THE LOWLANDERS ALPINE RACE TEAM
The Lowlanders Alpine Race Team is based on belief amongst lowlander alpine skiing countries that we can establish a stronger FIS team across nations than we can individually, and that our challenges can best be addressed by working and pooling resources together.
Our first conversations were at a joint FIS camp in Kvitjell (Norway). A camp organized by the international ski federation. Present countries were Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, and Luxembourg. This parallel cooperation between trainers and racers was so good that we started to talk. Many late evenings and long talks between the trainers and representatives from federations we came to the conclusion that we don’t have to work parallel but all countries have to be integrated into one team. Why? because limited financial resources exist today for a full professional setup. Together we can create a more costs efficient setup with higher quality and better offer for racers. Conclusion: The Lowlanders Alpine Race Team was born.
Good news travel fast, two more strong countries, Iceland and the Netherlands jumped into this new setup. 6 Countries joining forces is an unprecedented operation in international skiing.
We had our first test at the World Junior Championships in Narvik. After this test, we were even more convinced that a team like Lowlanders was needed.
What is common?
We have to travel long distances to the mountains for training and races. Sharing transportation reduces costs.
Ski racing for these 6 countries is not a large national sport. Working together as one “national” team makes us stronger. More trainers, more groups, more visibility for sponsors, international press, etc. National ski federation setup for FIS races already existed but we are vulnerable to injuries and drop-out. Now with this larger international team, we can handle this better.
Small teams at the national level create dispersion amongst racers on level and age. We go for a stronger team feeling and development across gender and racers at different levels.
Overall goals with the team
Developing habits and self-discipline in the process of training and competitions. Results are important but we try to give our racers values that are important in the future, not always ski or race-related. Self-discipline and persistence are two important values.
We try to establish strong team feelings where racers help each other develop through interaction, feedback, encouragement, and support on and off the snow. True good coaching we upgrade and refine special skiing competences in all disciplines.
Improve the team’s FIS-points and for each individual racer. For us, these FIS-points are a good indicator if the team is doing well. But we give our racers the time to explore themselves. No pressure when race results don’t match with training quality and motivation.
Improve motorial and psychophysical fitness in the field preparation and upgrading of the contents of the previous season and individual corrections.
In the case of qualifications for OG, YOG, EYOF, Universiade, JWSC or WSC secure optimal preparation for and support under the competitions.
Being innovative is also an important pillar in the DNA of the team. We already had a high training simulation on the indoor slope in Belgium. Testing sports masks for better CO2 tolerance, increase of hematocrit levels, mental resilience, focus.
Creating a high-quality setup giving room for racers to pursue a dual career.
Where are we now?
The number of confirmed committed and interested racers is very positive. We have already 4 camps done. Worked on basics and moved step by step to a team that’s now in place.
Our organization has been designed and formalized with a Steering Committee, trainer group, task forces, and administration with clear charters all with representatives from every country. Racers will be involved in the organization as well to secure optimal input for the planning and development of the setup.
With the number of racers, we must be flexible but also plan according to racers needs and individual platforms. We will at most camps have to work with two groups according to their FIS-points or training improvement. Also in the race season, we have to split the team into two groups and go to races best suited for the racers at their level.
The team can develop in many directions in the future- if it continues growing and the quality of the racers continues to improve. We want to divide the team into more clusters. starting from U14-U16 to boys, girls, FIS, EC, WC, and development team.
But this means more trainers, more material, bigger administration, more transport etc. Without funding and sponsoring (material, clothes, budget…) in the future these groups will be hard to realize.
Thanks to the hard work of all members from the different countries we will succeed in our goal to give small nations a chance to train like an alpine country.
Sponsoring: Due to the international character of the team we can provide you more visibility
For more information, you can contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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