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New Zealand Snow Sports Annual Awards

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EMBARGOED until 9.30 pm Saturday, 28 October, 2006

New Zealand Snow Sports Annual Awards

The Annual New Zealand Snow Sports Awards were held at a gala dinner event in Christchurch on Saturday night (28 October). Sixteen-year-old Jossi Wells was named Snow Sports Athlete of the Year.

Jossi was named the Freeskier of the Year after a season of outstanding results that left organizers in no doubt as to his position as overall Snow Sports Athlete.

Snow Sports New Zealand executive member David Scott says the competition for the sport’s top award is extremely fierce. He says a number of talented skiers are emerging on the New Zealand scene, some with strong prospects for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

“The Snow Sport Athlete Of The Year Jossi Wells is a rising star in the world of freeskiing,” said Scott. During this winter Jossi placed 1st in no less than 12 events after completing an outstanding northern hemisphere where he achieved numerous top ten finishes against the top Freeskiers in the world.

“Austrian ski manufacturer, Atomic, have also recognised his results and potential, and have signed him to their top international ski team. This is the equivalent of securing a drive for a Formula One team.



“Jossi is in a group of extremely talented young skiers who we believe have the ability to make a big impact on the international stage over the next few years. They are training extremely hard and hopefully we will see the culmination of their efforts on the podium at Vancouver.”

Other winners on the night were:

Snow Sports Athlete of the Year Jossi Wells
Volkswagen Alpine Skier of the Year Mickey Ross
Disabled Skier of the Year Adam Hall
Cross Country Skier of the Year Ben Koons
Snowboarder of the Year Juliane Bray
Free Skier of the Year Jossie Bray
Contribution to Snow Sports Award Gillian Hall


For further media enquiries please contact David Scott, Snow Sports New Zealand
Tel: (027) 4439288


The Volkswagen 2006 Alpine Skier of the Year is Mickey Ross. After representing New Zealand with credit at the Torino Winter Olympics Mickey continued to place respectably. Mickey is arguably New Zealand’s best ever slalom skier. His best results were from his chosen specialty in March where he won a international FIS level event, placed 2nd in another and then 3rd in the slalom in the French National Championships. Following his return to New Zealand he underwent shoulder surgery and is still recovering.

The 2006 Cross Country Skier of the Year is Ben Koons. He is based in Maine, USA and is the current national champion and New Zealand's top ranked cross country skier. His best performance in 2005 was a 116 point result, at the National Collegiate Finals at Lake Placid, making him the first New Zealander to qualify for World Cup competition. In 2006 he raced in 4 World Cup level events where he was the only junior racer.

The 2006 Snowboarder of the Year is Juliane Bray of Wanaka. Bray is New Zealand's top woman competitor and this season competed in the Winter Olympics in Torino Italy where she placed 20th in the Boardercross and 16th in the halfpipe. She achieved 5 top 20 results at World Cup level events, her best being 2nd in a halfpipe in Switzerland. During the New Zealand winter she won four events including the halfpipe National Championships.

The 2006 Disabled Snow Sports Athlete of the Year is 19-year-old Adam Hall of Outram, Dunedin. After representing New Zealand at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Hall continued to achieve four top 20 results at world cup level events. After returning to New Zealand he won the New Zealand national slalom title and place 2nd in both the Super G and giant slalom events.

The winner of the 2006 New Zealand Snowsports Council Contribution to Snow Sports Award is Gillian Hall from Kaiapoi in Canterbury. Hall was the founder of Disabled Snowsports New Zealand. Since 1978, when she was Training Director for the NZ Association of Disabled Skiers, Gillian has been instrumental in developing the adaptive snowsports qualifications for instructors. She has created courses and manuals for adaptive skiing and more recently encouraged DSNZ to strengthen its ties with the New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance. Not content to stick to skiing she has also been behind the development adaptive snowboarding. Hall is a member of numerous boards including Disabled Snowsports NZ, which she was president for 10 years and Paralympics New Zealand. She is the head NZ alpine classifier, trainer and examiner and an International Paralympics Alpine classifier.

The New Zealand Coach of the Year is Tom Willmott from Wanaka. Willmott holds a BSC (Hons) in Sports Coaching from the University of Cardiff and is a fully certified snowboard instructor with the International Ski Instructors Alliance. He was the head snowboard coach at Cardrona from 2001 to 2004 and for the last two seasons has been the head coach for the New Zealand Snowboard Team.

The people’s choice, NZ Ski Area Service Award, and NZ Small Ski Area Service Awards are decided from surveys conducted on the website each year. The awards are presented to the ski areas who are judge to have given the best service to their visitors during the season. The 2006 New Zealand Ski Area Service Awards winner is Treble Cone and the 2006 Small Ski Areas Service Award winner is Mt Olympus.


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