Last week saw a number of our snowboarders crossing the border and heading down to Mt Hotham, VIC for the Snowboard Cross (SBX) Festival. Over 65 young riders from around Australia participated in the two-day Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) SBX Futures Camp where they completed a series of coaching, training and education activities.

A key aspect of the Futures camp is the number of high-performance coaches the athletes have access to, on and off snow. The athletes are coached by not only National SBX coaches, but also coaches from all of the main resort pathway programs (Perisher Winter Sports Club, TSC, MBRC, Hotham Snowboarders and international programs Reign and ISTC), the Olympic Winter Institute (OWI) and the New South Wales Institute of Sports (NSWIS). The coaching staff for the Futures Camp included two-time World Champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, current SMGS Year 12 student who is also a NSWIS athlete, Alex Dickson, and SMGS alumni Matt Thomas and Adam Dickson.

SMGS encourages its student-athletes to participate in events such as the Futures SBX Festival as it is another opportunity for them pursue their personal snowsports aspirations. On the SSA website, Program Manager Ramone Cooper has been quoted as suggesting, “It is a key step in the athlete pathway, providing young riders the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best athletes and coaches.” The SMGS community agrees with this assessment.

Once the Futures Camp was completed, athletes competed in the International Ski Federation Australia New Zealand Continental Cup (FIS ANC) & National Championship SBX for 2016. The first day started with qualifying runs for Grommets, Ladies and Men’s categories, held on Friday 5 August. Both races were then held on Saturday in bluebird conditions.

Students in attendance included:

Mia Chawner (Year 7)
Jess Dickson (Year 7)
Hannah Hall (Year 7)
Finn Sadler (Year 8)
Henry Baff (Year 9)
Tamara Cowley (Year 10)
Cora McCloskey (Year 10)
Maisie Phillips (Year 10)
Georgia Crisp (Year 11)
Alex Dickson (Year 12)

SMGS students’ results were as follows:

Australia and New Zealand Cup- Race 1 

Open Men

Alex Dickson- 15th
Henry Baff- 29th

FIS ANC SBX Open Men Results

Open Ladies

Cora McCloskey- 8th
Georgia Crisp- 9th
Maisie Phillips- 19th
Tamara Cowley- 20th

FIS ANC SBX Open Ladies Results

Grommet Boys

Finn Sadler – 1st

Grommet Girls

Jess Dickson- 3rd
Mia Chawner- 4th
Hannah Hall- 5th

Australian National Championships 

Open Men

Henry Baff- 26th
Alex Dickson- DNS

Australian National SBX Championship Open Men Results

Open Ladies

Georgia Crisp- 8th
Cora McCloskey- 12th
Tamara Cowley- 16th
Maisie Phillips- 19th

Australian National SBX Championships Open Ladies Results

Grommet Boys

Finn Sadler – 1st

Grommet Girls

Mia Chawner- 3rd
Hannah Hall- 4th
Jess Dickson- DNF

Unfortunately, Jess Dickson had a nasty crash in her semi-final. Thankfully, she has been cleared of any serious injury.

Of her experience at the SBX Festival, Maisie Phillips said, ”The Futures camp was awesome. I learnt a lot about elite levels of riding and competition and also specific racing techniques needed for SBX racing. It was also great to learn directly from current national team riders and coaches.”

The SBX Festival continues to be a great event, with all of the SMGS students representing their school in a brilliant fashion. It is exciting to see the students’ progress as well as a collection of solid results in this highly competitive event, with a large international field, including some Olympians. Our students did not sit back and take it easy in the heats. They really gave it their all. The SMGS community is very proud of its students, who were not intimidated by the size, age and experience of the other competitors. It was a great learning experience for all athletes.

A special mention to Finn Sadler, who won both races in his category, giving him the title of Junior Grommet National SBX Champion.

Another special mention to SMGS ESA athletes Cora McCloskey and Tamara Cowley who both scored wildcard entries to Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin’s Up-and-Coming Athlete Camp, “Chumpy’s Boarding House”. They join invited SMGS athlete Alex Dickson to participate in a week long immersion into Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullins high performance camp.

SMGS would also like to thank Olympian Jarryd Hughes for the time he spent with several members of the SMGS team. Jarryd competed at Sochi and recently won a Gold medal in Snowboard Cross at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen. Jarryd was very generous in sharing his time and knowledge with some lucky SMGS students who were very appreciative of his help and support.

Thank you,

Tim Bland
Head of Sport