Ruapehu Snow Sports rebuilding for the future
By Liz Brooker: Ruapehu Snow Bulletin
A year after taking over the mountain’s high performance
development programmes for kids, Ruapehu Snow Sports (RSS) is
setting its sights on the future.
Parent and club president Robin Dixon is excited by the challenge
of being able to further develop their offerings and help discover
the region’s next Shelly Gotlieb, Ben Griffin or Rose Battersby.
“Last year we were picking up the pieces and moving forward
the best that we can, but this year we are looking big picture and
“Ruapehu is not the poor cousin anymore and we are producing
some fantastic athletes out of our mountain.
“RSS has had a tough couple of years and we are rebuilding
slowly so we can put in something in place so that the kids can
progress up though the ranks.”
Rather than hiring coaches based on a single year commitment,
Mrs Dixon is looking to develop more continuity for returning
“We are wanting to get coaches who want to come back.
“A lot of resorts have overseas coaches, having someone who
has done well, is doing well and knows all those little pockets on a
great day up Ruapehu, why wouldn’t you want them?
“Lyall Crump is joining our team as a coach, if you want extreme
skiing and to go for a blat around Ruapehu, he knows every inch
of the mountain.
“What better person to put your kids with?
“Rhys [Forsyth] is back doing the freestyle team, he absolutely
“He loves the mountain, ski patrol during the week and coaching
in the weekend, what a perfect life.”
The slowing economy has also created a renewed interest in RSS
courses from North Island parents with a number of families who
headed south returning to Ruapehu.
“I think there are a lot of people watching how we go this year.
“They are saying, ‘look, you have a good head coach and it looks
like you know what you are doing.
“I have always been a supporter of having high performance
training for the kids.
“At times in the past this hasn’t happened but RAL [Ruapehu
Alpine Lifts] are huge supporters of what we are doing.
“If you’ve got your mountain supporting you the only thing you
have to deal with is the weather.”
This year the club is offering full-time alpine racing along with
junior racing at Turoa and Whakapapa, Mr Forsyth is coaching a ski
freestyle team and Andrew Manuel is back to head the snowboard
Places on the various squads are still available and more
information can be found online at: ruapehusnowsports.webs.com.