GB Snowsport (GBS) has today announced a new partnership with Apex2100 International Ski Academy (Apex), a ski academy and educational school based in France, led by former US Ski Team Head Coach, Sasha Rearick, to provide a new development pathway for British Alpine Skiing.
This new partnership will see Apex become the preferred Academy Partner for GBS and has been created to support and enhance existing Alpine athlete pathways, while at the same time establishing Apex as a centre of excellence for GBS FIS, Europa Cup and World Cup athletes. GBS’s new development pathway, which will be shared transparently within the Alpine system, will give athletes a clear path to reach the highest level of Alpine skiing with support from Apex and GBS at every level and will be designed to help British athletes succeed in World Cups and Olympic Games. The partnership will also see the establishment of a scholarship fund overseen by Apex and GBS to ensure the Alpine athlete pathway is accessible to as wide a pool of British athletes as possible.
Apex will collaborate with GBS to design age-specific programmes and provide coach education to develop both British skiers and coaches. These programmes will focus on the fundamentals of ski racing and the application of sports science and sports medicine as well as coach education, building on an approach which has seen the best period of Alpine results in British history under GBS’s stewardship. The programmes will not be exclusive to British athletes, allowing young athletes to live and train in an international environment, challenged by the best of their young international competitors.
GBS has long wished to have a “home in the Alps” to enhance its commitment to nurturing a sustainable and growing presence on Alpine World Cup podiums over the medium to longer term. Alongside Apex’s academy based in France, GBS are working together with Apex to create multiple training bases around the world for athletes to use.
At the U14 level and U16 level, GBS and Apex will work with all British clubs, academies, and Home Nations National Governing Bodies to support their training and aid the development of a pool of talented skiers with a passion for the sport, through a process of regular dialogue between Apex, GBS, clubs, Academies, and key figures throughout the Alpine system, led by Sasha Rearick. GBS and Apex will also run Pool Camps for the best male and female U14 athletes, providing an opportunity for British clubs and academies to collaborate while developing the next generation of Alpine ski champions. The British Children’s Ski Team, meanwhile, will remain a critical part of the Alpine system, with Selection Policies continuing to reflect the multiple partners involved in developing promising young Alpine skiers.
At the U18-U21 and senior FIS levels; GBS are forming a Development Team based at Apex. This programme will give athletes a 55 – 65-day prep period and 80 – 100-day race period with consistent coaching and an integrated education and performance programme, with the education element incorporated up to 18 years of age. All other clubs, academies, and individuals outside of the Apex pathway will continue to be encouraged and supported, and British registered athletes at such clubs, Academies, or training elsewhere will continue to hold equal status when being considered for selection to squads or events in line with GBS Selection Policies. They will continue to play an integral role in the future of the British Alpine World Class Programme.
Apex will also be supporting the British Europa Cup team to ensure athletes can progress into the World Cup and give them the best chance of reaching their podium potential.
Rory Tapner, Chairman, GB Snowsport, said:
“Having had the most successful Alpine results in British history over the past few years, GB Snowsport is delighted to build on this success through the creation of a meaningful strategic partnership with Apex.
“The key to success of our World Cup programme lies in ensuring strength and depth of the talent pathway. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sasha Rearick, a world class coach, and with Apex in developing our young British athletes for the future.”
Chris Thomson, Chief Executive, Apex2100, said:
“We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with GBS which will give a clear pathway for aspiring GB athletes from across the globe to gain the necessary days on snow whilst attending to their academic and personal development. Apex is an International Ski academy that ensures that the very best athletes from around the world are living and training alongside one another in a state-of-the-art building based in the French Alps. Exposing GB athletes to this peer group from a young age is paramount to continuing the success the UK have enjoyed at the World Cup level.”
Sasha Rearick, Alpine Performance Director, Apex2100, said:
“The journey to make it to the top of the Alpine World Cup is long and requires many consistent steppingstones. GBS and Apex’s new partnership provides athletes and their families with a focus on the long-term athletic and academic development of each athlete along this pathway. A partnership like this would raise the bar for any Olympic sport. I am personally thrilled to be part of such a game changing program where athletes will grow and learn to perform, as they progress through national development, junior national and European Cup teams. I look forward to working closely with the Home Nations, British ski clubs and the other leading Alpine academies.
Dave Ryding, winner of the Kitzbuehel Slalom 2022 World Cup and member of the British Alpine World Cup Squad, added:
“I am delighted to become an Ambassador for Apex, and to support this new development. As an athlete on the World Cup for over ten years I hope people have also seen my passion for Alpine skiing as a whole. Apex is a really exciting project for British Skiing, and I see it playing a very large part in producing our next generation of skiers. I am extremely keen to pass on the knowledge that I have built in the sport to our next World Cup athletes, and also continue the graft that people have put in over the last decade to get British Skiing to where it is today.
“I would like to be a part of re-opening doors and creating a path better than that I had as a youngster. While helping to do this, I dream of making skiing accessible to a wider scope of kids again because I see a lot of potential in our young athletes back in the UK.”
Header Image: Dave Ryding at Val d’Isere Slalom World Cup, December 2022 (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)