Tia Skwarko news

Hey SASC! 

Wow! What a long season! Many highs and lows, but all up, definitely one of my best! Just a quick email to let everyone know how I went this year! 

I started the season off on the 23rd of June with three weeks of training. It was hard and there were times when, because of fatigue or other reasons, I felt like I wasn't progressing at all. Big thanks to Thredbo Ski Racing Club and especially my fantastic coach Nick Draxl for not letting these moments get to me. My first race was of course the Thredbo Junior Interclub, where to my huge disappointment, possibly due to fatigue, I crashed first one and did not perform to the best of my abilities. It was however a fantastic day and I really enjoyed it!

My next race was the TSRC Cup, and due to some great training before hand, I was really excited to race. In Slalom, I came 1st and 3rd. I couldn't have been happier, I beat national team members and was really happy with how I skied technically. As GS is not my stronger discipline, I did not do as well. I crashed my first run and placed 7th second run. It was nevertheless a great race and I learnt a lot from it.

Next up I had the ACT/Southern NSW Interschools. I placed 2nd in Skier X, winning the first run, and 3rd in Alpine.

After some more fantastic training I had a big racing block - 2 weeks in a row, one state race in Blue Cow and then a National Children's Series race at Buller.

In Blue Cow, I came 5th and crashed second run in GS. In Slalom, I placed 2nd and 3rd. I crashed in one of the SkierX heats and ended up placing 4th.

At Buller, the National Children's Series race, I crashed first run and came 3rd second run in Slalom - a personal best as far as National placings go. In GS, I had an off day, placing 11th and 10th.

My last children's series race, National's, was held at my home mountain Thredbo. Training the day before my race, I crashed and pulled the muscles in my calf. Needless to say I was heartbroken - I had been skiing really well so it was really disappointing to ruin my chances that close to Nationals. I decided to ski anyway. On the day after I had GS. I only raced one run because I could barely support my own weight on that leg, I came 13th. In the slalom, I pushed through and skied the best I ever have. I placed 4th first run and 2nd in second run - I wonder how I could have gone without injury! I was ecstatic, not going to lie I did tear up a little! It was great because my grandma saw my second run, she was impressed!

Last race of the season, Interschool's Nationals in Perisher. In the skier X, I didn't ski to the best of my ability and placed 10th. In the Alpine, I skied my best GS of the season and came 2nd!

I have now finished up a long, hard season, that was both physically and mentally exhausting. One of the main things I was working on this year was my mental attitude - I am infamous for my negativity towards my own skiing ability - so with the help of my fantastic coaches Peter and Nick, I was trying to get that under control. Now, in September, in my last year before moving up to FIS Racing, I couldn't be happier, I have three national medals to my name and a much better finish rate than last year!

Yesterday, I got the wonderful news that, after dreaming about it for 4 years, I have made it on to the Australian Children's Team. I am so incredibly happy.

At the moment, due to financial difficulties, I don't have plans of going overseas during December/January, however, if possible, I would love to go to Canada in March/April for a few weeks of training before racing and representing Australia in Whistler Cup, an international race.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to SASC, the Junior Committee and all the club members, all your support, encouragement and interest in my skiing is really what has helped me come all this way. I certainly would never have thought making the Australian Team was possible all those years ago when I did my first bus trip. If you all hadn't believed in me then, I would never be where I am now. So thank you all so much, you can't even imagine what your support means to me.

Tia Skwarko