Call of Cardrona lured her back home

Ski field’s brand new man­ager is a fa­mil­iar face, ready to tackle the role

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

It’s a new ski sea­son – and a new gen­eral man­ager for Cardrona Alpine Re­sort.

She’s may even be a fa­mil­iar face; If you haven’t met be­fore, meet Brid­get Leg­navsky, Cardrona’s for­mer ser­vices man­ager, wear­ing big­ger shoes.

Or maybe that should be ski boots, be­cause that’s one thing this ski in­dus­try pro­fes­sional of over 20 year’s ex­pe­ri­ence swears will not change with her pres­ti­gious ap­point­ment.

‘‘You’ll still see me out on the slopes,’’ Brid­get says.

‘‘I’ll still be hav­ing a big grasp on the busi­ness, and my pri­or­ity will be jump­ing on a ski lift and get­ting out on the moun­tain.

Orig­i­nally from Lake Tekapo, her love af­fair with Wanaka and Cardrona be­gan in 1993, when she scored a part-time job as a ski in­struc­tor, while still study­ing for her Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion de­gree at Otago Univer­sity.

‘‘I thought I was go­ing back to do my masters, but that didn’t hap­pen!’’

Her back­ground in com­pet­i­tive ski­ing, train­ing and coach­ing proved in­valu­able at Cardrona, leading to her ap­point­ment as Snows­ports Man­ager in 1994, in charge of the ski and snow­board school, high per­for­mance and in­struc­tor train­ing cen­tres.

Work­ing from the snow up, Brid­get started one of New Zealand’s first in­struc­tor train­ing pro­grammes with the Otago Polytech­nic in 1995, which still runs suc­cess­fully to­day and has been a path­way for many Kiwi skiers and snow­board­ers into the in­struct­ing in­dus­try.

She was pres­i­dent of the New Zealand Snows­ports In­struc­tor Al­liance from 1999 to 2010, and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor of ski­ing for the same or­gan­i­sa­tion, from 2003 to 2009.

She has taught in Ja­pan, the United States, Italy and of course, many sea­sons in New Zealand. Brid­get has also trav­elled to many other in­ter­na­tional ski­ing des­ti­na­tions, com­pet­ing in Ex­treme Ski and Pow­der Eights com­pe­ti­tions, as well as rep­re­sent­ing NZ at three dif­fer­ent In­ter­ski Con­gresses in Nor­way, Switzer­land and Korea.

How­ever, Cardrona had got into her blood, and she al­ways came back.

She puts this down to not just lov­ing snow and moun­tains, but to hav­ing a fan­tas­tic team around her, as she en­ters her first sea­son in the role at Cardrona, un­der new own­ers Real Jour­neys of Queen­stown.

‘‘I’ve got too much sup­port to be ner­vous about the role. They’ll be there to help and to guide me.

‘‘This is an in­cred­i­ble job for me, be­cause it’s part of my back­ground and who I am. It’s a match made in heaven.’’

In some­what of a con­trast, this 42-year-old busi­ness­woman and self-con­fessed snow junkie has an­other ad­dic­tion – frocks.

Brid­get’s owned pop­u­lar Wanaka clothes store, 47 Frocks, since 2010, open­ing a sec­ond shop across the street just last Fri­day.

With their dad Peter Leg­navsky of­ten work­ing away from home, Brid­get’s chil­dren – Gus­tav, 8 and Zora, 4 – have grown up amongst fab­ric and on the moun­tain.

● The Cardrona 2014 Ski Sea­son is sched­uled to open on Fri­day.

Photo: MARY-JO TO­HILL

Up for the chal­lenge: Cardrona Alpine Re­sort’s new gen­eral man­ager Brid­get Leg­navsky is all set for the ski sea­son’s open­ing, next Fri­day.

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