A re­newed fo­cus on lifestyle, fun and fit­ness in the snow

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY

A NEW part­ner­ship be­tween Ski and Snow­board Aus­tralia and the YMCA Falls Creek Nordic Cen­tre has en­hanced the range of cross coun­try skiing ser­vices for skiers of all abil­i­ties.

Although Falls Creek has been the of­fi­cial home and Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre for the Aus­tralian Cross Coun­try Ski Team since 2004 Na­tional Team coaches have joined the ex­pe­ri­enced from the Nordic Cen­tre of­fer­ing a fo­cus on healthy lifestyle, fam­ily snow­fun and win­ter fit­ness.

Along with the new part­ner­ships there are also a num­ber of new coaches lead­ing the na­tional team this win­ter.

Head coach at the Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre this year is for­mer Estonian ski sprinter Kein Ei­naste while Ei­naste is be­ing as­sisted by up and com­ing coach Robert Jones.

Also on the coach­ing panel for the win­ter is JC Le­gras, who is the strength and con­di­tion­ing coach has for the Na­tional Team.

Ei­naste who rep­re­sented Es­to­nia from 2007-13 and com­peted in the Olympics in 2010 - was ranked in the top 40 in the world for sprint­ing and was a reg­u­lar in the top thirty on the World Cup sprint scene – de­cided to take up the head coach­ing role af­ter be­ing rec­om­mended by a fel­low Nor­we­gian coach.

“This is my first time in Aus­tralia, I thought it would be a good chal­lenge so that was the big­gest rea­son to come here,” he said.

“So far it has been re­ally nice, the ath­letes are mo­ti­vated, we have re­ally good train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and the skiing trails are good so it’s a good op­por­tu­nity.”

So far the fo­cus for coaches and ath­letes has been fit­ness but that will change to tech­nique in the com­ing weeks while over­all Ei­naste hopes to raise the qual­ity of train­ing and pro­mote the sport even more in the coun­try.

Another aim of Ei­naste is to build on team co­he­sion and unity.

“I want to build a re­ally strong team spirit that gets the most out of ev­ery­one,” he said.

“I hope ev­ery­one

in the team can give some­thing back to the team and that ev­ery train­ing ses­sion ev­ery­body can profit from train­ing with each other.”

Work­ing with Na­tional Team and Olympic skiers as well as young lo­cal tal­ent Ei­naste has been im­pressed with what he has seen so far.

“There are some re­ally good young ju­niors com­ing up and I hope that they re­ally push the se­nior guys,” he said.

“There is a lot with huge po­ten­tial we just have to show the world what they are ca­pa­ble of.

“Phil (Belling­ham) has been here all win­ter train­ing and hope­fully he can go one step for­ward and we can get him re­ally close to the top level in the World Cups.”

WORK­ING HARD: (from left) Nick Mont­gomery, Jack­son Bur­sill, Casey Wright and Da­mon Mor­ton get some in­struc­tions from coach Kein Ei­naste.

RAIS­ING THE BAR: For­mer Es­to­nian na­tional sprinter Kein Ei­naste is the new Aus­tralian Cross Coun­try Ski Team head coach.

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