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International Volunteers Bring Wealth Of Experience To Winter Games NZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
International Volunteers Bring Wealth Of Experience To Winter Games NZ

11 June 2009 - The lure of the Southern Hemisphere's largest winter sports event, Winter Games NZ, is such that 18 highly qualified volunteers are travelling from as far away as Canada and Japan, as well as Australia, to help out at the groundbreaking event.

The largest contingent is 13 Canadians, led by Bruce Hamstead of Calgary, bringing with them a wealth of experience that they will impart to local ski racing officials. Hamstead has been involved with ski racing in Canada for over 25 years, 10 of which he was chief of race at the Lake Louise World Cup and he is currently the executive director of race operations. He is one of Canada's four accredited racecourse safety inspectors and sees his involvement with Winter Games NZ as an opportunity to work with the local ski racing officials to impart as much of his knowledge about modern ski race practices as possible and to raise the quality level of events to benefit the sport.

Hamstead will act as the safety adviser and assistant race referee for the Winter Games NZ alpine skiing events and will work with local officials on race surface preparation and safety installations. He will also assist with the series of local FIS ski races that precede Winter Games NZ.

More than half the Canadian volunteer group has never visited New Zealand before and they will work in a variety of roles, ranging from timing to course preparation at the ski racing events at Coronet Peak in Queenstown. Many will go on to work in important roles at the Winter Olympics in 2010 as either course crew chiefs or, in the case of Andy Wolff from Ottawa, as assistant chief of course for the ladies' technical alpine events.

Hamstead said the whole group of volunteers was very excited to be part of the Winter Games NZ.

"The Winter Games NZ alpine skiing events at Coronet Peak are an excellent opportunity for New Zealand to showcase itself to the wider world of international ski racing competition," he said. "I sincerely hope we will be able to bring these events to a very high level of quality that will provide the international ski racing community with the incentive to support these events into the future and that they will inspire young New Zealand ski racers to become part of the World Cup ski racing elite."

Winter Games NZ will take place at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Farm, Naseby and Dunedin from 21-30 August 2009 and will feature disciplines of alpine skiing, free skiing, x-country skiing, snowboarding, curling, ice skating and adaptive snow sports as well as the demonstration sports of winter triathlon and natural luge. For further information visit www.wintergamesnz.com.

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