Birkie News Bulletin – 14th October 2021

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Birkie Athlete Grants

The club has been supporting athletes for forty years by providing financial assistance for overseas travel and associated expenses. If you believe you fit the eligibility criteria then download an Application Form and submit it to the secretary by Monday 18th October. The Form is in Word format and can be typed into. It will appear in your downloads folder or on the desktop. Please attach supporting documentation as requested.

Lily Murnane – profile

Lily competing in USA.

Participating in the Emerging Talent Program (ETP) alongside fellow snow sport athletes and being able to learn from experts helps young skiers and snowboarders understand that they are not alone on the journey towards becoming successful athletes, according to 18-year-old cross country skier Lily Murnane. Read Lily’s profile [HERE].

Snow Australia eNews & XC News — subscribe

Open up the Snow Australia website <> and scroll to the bottom of the home page. Fill in your name and email address and click subscribe.

On the next screen check • Cross Country Community Update AND • eNews and click subscribe.

NOTE — If you are already a Subscriber to Snow Australia eNews then to get the NEW publication you need to access a previous Snow Australia eNews and scroll to the bottom and click on Manage Your Preferences and make your selection there.

Note — If you go to the News menu on the Snow Australia website you can also access these publications.

Birkie Bits by Nordic Ned

  • Nordic Ned is short on ‘bits & pieces’ this month. It would be great if he had some help.

2021 Virtual Hoppet Report

The Kangaroo Hoppet has wrapped up for another year with a great participation level and many wonderful stories from a virtual event. 

Way back in the sunny and free days of February the Organising Committee decided to again offer a virtual Hoppet so that overseas skiers could keep up their involvement with the event despite being locked out of the country.

By June they were still thinking along the lines of offering a real event for Victorians, plus folk from within the Border Bubble and the ACT, but by August reality set in and the Virtual Hoppet became the only offering. The option of a refund or transfer of entry to 2022 and free entry to the virtual event was offered to all those who had entered the actual event. Only 5% have asked for a refund, which is nice.

The Virtual Hoppet attracted almost 1200 entries with 31 countries and all Australian states and mainland territories represented, and ages from just a few months to 83. (The babies and toddlers competed in the pouch class, reserved for children who were carried or towed along by their parents.) Participants came from Argentina, Austria, Canada, Czechia, Dubai, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA. 

The activities and stories were as diverse as the locations from across the world. As well as the expected running, walking, cycling, mountain biking and, for those lucky enough to live in a Victorian Alpine Resort or in the Snowy Monaro LGA, cross country skiing. Other activities included exercise machines, paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming and one in a wheelchair on the rail trail in the Ovens Valley, or a 21km beach running slog (well done Barb Plant!). Altitudes ranged literally from sea level (one lady swam 7km at Middle Park, taking three days as she stayed within her daily exercise time limit) to 3000 metres (a Swiss skier doing 42km on the glacier at Les Diablerets). Jussi from Finland paddled a sea kayak for 93km over two days in the gulf of Bothia.

The Virtual Event and the long-term sustainability of the event is reliant and genuinely appreciative of the major sponsors. AGL have remained a committed partner since the beginning and continue to provide financial and logistical support for the event as part of their contribution to the community that they live and operate in. AGL also invest in athlete scholarships each ear that support the aspirations of Australian skiers to compete internationally (more on this topic in a later edition).  The Mt Beauty and District and Community Bank have recently joined the Hoppet as a major sponsor and have been vital in supporting the event through the COVID disruptions. Falls Creek Resort Management have maintained vital support for the actual skiing event through financial, logistical support and preparation of great trails for the event and during the season. All major sponsors of the Hoppet are vital to the ongoing sustainability of the event and the Hoppet Organising Committee and skiing community are genuinely appreciative of their support. 

While a great way to get motivated to do some exercise, the Virtual Hoppet was primarily aimed at keeping connected during our second year of pandemic restrictions. Many participants shared their stories on the Facebook page Kangaroo Hoppet – Do It Your Way. Take some time to check it out as there are so many great stories from the valley and around the world.

Next year…..surely the event will run on snow as before! It will be a big celebration for the Hoppet as 27th August will be the 30th staging of the event. Keep it in mind, and get thos skiing muscles sorted during summer and help us celebrate this amazing event in 2022!

Ben Derrick – Race Director

Mt Bogong – West Peak

Heath Matheson reenacting the Billy Barker photo taken sometime ago on the edge of West Peak. Billy Barker is the current head of the Mt Hotham ski patrol and does the daily snow report on their website.

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing Update

Bogong High Plains

The Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing will share the beauty of the Australian Alps with those who choose to take part in the proposed 57-kilometre multi-day route. The current track upgrade will create a five-day and four-night route as well as providing options for those who looking to do shorter overnight walks.

Project Update

A preliminary Environmental Values Assessment has been created to give the community a broader understanding of the project and how Parks Victoria are ensuring that there is minimal impact on the environment.

A Business Case and further development of a Visual Landscape Assessment is also taking place to assist with refining the locations, details and design of accommodation and trail alignment, surface and grading.

The planning work is expected to be finalised in early 2022.

Stage 1 which includes track upgrades and creating up to two overnight campgrounds including roofed accommodation options is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Further completion of the crossing will be subject to future government investment.

Want to Know More?

An Online Information Session is going to be held to keep the community up to date on project progress.

Date: Wednesday 27th October 2021

Time: 7pm – 8:30pm

Register HERE to get involved.

For more information on the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing click HERE.

Hoppet Promotion 1990/91 style

Hoppet Postage Stamps — In 1990/91 the National Team tour of Europe which included the World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy the team members wore these ‘promotional signs’. They wore these for the entire trip to help promote the newly accredited Worldloppet Event the Kangaroo Hoppet which was to be held in August 1991. Can you identify any of the skiers? Let the editor know.

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