Published on: 15 March 2013

Despite a distinct lack of snow, a team of Christ Church boys became the first WA team to compete at the 6th International Children’s Winter Games (ICWG) in Russia recently. The boys competed in snowboarding and skiing events at the ICWG an International Olympic Committee (IOC) endorsed event.

The Years 7 to 9 students, including Aidan Haegel, Harry Hewitt, Myles McQuillan, Thomas McQuillan, David Quinsee, Jason Rarey, Rohan Smith and Michael Stephens, spent one week training and experiencing traditional Japan at Myoko Kogan ski resort with other Australian teams before a brief stopover and sightseeing in Moscow and onto the games in Ufa.

Team manager/coach and the School’s Director of Kooringal Dave Anderson said the cultural experiences for the boys, parents and staff were extreme. “Not to mention the weather – we left Perth with temperatures of almost 40 degrees to compete in Ufa down to minus 20 degrees,” he said.“

Japan was as much of a cultural experience as Russia. We stayed at a traditional resort (where the Japanese royal family holiday), lived the Japanese way for a week and trained in never-ending powder snow.” It was here the boys quickly forged friendships with fellow Australian athletes and developed their skills ahead of the games.

“Then it was on to Moscow… hard, abrupt but magical in its own cold way. The divide and difference between Moscow and Ufa surprised us the most – Ufa virtually on the boarder of Europe and Asia,” he said.

At the games, the boys competed in alpine GS skiing, skier cross, boarder cross and slope style. While obviously not as competitive as some of the other athletes, Mr Anderson said the way the boys performed and grew was inspiring. “They gave it their all and they held their heads high. They showed the true spirit of Christ Church boys, it was widely acknowledged by the other competitors that they came from a location with no snow and were hence commended for the effort and style in which they competed.”

Mr Anderson said in Ufa, the boys experienced the true Baskir hospitality and made friends from all over the world in the athletes’ village. 58 cities representing 21 countries attended the ICWG from around the globe, which was broadcast live on Russian television.

Mr Anderson said it was wonderful to see the aim and spirit of the IOC play out with the boys making friends from around the globe and competing in a manner that fosters understanding of other cultures.