Canberra, ACT – (7 November 2019) – Snowy Mountains Grammar School was announced as the Australian Snowsports School of the Year at the 2019 inaugural Community Sport Awards at the QT Canberra.

2019 was a spectacular year for our Snowsports Program, and we are honoured to be recipients of Australian Snowsports School of the Year Award for 2019.

SMGS prides itself on participation levels and the chance it gives students to be involved in a variety of snowsports events and programs. In 2019, 96% of all students were involved in snowsports in one or more of our snowsports programs  (either regular school full-day programs or Interschools participation).

This year, we entered a record 129 Regional Teams, 125 State Teams and 106 National Teams. SMGS has a track record of supporting students that have gone onto being performance athletes, including four Olympians and multiple World Cup athletes, along with various OWIA, NSWIS, ETP and SESA scholarship holders.

Where possible, the snowsports program aligns itself with the Snow Australia Athlete Pathway Framework (FTEM) across most Snow Australia disciplines.

Components of the SMGS snowsports program can be summarised as follows:

Participation focus and support:

  • K-4 Snowports Program
  • Wednesday Snowsports Program
  • Boarding Weekend Program
  • Interschools Snowsports

Performance focus and support:

  • Elite Snowsports Academy
  • Interschools Snowsports (where there are students who are currently at the T1 level or higher)
  • Support of athletes who compete overseas during the Northern Hemisphere Winter (many of whom are in the ESA program. This typically requires year round academic and pastoral care support.

Our small school community means that our students and parents are well connected across competition schedules, training loads, wellbeing support and academic expectations. This allows for agile student-athlete support across all snowsports levels.

The year in a review

This year, our Snowsports program, in conjunction with our other co-curricular offerings was once again selected as a finalist in the inaugural Australian Education Awards and we were crowned the Co-Ed Secondary School Champions at the Australian Interschools championships. Two of SMGS alumni were also named in the inaugural Interschool Ambassador Program – Antonia Murphy and Theo Coates.

In 2019 SMGS has also seen substantial growth in our participation numbers across our Junior School in all disciplines. This has had a huge impact on the Junior School team spirit and comradery across all Year levels.

This year, SMGS won the inaugural Amelia McGuiness participation trophy for both Junior and Senior School.

2019 was the third year of SMGS ESA program, which provides support to snowsports athletes who are at levels F3 and beyond in the FTEM Pathway Framework.

Due to the popular demand of this program, SMGS completed construction of a dedicated dual occupancy accommodation for 16 ESA program students.

ESA students were also given the opportunity to board during the school holidays so that they could have access to school holiday training with PWC and Thredbo.

SMGS Principal, Dr Andrew Bell was thrilled with the announcement of SMGS winning Snowsports School of the Year saying, “This award is a testament to the amount of planning, effort and, of course, passion from our staff and wider school community that has gone into the creation of our vibrant snowsports program over the years. It has been exciting to see our vision come to fruition to not only be the school of choice for snowsports student-athletes, but be able to provide a rigorous academic program in combination with a robust, multi-faceted snowsports program for students of all ages and ability with opportunities to participate across a diverse range of snowsports disciplines, programs, and competitions.

SMGS Director of Junior School, Martin Philpott echoed his colleagues sentiment, saying, “It was an honour to represent SMGS at the recent 2019 Snow Australia Community Sport Awards where SMGS was presented with the 2019 Snowsports School of the Year Trophy. It would have been great to have the whole SMGS Snowsport Team there to collect the Trophy. Congratulations must go the SMGS students as they have been the ones training, racing and representing SMGS all year.”

Community Sport Award nominations: 

SMGS students were also nominated across a number of the individual categories including:

Young Achiever of the Year – Letitia Murphy and Benjamin Wynn

Spirit of Interschools Award – Charles Beaton

Amelia McGuiness Australian Snowsports Development Foundation Scholarship recipients

 A number of SMGS Students were recipients of the Amelia McGuiness Australian Snowsports Development Foundation (AMASDF) Scholarships which were announced at a special ceremony to acknowledge the 10thanniversary of the foundation. Cath and Sam McGuiness, along with Snow Australia President Dean Gosper, were on hand to congratulate the scholarship recipients. 

Congratulations to the following students:

Abbey Wilson, Benjamin Wynn, Cassandra Nicholls, Charlotte Wilson, Flynn Mooney, Jack Hirst, James Peake, Joey Steggall, Letitia Murphy, Lottie Lodge