Last week twelve Scots College snowsports athletes had the great privilege of representing The College and Australia at the 2013 International Children’s Winter Games (ICWG) in Ufa, Russia. The International Olympic Committee sanctioned games are recognised internationally as the “Schools Olympic Games”. During the course of the ICWG our boys competed against elite snowsports athletes from 59 other school teams representing their countries in Cross-Country, Alpine and Snowboard disciplines.
The ICWG was preceded by an intensive training program at Myoko Kogen in Japan, under the guidance of Mr Kovari, Mr Tanner and local race coaching staff. A highlight of the program was the opportunity to train with and compete against local Japanese school race teams in the 2013 Myoko Kokusai Schools Invitational Race. The Scots Snowsports athletes performed particularly well, with Joshua Stevens, Asher Fielder and Edward Barrow gaining top three places respectively in Snowboard Giant Slalom. Henry Collins finished 9th after a mishap during his first run. In the Alpine Giant Slalom event Hugh McAdam, Robert Fenton-Lee, Chester Burns, Joe Bonic, Ivan Starenko and Max Bonic all achieved top 10 positions – a superb effort.
After transiting to Russia, The ICWG competition commenced at the outstanding Ufa Biathalon Stadium (World Cup venue) with the Cross-Country events. The Scots Cross-Country representatives, Matthew Wright, Max Bonic, Hugh McAdam and Chester Burns performed extremely well across three days of competition against the mighty Russian and European teams. The boys competed in gruelling 3.5km Classic, Freestyle Sprint and team Relay events. Our boys were the youngest team in the competition and achieved terrific results in their age group finishing 4th (Matthew Wright) 6th (Hugh McAdam) 9th (Chester Burns) and Max Bonic achieved 24th in the 13 age group.
ICWG Alpine and Snowboard competition took place at the beautiful Ufa Olympic Park downhill venue. The travelling Scots parents were able to watch the races from the comfort of the restaurant overlooking the alpine course and follow the Skiercross competition on the big screen televised by Ufa TV. The Scots Alpine team of Joe Bonic, Robert Fenton-Lee, Ivan Starenko and Jacob Stevens competed against strong Giant Slalom and Skicross racers from Europe, North America and Asia. The team performed extremely well on the highly technical courses. Jacob Stevens achieved an outstanding 5th position overall in the Skicross event against the highly ranked Italian, Russian and Swiss skiers. He won his age group and was only surpassed by older competitors from Russia, Germany and Austria. Robert Fenton-Lee made the quarter finals and achieved 16th overall (5th in his age group). Ivan Starenko and Joe Bonic were unlucky not to make the eight finals.
Meanwhile, The Scots Snowboard team of Joshua Stevens, Asher Fielder, Henry Collins and Edward Barrow competed in the highly challenging Snowboardcross and Slopestyle events. Like their Alpine counterparts, the Snowboarders performed way above all expectations against some of the World’s best school snowsports athletes. In Snowboardcross Joshua Stevens was very unlucky not to make the final due to a mishap in the semi. Eventually Josh finished in 6th place with Henry Collins and Asher Fielder achieving 7th and 8th respectively. The youngest team member Edward Barrow finished in 20th place – a remarkable overall result for the BX team.
The team performed well in the spectacular Slopestyle event even though our boys had far less experience than their European and North American counterparts. Slopestyle is not part of the Interschool competition in Australia.
Team captain, Joshua Stevens, gained an outstanding 9th position in Slopestyle with Edward Barrow in 12th, Henry Collins in 13th and Asher Fielder in 24th position.
Whilst the highlight of the 2013 International Children’s Games was undoubtedly the remarkable results achieved by our Scots athletes representing their country, equally important was the fantastic interaction between our boys and their fellow school athletes from all of the participating countries. Indeed, the cultural, educational and social lessons from the ICWG experience will live with these boys forever.
It is with great pleasure that we can report that this fine team of Fine Scots Boys represented their College and their country with distinction and sportsmanship. In fact, as a result of the manner in which the team performed both on and off the competition arena, The College has already received an invitation to compete at the next International Children’s Winter Games in Insbruck, Austria.
Mr Kovari, Director of Snowsports
Mr Tanner, MIC Skiing (Preparatory School)