7th February 2013
**Mick Brennan wins silver in the final Europa Cup Super G before the World Championships that start in La Molina, Spain in 10 days time**
January 2013: Allocate Software visit CSDST training in Serre Chevalier: Click here to find out more.
CSDST GALA DINNER/AUCTION FUNDRAISING EVENING
Due to the outstanding success of the CSDST Gala Dinner and Auction in 2011, where a staggering £42,000 was raised for the CSDST, the next dinner is taking place on Thursday 18th April 2013 at The Royal College of Physicians, London. We would very much like to see you there.
To find out more and to purchase tickets, please contact Mrs Sarah Parry (email@example.com)
Winter Training Starts Here....
Neustift 09 - 26 October 2012
Following Shock Testing for the Monoskis at Landgraaf with Supacat the Performance Team moved on to Austria to commence their full winter training programme on the Stubai Glacier. Temperatures were warm but the requisite slopes were open for the team to find their mountain feet again (pun intended).
The first few days of the camp were spent free skiing whilst working on technique under the scrutiny of Scorge. Pete and Mick skied with the team for a few days before moving on to Hintertux to train with the British Disabled Ski Team. As they left a heavy and welcome fall of snow covered the Tirol region and allowed for a day of cross training (of the fun kind) on fat boy powder skiing whilst not detracting from the application of technique by Anna, Kingsley and John.
The weather quickly warmed up with a favourable wind drying out the snow leaving firm conditions for the start of gate training. The courses were set to develop our tactical line through gates utilising basic rhythm courses of stubby poles and drills for skiing correct lines were completed repetitively. Combinations of brush gates, mesh gates and stubbies were set at a variety of different angles and locations in front of, adjacent to, approaching and after gates ensuring athletes applied constant technique whilst forcing them to make a turn, or keep a line, thus transferring our technique from the piste to the gates. The technical difficulty of the courses and the demands of the drills was increased daily as progression was made. In the last week of the camp a combination of stubby and full size gates were used; this aimed to gradually reduces the visual distraction of full gates on a course in a measured and progressive manner. On the final day of training the full poles were placed at an angle to force skiers to articulate and essentially avoid being smacked in the face if stance and technique was incorrect whilst skiing the course!
The glorious weather (cloudless skies and balmy temperatures) meant that Scorge was generally in a good mood throughout all the training sessions. It also meant that he was able to feel his feet throughout all the training sessions - a sensation that most of us on the team miss! Off snow we carried out dry land physical training by making the most of the glorious October weather with hill walks and impromptu circuits sessions in the barn. Ski tuning and maintenance were an integral part of each day post-training (have a look at our video at http://youtu.be/N7ubL_zGgnE) and evenings were spent conducting video review, goal setting and motivational development.
Overall the training block was extremely successful for the Performance Team. It was a really good opportunity for the athletes to accustom themselves with working on their longer GS skis, having spent the summer skiing predominantly on short slalom skis. They are now ready to move on to training full length courses of GS gates on their return to Subai in November and progressing on to steeper and more complex courses prior to racing.
Supacat Suspension Shock Testing - Landgraaf October 2012
At the beginning of October CSDST traveled out to Landgraaf, Holland, followed by Jamie Clarke and Tim Dyer from Supacat with the aim to help the mono-skiers to optimize the set up of their suspension systems. As well as being a financial donor to CSDST, Supacat have put their engineers and expertise in suspension to work in helping us get the suspension set up correctly for different races and conditions.
Tim fitted data logging equipment on the mono-ski rigs and when this was done it was recording every movement that we made in the mono-ski; from the range of movement from the suspension to the lateral angles that we where creating when skiing down the slope.
Once we had successfully recorded data Jamie would send this across to David Potter who helps out Supacat with the suspension on their vehicles and is one of the worlds leading suspension experts. From having a quick look at the data David could tell what was happening with the suspension and then would make some suggestions on how to improve it by either increasing or decreasing the amount of rebound or compression for each skier.
For more data we swapped over the spring to a softer spring to see how the readings would respond. We found that we were on the perfect weighted springs for ourselves in the mono-skis and it was just a case of changing the compression or rebound when it comes to the different race disciplines. After all the data had been collected we got a chance to feel for ourselves what it would feel like if we had changed the setting of the compression or rebound on the rigs. It was really useful for us, as the skiers, to do this so we could come to understand what different settings we could use in different snow conditions.
We’d just like to take this opportunity to thank Jamie Clarke, Tim Dyer and David Potter for their continued help and support that they have given in order to help us get the maximum benefits from our suspension systems.
In early October, the team had another busy week. Foundation Team coaches Terry and Fram update their coaching qualifications on a Snowsports Scotland course. A successful season launch media event on Wednesday at the Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead where we gave supporters an update on the team and formally received the fantastic new team Ford minibus complete with new look team graphics. Then On Thursday there was a fundraising quiz with headline supporter Selex ES in Luton. Today the Performance Team head to Holland for a high tech testing session to set up the dampers on the mono skis in a session facilitated by Supacat. Head coach Scorge will also be running some staff training to further develop the FT coaching team staff - focus is on course setting. The Chairman and Director will visit them on Monday and Tuesday to see the indoor facility there which has become a major part of our summer and early season training. We are very grateful for Thales for funding the comprehensive package of training we have been able to run this year. We have also picked up 2 new drills so both teams will have new to set their training courses. The season has started and the CSDST are in great shape. Here's to another successful season.
