British Ski and Snowboard announce appointment of four new world-class coaches in pursuit of long-term success for British snowsports

British Ski and Snowboard has today announced the appointment of four new world-class coaches who will join Performance Director Dan Hunt’s team in their pursuit of long-term success, and the aim of becoming one of the world’s top five skiing and snowboarding nations by 2030.

Reini Fernsebner has been appointed the new Alpine Head Coach, Guillaume Nantermod will lead the GBX programme as Head Coach and two Cross Country Performance Coaches have come on board; Hans Kristian Stadheim in charge of endurance and Jostein Vinjerui leading the sprint athletes. They will form part of a senior coaching team across the snowsports disciplines, with GB Park and Pipe Head coaches Hamish McKnight (snowboard) and Pat Sharples (ski), continuing in their roles after a record-breaking season for the team. They will be supported by an Olympic Team Manager, Sophie Morrison, who will lead the performance operations across all Olympic disciplines.

 

Following a successful season as coach of the British Ski and Snowboard Europa Cup team, which included rising Alpine stars Laurie Taylor and Billy Major, Fernsebner has been appointed the overall Alpine Head Coach, overseeing the whole Delancey British Alpine Ski Team, including World Cup athletes Dave Ryding, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest.

 

After close to 10 years as a professional skier racer, Austrian Fernsebner moved into coaching, working with the British Ski Team until 2010. Following over 10 years with the British team, he moved over to coach the Austrian Men’s World Cup Speed team until last season, when he took on the British Europa Cup team.

Fernsebner said following his new Head Coach appointment: “I have a big heart for British skiing, and I think now is the perfect time to get things going. I am excited to take on this role and push the whole team and not just work with a one or two man British team.

 

“We have a lot of hugely talented young athletes who are pushing the whole team forward. I am looking to install a real structure which will mean we are strong going into the 2018 Winter Olympics and even stronger and with a bigger team as we look towards Beijing 2022.”

 

British Ski and Snowboard will become the first ever country to run a joint Ski and Snowboard Cross national programme, with ex-Snowboard Cross World Champion Guillaume Nantermod heading up its development. As well as supporting World Cup athletes, including Snowboard Cross athlete Zoe Gillings-Brier and Ski Cross athlete Emily Sarsfield in their pursuit of Winter Olympic success, Nantermod will also oversee the development of the younger Ski and Snowboard Cross athletes.

Nantermod, who is from Morgins in Switzerland, has been personal coach of Swiss Ski Cross athlete Fanny Smith, who won 27 podiums including a World Championships title, over the last nine years. He has also been Head Coach of the Fanny Smith Academy for the last five years.

 

With a unique mix of experience in Snowboard Cross as an athlete, and Ski Cross as a coach, Nantermod is ready to take on a new challenge: “I’m very exited about this new long term project with British Ski Cross and Snowboard Cross. I hope I can bring my experience and knowledge and combine it with the existing staff and athletes to create a programme that will create future champions.

 

“My first job will be to provide the athletes who are on the road to PyeongChang 2018 with the best support possible. I will then be looking at working with all the ski and snowboard cross athletes together to combine training in order to pick up all advantages from both disciplines. I want to create a good base of the performance pyramid to offer to the young generation the best training possible. It will need to be fun and professional to reach success. Some of those competitors are only 12 and those kids are the future! I can't wait to see them all on snow"

 

With British Ski and Snowboard already running a strong cross country programme in the form of British Nordic, it is hoped that two new Performance Coaches – one for endurance and one for sprint, will bring their experience to the World Cup team.

Hans Kristian Stadheim joins British Nordic as the Endurance Performance Coach, bringing with him over 12 years of coaching experience in his home country, Norway. He will move over to coach the British athletes after a season as Head Coach at Team Leaseplan Tigers in Norway and before that coaching the two-time Norwegian Champions in relay, Lyn Ski. He has coached three of the current Norwegian team athletes and was also involved in an Under 23 World Championships gold medal. 

 

Stadheim said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with a small nation that have the talent to win medals at World Cup and Olympic level. I can’t wait to be part of the journey and help contribute to the development of the athletes. I want to help Great Britain to become a nation to be reckoned with in Cross Country – not only in the build up to PyeongChang, but also as we work towards Beijing 2022.”

The new Sprint Performance Coach comes in the form of Norwegian Jostein Vinjerui, who has already been working with British athlete Andrew Young. He has previously coached the Norwegian Ski Federation’s Regional team, coached three athletes who now ski on the Norwegian National team and helped win two Under 23 World Championship medals. Before this was, Vinjerui was the coach of the Icelandic National Team for two seasons. 

 

Vinjerui said ahead of starting his new role: “I have big aspirations for the British Cross Country team. I know that the athletes are serious and very passionate, with the two Andrew’s already world-class skiers. I am very happy to work with Hans Kristian to help develop the team towards PyeongChang and beyond, and also look to help them win medals.”

 

To support all the teams and athletes will be new Olympic Team Manager, Sophie Morrison who moves into the role after five years at British Ski and Snowboard. Morrison will head up all operations for the Olympic snowsport disciplines for major Championships and specifically PyeongChang 2018, working closely with the Head Coaches and Performance Director.

 

Performance Director Dan Hunt explained more about the strategy behind the appointments: “We said we wanted to put in place a world-class coaching structure for each Olympic discipline, and this is the first step in doing this. We have appointed four of the world’s best coaches in their disciplines, who will look start to develop long term plans geared towards medal success. I am confident we have made clever appointments, and along with our new Olympic Team Manager, theses appointments will compliment our already successful GB Park and Pipe coaching set up.”

 

These new appointments have been made possible by money coming in from British Ski and Snowboard’s principle sponsor, Delancey, as well as two new fundraising initiatives, which were launched in 2016 - the British Snowsports Fund and charity British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation.

 

More funds will need to be raised through these channels in order to achieve British Ski and Snowboard’s long-term vision. The British Snowsports Fund asks the UK’s recreational skiers and snowboarders to make a small donation to the country’s future Winter Olympians when they make a purchase with one of our confirmed industry partners.  And the grant-making charity, the British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation, aims to support young talented skiers and snowboarders as well aiming to increase grassroots participation in the sports.

 

Top achievements British Ski and Snowboard athletes – season 2016/17:

 

- Best ever season for British skiers and snowboarders 

- 15 World Cup podiums (8 Park and Pipe, 6 Telemark, 1 Alpine) 

- 2 World Cup wins (Park and Pipe) 

- 3 World Championships podiums (2 Park and Pipe, 1 Telemark) 

- 3 X Games medals (Park and Pipe) 

- Katie Ormerod - 1st Moscow World Cup - First female Snowboard Big Air World Cup win for Great Britain 

- Isabel Atkin - 1st Silvaplana World Cup - First female Ski Slopestyle World Cup win for Great Britain 

- Dave Ryding - 2nd Kitzbuhel World Cup - first British Alpine skier to claim a World Cup podium in 35 years 

- Jasmin Taylor - Six Telemark World Cup podiums 

- Andrew Musgrave - 4th Nordic World Championships - best ever World Championships finish for a British Cross Country skier 

 

For all the information on British Ski and Snowboard visit www.teambss.org.uk.

You can also follow British Ski and Snowboard on social media:

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