The Chilean ski resort Termas de Chillán recently held its first ever training camp for cross-country skiers. With the support of the Chilean Ski Association and FIS Solidarity, 15 athletes and three coaches participated in daily training, led by Aleksandar Milenkovic of Serbia, former athlete and coach of the Chilean Nordic Ski Team.
The ten-day programme involved intensive cross-country sessions, focused on improving skills both in classic and free technique, physical training and climbing.
In addition to training, the camp had the social component of uniting the athletes and coaches from Argentina, Brazil and Chile and provided them with a great opportunity to exchange experiences.
In Ireland, the first roller skiing event in Irish history took place on 7th October 2017. In damp and windy conditions which is not unknown for the island four Irish skiers took on the Run Galway Bay marathon course. The roller skiers started 15 minutes ahead of the marathon to time perfectly so the skiers would be ahead of the 10 km and half marathon runners who numbered 3,700. Runners, spectators and even drivers cheered on the roller skiers, something they had never seen before.
Thomas Maloney Westgaard, who is preparing to represent Ireland in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, won the inaugural demonstration race in 2:06 with Dominic Mcaleenan coming second in 2:37 and Tadhg De Barra in third in 3:18.
The event was very well received and the team did a reconnaissance of Dublin's Phoenix Park on 8th October to see if it would be possible to run a roller skiing event there. After positive feedback the Snowsports Association of Ireland is very optimistic about organising a competition there in 2018.
The Ski Federation of Pakistan became a member of FIS in 1969 and has put its focus on the development of grassroots participation alongside high-level performance mainly in Alpine Skiing. The most important ski areas are Naltar and Malam Jabba which feature FIS homologated courses.
Recently the Ski Federation of Pakistan published a video which shows the activities held over the years to grow the sport in the country.