Performance team training camp, Landgraaf, September 2012
Alarmingly it is only 538 days until the start of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. To that end the performance team travelled to SnowWorld indoor ski centre in Holland for a week of intensive slalom training. The indoor centre in Landgraaf has two slopes, one of which is a dedicated slalom training/racing piste and at 513m long is at least three times longer than any UK snow centre. The snow conditions and weather are guaranteed (firm snow and a smattering of ice and -8 being the norm) and it is an ideal off season training location - a concept shared by many other national teams. This week we have shared hill space with the Swedish, Belgian, Swiss and Dutch Paralympic ski teams, along with able bodied FIS teams from Italy, France, Luxembourg and Holland.
Four of us drove out to Holland in the team bus, supplied by Ford, whilst Pete Dunning joined us a day later after flying in to Brussels from Denver, Colorado, with his new sitski seat direct from Aspen Seating. We were also joined by Jasper Balchean from the Belgian Paralympic Ski Team and Simon Risberg and his coach from the Swedish Paralympic Ski Team. Daily training sessions on snow started at 0700hrs, with courses being set and warm ups conducted from 0630 (preceded by 0530 morning dry land training around the car park for an unlucky few). Training sessions lasted for two hours and we conducted a second session each day at 1200hrs. Afternoons were then free for ski teching and personal S&C programmes in the gym or outside in the pouring rain tackling the 520 steps up the side of the ski centre. Evenings were filled with video debriefs, reviews and informative Dartfish video analysis of the day's training. This analysis has really impressed the importance of a good start, optimal lines and the need to carry speed from the top of the course. We were able to see how a small mistake at the start meant losing in excess of a second by the time you reached the end of a 30 gate course. This could mean the difference between a Europa Cup and World Cup start, or even qualifications to the Paralympics.
The training programme put in place by Scorgie worked up from basic stubbie and brush courses and full rhythm gates before progressing on to more technically demanding sequences of 30 gates. Training culminated in a simulated competition scenario on the same slope that we will be competing on in the first International slalom race of the season in November. This gave athletes the opportunity to work through pre-race routines and focused the mind (and also to remind everyone what it is like to ski in minus 8 in Lycra).
The gains made on this training camp across the board were obvious to see; confidence in smashing through gates, development of technique in the turns and simply the familiarity of skiing "schnell" slalom courses has set excellent foundations for the fast approaching 2012-13 season. Thanks to Thales for helping us make this summer’s training a reality.
Kingsley "my window tastes like raspberries" Ward
Pete "I've got sore nipples from the cold" Dunning
Mick "seeeeemon" Brennan
Anna "absolutely" Poole
Mark "doughnuts" Scorgie
CSDST & BDST Summer Camp, Hintertux - August 2012
The notion of summer skiing in Europe in August seems a little absurd; the common assumption is that it only snows in the southern hemisphere during this time and that is where skiing can be found in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Chile. Well apparently it does snow in the Alps in August. Sadly on the current CSDST summer training camp in Hintertux with the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST) we didn’t see anything but glacial ice, rain, sleet and slush, a lot of cloud and plenty of sunshine. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t an excellent and productive camp - far from it. It was more that the moguls had been replaced with flowing streams carving down through pistes of blue and black glacial ice and with large crevasses appearing across the T-Bar. It would be fair to say the obstacles faced were a little unusual especially when it would hit 10°C by 1000hrs at 3000m.
The weather across Europe this summer has wreaked havoc with microclimates and many industries across the continent, and this is no exception when looking at the Hintertux Glacier. All agreed that they had never skied in such conditions and those who had previously skied in Hintertux in summer had never seen the glacier look so bare. But the training lanes were open and fit for purpose and slalom and GS training has been run every day in order to prepare athletes for the upcoming winter season. Pete Dunning and Anna Poole attended the CSDST camp, with Mark Scorgie, for coaching and training alongside the BDST and BDST Development/youth squad.
The overall camp saw a mix of 12 skiers of all classifications coming together for an intensive programme of gate training, ski tech and maintenance, and strength and conditioning dryland training sessions. These sessions involved interval training, endurance, speed, flex, cycling, core stability and more recreational activities such as swiss boules (imagine petanque/boules whilst balancing on swiss balls) and swimming in hydrothermally heated pools (although the hydrothermal activity must have been having an off day as the water was baltic). Other than the skiing and inevitable crashes, falls and progress, highlights of the week included the adoption of “Ginger Marmott”as the official season mascot and the conception of “GermknodelMonday”. Pete systematically had all his clean pants stolen by unsympathetic British team mates - brought on by his obsession of having exactly the right number of clean pairs for the number of days he is away. In fact there is a pair (hopefully they are clean) dangling from the top corner of the telly as this article is typed....
Looking beyond the challenging conditions, the benefits and progress that this summer camp has achieved will bring dividends when the performance team travel to their next training camp in Landgraaf, Holland, in September for some intensive indoor slalom work.