Member contributions to State & National XC Skiing

Several members have played essential roles in shaping the development of cross-country skiing in Victoria and at the National level. Namely:

Allan Marsland has been the race director for the Kangaroo Hoppet and Australia’s Worldloppet representative since 1991. He was the National Cross Country Chairman for three years, 1993-1995, and on the National Cross Country Committee from the mid-90s to 2010. He has been a member of the FIS Popular Cross Country Race Committee. He was Chairman of Ski Cross Country Victoria for several years. In 2023, Allan was awarded the Service to Snowsport Award. Click [HERE] to view the citation.

Brian Keeble was the National Cross Country Committee Victorian delegate and National Technical (TD) Coordinator for many years. In 1996, he acted as TD at Japan’s Sapporo Ski Marathon Worldloppet event. He was the first Australian accredited by FIS to act as a TD for an international overseas cross-country ski race. He has managed numerous teams at Junior and Senior World Championships, the latest being at the 2015 Falun, Sweden World Senior Championships and officiated at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games, Albertville, France. He has also managed several Junior Development Teams in Canada, Europe and Scandinavia over the years. Has been the Chief of Race (14 times) and Technical Delegate (4 times) for the Kangaroo Hoppet from 1991 to 2011. Brian has been one of the main driving forces behind this International Cross Country Ski Race since 1991 and is still one of the most influential leaders and advisers.

Finn Marsland — Finn Marsland has contributed enormously to XC skiing at the Club, State, National and International levels as an athlete, coach, and administrator.

In SummaryFinn was the Victorian Ski Association Sports Development Officer from 1995-1997. Has been the National Cross-Country Coach and Program Director since 1999 and has coached at five Winter Olympic Games, namely Torino, Italy, 2006; Vancouver, Canada, 2010; Sochi, Russia, 2014; Seoul, South Korea, 2018; and Beijing, China, 2022. and several World and Junior Championships from 2001–2015. Finn has been the driving force behind the competitive side of Australian Cross Country Skiing in the 2000′s. He has been a member of the FIS Committees for Cross Country World Cup and Cross Country Rules & Control and was the FIS Committee for Cross Country Development chairperson at various times. He has been on the Kangaroo Hoppet course-setting team since 2000.

Paul L’Huillier was the National Cross Country Development Officer, Coaching Director, Ski Pool Negotiator, and National Coach for eight years (1986-94). Has coached at two Winter Olympic Games, namely Calgary, Canada 1988 and Albertville, France 1992, three World Junior Championships and one Senior World Championship. Was awarded Coach of the Year at the 1990 ASF Ski Awards. He also co-edited the Australian Cross Country News from 1986 to 1994 (9 years) and was editor from 1995 to 2001 (7 years). Produced the Australian Cross Country Ski Training Diary (1986, ’92. ’95, & 2001 editions) and edited the Australian Cross Country Skiing Handbook in 1989 and 1993. Was Chief of Course for the Kangaroo Hoppet 1991-1999 (9 years) and for the first two trial events, 1989 (Australian Birkebeiner Ski Marathon) and 1990 (Australian International Ski Marathon).

Helen L’Huillier — Race Secretary for the International Worldloppet race, the  Kangaroo Hoppet from 1991 to 2019 and the two trial events 1989 & 1990.

Chris Heberle — A Winter Olympian – 1988 Calgary, Canada. The leader in computerizing the timing of cross-country ski races in Australia from the mid-80s. His software was still being used up to 2010. He was editor of Australian Cross Country News from 1992 to 1994 (3 years). He won the inaugural ‘Skier of the Year Award’ at the Australian Ski Federations Award night in 1989. The only cross-country skier to do so. He coordinated the Kangaroo Hoppet event from 1991-2004.

Mark Gray — A Winter Olympian – 1994 Lillehammer, Norway. Was the first Skiing Sports Development Officer employed by the Victorian Ski Association, holding that position from 1991-1994. He was the coach of the Skiing Australia development team named Team Nagano, which travelled to Canada to train and compete in 1995.

Andrew SlocombeEmployed by Skiing Victoria as their Skiing Development Officer from 1997 to 2000.

