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- Ski Selwyn
Fast forward to later in the year, and the 2009 Black Diamond Big Mountain was happening at Temple Basin. I had secured myself a spot at this, again in the junior division, and made my way to the field - alongside a plethora of mainly adults, plenty from overseas.
It was a pretty cool world to be drawn into - as a young kid there were these big mountain heroes like Sam Smoothy, Pete Oswald, Neil Williman and others, and because there was only one division I was competing with them - and then the rest too.
With a clear demand for big mountain competitions from the under 18s, and no realistic way to send them all down the same course in the open category and to keep the event as a FWT qualifier, Stu again came to the party with the rise of the Chill Junior Series.
These competitions had multiple age categories and were held in a number of the fields, but usually on less exposed terrain than the open categories. The top placing juniors were then allowed to progress to the open categories.
These competitions were a mixture of coaching and competing, and names you’ll now see on the FWT start list were amongst those that participated - specifically at the moment, Jamesa Hampton and Craig Murray.
There were many competitions from 2010 - 2017, some which I competed in, and they paved the way for what is on offer in Selwyn now - the Chill channel from this time has a huge number of epic videos.
The Chill competitions are no longer running but competitive big mountain skiing in the Selwyn fields is stronger than ever - and there’s more opportunities to get involved in the sport than ever.
Listed below are some of the upcoming Free Ski Camps and Competitions in 2022:
Coaching Camps with the MFC crew:
For the last six seasons, MFC has hosted coaching sessions for groms - similar to those that Tom Dunbar hosted all the way back in 2009. MFC are hosting clinics at Broken River Craigieburn Valley and Mt Olympus this season. Some of the world’s best skiers - who grew up on the Selwyn fields, are coaches - including FWT riders Craig Murray, Jess Hotter, Jamesa Hampton, and others.
The New Zealand Junior Freeride Tour
Dion Newport, who was a judge right from the earliest days of the Chill Competitions, has now established a series and a FWQ (Freeride World Qualifier) event that together are part of the pathway to the world tour for any aspiring freeriders in NZ.
Here is a summary of what can be expected:
The NZ Junior Freeride Tour consist of three competitions across three fields in both islands of New Zealand, and it provides a pathway for junior skiers to enter into the big mountain world in an age group setting - with opportunities for the top performers to head to the International Junior Freeride Tour as well.
Stop #3 will be held at Mt Olympus on 16 - 18th September
For more details visit: https://www.nzjft.co.nz/