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Inside the fence

Officials courses offered for ski jumping, Nordic combined, sliding sports

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The 2008-09 season is shaping up to be a busy one for both Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Sliding Centre, as the facilities are open full time for training and preparations are underway to host several international test events. There is ample opportunity here for anyone who ever wanted to get inside the fences and beyond simply volunteering.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) is putting on officials courses for ski jumping, Nordic combined and the sliding sports, encouraging more people to get involved.

On Sunday, Sept. 21, VANOC is hosting a free Level 1 Theory and Technical Officials Course for both ski jumping and Nordic combined events. The course will introduce officials to the event, including the history, technique and equipment; familiarize officials with the ski jump facility; explain the different competition formats, scoring systems and rules; explain the role of the International Ski Federation and other sanctioning bodies; and provide information on the different volunteer positions available.

The Level 1 courses take place Sept. 21, Oct. 18, Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and you only need to attend one date. Level 2 courses will be offered in the near future.

Participants should meet at the base of the ski jumps in Whistler Olympic Park before 9 a.m., and bring a lunch, proper outdoor attire and proper footwear.

If you’re more interested in the Olympic sliding sports, luge, bobsleigh and skeleton, there is an officials course this weekend, Sept. 20-21, and another course on Sept. 27-28.

Those courses are being offered by The Track Club at the Whistler Sliding Centre, a local organization created to develop officials, volunteers and athletes.

The Whistler Sliding Centre will be open full time this winter for training, and World Cup events take place in the New Year for all three sliding sports.

Registration is online at www.trackclubatthewhistlerslidingcentre.camp9.org.

A Level II Cross-Country Officials Clinic is taking place Oct. 3-5, open to all officials that have taken their Level I course.

It’s going to be a busy winter for both Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler Sliding Centre.

December — Biathlon B.C. Cup, Dec. 13-14; World Cup B Nordic Combined and Continental Cup Ladies Ski Jumping, Dec. 18-19

January — FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Jan. 15-18; FIS Cross-Country World Cup, Jan. 15-18; FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Jan. 23-24

February — FIBT Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup, Feb. 2-8; Biathlon Nor Am Cup, Feb. 7-8; FIL Luge World Cup, Feb. 16-22; Cross-Country B.C. Midget Championship, Feb. 28

March — Biathlon IBU World Cup, March 12-15; IPC Biathlon and Cross-Country World Cup, March 12-15

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