Ronice Goebel — Been involved as Manager of the Victorian Junior Squad since 2003 and went from organising a BBQ to taking on the manager’s role after Brian Keeble stepped aside in 2005. Ronice sees herself as someone who likes to make things happen; someone describes her as the ‘klister’, but take that as you will! She values the input and expertise of parents and coaches who have made the Vic Junior Team a vibrant group to hang out with. With Jean-Claude Legras (Vic Junior Coach), she organised and assisted as coach in the biennial overseas training and development camp in North America, which has underpinned a lot of skier development and camaraderie. In 2014, she was assistant manager at the World Junior and U/23 Championships in Val de Fiemme, Italy. In late 2013, she was appointed to the Ski and Snowboard Australia – National Cross Country Committee. Ronice is also on the Board of the Kangaroo Hoppet. She has skied all 16 World Loppet races and 22 Kangaroo Hoppets and is a qualified Level 1 Coach and Technical Delegate (TD).

Bruce Vine — A Victorian delegate to the National Cross Country Committee for two years in the early ’90s. He established the Club Search and Rescue Group in 1982, prominent in many searches in the northeast of Victoria. The group is now well recognised and respected by the state emergency service agencies and is affiliated with Bushwalking Victoria’s Bush Search and Rescue.

Heather Mull was the women’s representative on the National Cross Country Committee from 1991-1992.

Allison McArdle — Australian Cross Country News Editor 2002-2005 (4 years). Coached the ACT Junior XC Squad and, since 2010, has been assisting in coaching the Victorian Junior XC Team/Squad.

In late 2013, she was appointed the National Coaching Director of the Ski and Snowboard Australia—National Cross Country Committee. In the same year, Alison also travelled to Canada for 2.5 months to gain extra coaching qualifications and experience.

At the 2013 Ski & Snowboard Australia Ski Awards, Allison received the Participation & Sport Development Award, a cross-discipline award.

Her Award Citation reads — Over the last twelve months, Allison McArdle has worked tirelessly for the betterment of Australian cross-country skiing at almost every level of the sport. On the coach education side, Allison re-accredited and organised a Level 2 coaching course, built a new Level O coaching course from scratch, and revised all cross-country skiing coaching resource material. She oversaw the establishment of the first Australian Fast & Female event, which had over 120 participants at Falls Creek at the start of July. Throughout the year, Allison was one of the two main coaches with the Victorian Junior Squad, organising training camps and coaching at events during the Australian winter. During the international season, Allison undertook a double tour, first as manager/coach for the Australian Team, preparing for the World Junior Championship, and then backing straight up to support the senior team at the World Championship in Italy and the World Cups in Switzerland and Finland. Always putting the athletes’ interests first, Allison is an exceptional role model for athletes and coaches alike.

  • Australian Junior Team Assistant Coach Nordic World Junior Championships 2003, 2004.
  • Assistant Coach and Team Manager, Australian Team Junior/u23 Nordic World Championships and Nordic World Championships 2013.
  • Lead Coach Australian Team Junior/u23 Nordic World Championships 2015.

Nick Grimmer

  • Australian Junior Team Coach World Junior & U23 Championship Coach 2013, 2014 (Val de Fiemme Italy)
  • Alaskan Junior Ski Team Coach for US Junior Nationals 2012
  • Falls Creek Primary School Ski Team Coach 2013, Yackandandah Primary School Ski Team Coach 2014 and Wangaratta High School Ski Team Coach 2015

Jean Claude (JC) LegrasVictorian Junior Team Head Coach (2005+) and assistant coach at the 2015 Falun, Sweden Senior World Championships.

  • Lead coach Australian Team Junior/u23 Nordic World Championships 2012
  • Coach Australian Team Nordic World Championships Falun Sweden 2015

Andrew Walker is the SSA XC Committee’s Technical Delegate Co-ordinator (2010+).

Paul Kovacs — SSA XC Committee’s Athlete Representative (2014+)

Ashleigh Spittle — SSA XC Committee’s Athlete Representative (2014+)

Nic Blackwell — ?

Katerina Paul — ?