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Improving NZ skiing’s international hopes

Improving NZ skiing’s international hopes

New Zealand’s best ever performed skier Claudia Riegler arrives back in New Zealand this weekend to help coach keen skiers at the Formthotics national black on white ski camps this month.

Riegler is now based in France but will join two other elite ski racers ex-New Zealand Olympian skiers Fiona Stevens and Erika McLeod to run the Treble Cone and Coronet Peak camps.

``I can’t wait to get down there for the camps,’’ Riegler said from France before flying out to Auckland today.

``These camps are an excellent way to promote the sport of alpine skiing and the proceeds go to the up and coming winter sport athletes.

``It is a great experience. Skiers learn new skills, how to utilise their equipment better and what equipment suits their style and preference of terrain.

``It brings keen skiers together who really enjoy having four days of great skiing on different terrains.

``For some skiers, this is a great opportunity to ski with three former Olympians, share the experiences and stories. This gives the sport a different perspective, especially for those who have never skied overseas.’’

The camps are run by Snowvision, a charitable trust aiming to help bring New Zealand snow sports to the top of the world. Their annual ski camps around the country have helped build up long term funding for snow sports.

The foundation aims to build a fund of $5 million and provide long term support for New Zealand's snow sports athletes.

McLeod joined the Snowvision coaching team this year for the first time having just retired from the competitive international slopes after the 2006 Torino Olympics.

Skiers found after the camps that they were more confident and could ski faster and tackle more challenging terrain and snow conditions.

The Formthotics-sponsored camps are in their fourth year. The events are called the Formthotics black on white snow camps, as it aims to put black on white (New Zealanders on snow) on top of the international snow sports arena. They are backed by Snowvision patron, Sir Edmund Hillary.

Ends

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