ISU Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Korea. Congratulations to Ann and the Team on a great season of racing. Jeremy Beck and Lachlan Hay represented Australia at the World Championships after a long season of racing. John Bradbury was one of the Starters at the World Championships and Jim Hewish was the Chief Referee at the ISU World Team Championships. Alix-Myra Anderson had also achieved the qualifying times but elected not to attend this year and Tatiana will not be eligible to represent Australia at the World Championships until 2009. Project 10 held their second camp at Canterbury rink and will be holding their next camp in Brisbane. The Elite Development Squad will have their first 2008 camp in April at Acacia Ridge. There will be a general meeting on the 12th April at Bankstown for the State Delegates followed by the Strategic Planning meeting and in the afternoon a AIR Board meeting.

In a previous Newsletter we looked at the role of President of the AIR Board. This time we look at the role of General Secretary. The General Secretary is responsible for all the administration of the sport. They are the main point of contact for all the Stake Holders, ie The State Delegates, State Members, the National Coach, ASC, OWIA, AOC, ASADA, ISU,WADA, Media Liason Officer, National Records Officer, Website Editor. The General Secretary is responsible for all correspondence between the National Federation and others. Areas of administration include, regular contact with the Directors and governance issues such as organisation of Board , General and the Annual General Meetings. Drafting Policies, Risk management, Website review, Newsletter, Anti-Doping Officer.

State News Victoria Ice training at Oakleigh has resumed after the Xmas Break with encouraging numbers returning. All skaters have apparently maintained high levels of fitness and enthusiasm. The early morning ice sessions are providing hard, clean and fast ice. Through wind and rain we ran a Bunnings BBQ with ten keen members volunteering for a very successful fundraiser. Docklands ice rink is still coming, with construction starting soon. Bendigo ice rink has closed, but finance and planning are in place for a new location and rink. For the Christmas break-up we held a BBQ/Presentation with over fifty in attendance. Several skaters from the past accepted awards in recognition of their previous achievements and were given the opportunity to meet our newer members

01/04/2008
Queensland 2008 is looking good for Queensland. We have been able to hold our numbers after the Xmas Break and we are looking forward to an exciting year of racing. The QIRA has established a State Development Squad coached by Tabitha Caldecutt with Technical assistance from one of the National Team Members Lachlan Hay. Queensland is hosting the 2008 Duke Trophy at Boondall Ice Rink. We are hoping to retain the Duke Trophy again this year.

Autumn Issue

The 2nd Project 10 Camp was run in Sydney, on 14-16 March. Richard Nizielski once again ran the camp. The Camp programme included both on-ice and off-ice components. The on-ice component of the camp was run at Canterbury Ice Rink and centred on improving the relay changes for the skaters. All the skaters showed improvements in relay technique. The off-ice sessions included both off-ice training and information sessions including nutrition, maintaining training diaries and core stability training. The skaters are well on their way to achieving the qualifying time set for a team to attend a World Cup competition in the 08-09 season.

Project 10 The New Limited Edition Project 10 T shirt is now available for only $25. Show your support for our Olympic Ladies Short Track Relay Team.

Project 10 Skaters Krysia Child, Marissa Earle, Sinead Fogarty, Richard Nizielski, AlixMyra Anderson, Emma Coxon-Smith

Available in any Colour as long as it Navy Blue. Once these shirts are gone we will not be reprinting them. To order, contact any Project 10 Squad member, Alison Throssell, Lisa Jensen or Yvonne Hay