This year’s Event Organizer and TD Training Seminar was held over the weekend at the Holderness School in central New Hampshire. We kicked off the seminar with presentations with a thorough recap of transformation of Holderness’s nordic trails, which now include a 2.5km snowmaking loop and 1.5km of night skiing. In that presentation Pat Casey noted that their highly experienced chief of snowmaking operations compared the new snowmaking system “to being given a Ferrari!” To all the weekend’s participants it is quite clear that Holderness now has a fantastic resource they want to share with our community.
Eileen Carey gave a super presentation on how we can better incorporate Para skiing into events in our region. This was followed by excellent presentations from Carol Van Dyke on Volunteer Coordination and Knut Sauer on his experiences as Chief of Control at last year’s University Games in Lake Placid – using remote security cameras in place of hand held devices to record rules infractions. We broke up the classroom time with outdoor group work, where each group was assigned a task related to race day preparations/setup. We had very useful discussions of their findings in the subsequent debrief session.
In the late afternoon we enjoyed a crowd favorite – Allan Serrano led us through review of rule infraction videos from last season, with the crowd trying to see if we came to the same conclusions as the race juries did. This is a highly useful exercise, teaching officials how to consistently officiate as a collective. Following this activity, we enjoyed a delicious meal and unstructured social time in the Holderness dining hall. After dinner we reconvened on Holderness turf field/cross country ski stadium to test Bullitttiming’s camera system ahead of this year’s Eastern Cup night sprint. In addition to showing us cool toys, Ed Despard led a discussion on other timing options available to event organizers and how the can make incremental steps to being self-sufficient for smaller local races.
Sunday morning we kicked off the day with the annual FIS rules update given by Allan Serrano (turns out it’s very handy to have someone on the FIS rules committee in our region). The update sparked lots of good conversation and allowed us to better clarify our understanding of these changes – one of the clear benefits of having an in person event is this back-and-forth dialogue. The rest of the morning we went outside for group workstations. Groups had about 20min at each station to learn the key points and tricks on how to be more efficient in each role. Topics covered were: Course Marshall training, How to Run a Race Jury Meeting, How to Identify Components of a Homologated Timing Setup, Best Practices of Timing Chip Distribution and Collection, How to Setup Fluoro Control, and Best Practices for Stadium Setup. We regathered inside for a short activity debrief, expressions of thanks and a group photo.
This event is truly a community building exercise. Event organizers, volunteers, officials, some coaches and NENSA staff spend the weekend building relationships through activities and personal interactions, which improve our ability to work together successfully to put on events all across the region. We are very grateful to have such an engaged community helping to support the grass roots of our sport. A huge thank is deserved for all the presenters and group leaders who invested their time and expertise to make this a very successful Event Organizer and TD Seminar. Many thanks are also due to the Holderness School, its coaches and local athletes who worked with us to host this event!