Not even one more month to go until the Summer Grand Prix 2014 and with it, the excitement for the first ever international Nordic Combined training camp for boys AND girls grows and grows. It will be the 12th edition of the FIS Nordic Combined Youth Grand Prix which comprises the highlight of the training camp for Nordic Combined’s youngsters, offering two days of international competitions and the chance to get a close look at the current top names of the discipline.
From the 27th until the 31st of August, 58 boys and 29 girls from seven nations (and 2 more countries have expressed their interest, too) as well as 20 coaches can look forward to a diversified program with many highlights. The boys will start in the age groups of 13- and 14-year-olds while girls are entitled to take part in the camp with the years of birth ranging from 1996 to 2002 to enable as many young female athletes as possible to have the experience.
Wednesday, 27th kicks off with free training on Oberstdorf’s HS 60 or HS 30 hills, followed by cross-country training at the World Cup ski stadium Ried. In the evening, the young athletes will have the first proper chance to get to know each other across nations and genders at a joint barbecue at the Erdinger Arena.
After an info meeting on Thursday morning, it’s off to another four rounds of ski jumping training at the Erdinger Arena for the youngsters before the group heads back out to the cross-country stadium for some roller skate or roller ski training, including the Powerslide test center. A team captains’ meeting and joint dinner conclude the second day.
It’s competition day on Friday, 29th with the trial round starting at 10:00 followed by the ski jumping competition round. At two o’clock it’s the time of truth for boys and girls with roller ski races of 4 km (girls and boys aged 13) and 6 km (boys aged 14) at the cross-country stadium Ried. After the competition, the young athletes will be whisked away to an attractive side program with different options for good and bad weather.
For the coaches, a seminar with the topic „Insights into the training work in ski jumping in Germany“ is offered which is held with the support of the Institute of Applied Training Science Leipzig. From 18:00 onwards, everybody will head back to the Erdinger Arena to watch their idols compete in the first of two Summer Grand Prix competitions in Oberstdorf. The highlight of the day will without doubt be the joint Prize Griving Ceremony at the Erdinger Arena when the stars of Nordic Combined personally honour their young fellow athletes.
Saturday marks the second competition day, the sprint day. The ski jumping kicks off with the trial round at 9:00 followed by the competition round and a side program to entertain the participating youths until their races (girls and boys aged 13: 2,5 km, boys aged 14: 4 km) start at 17:00. The highlight: the young athletes get to use the same city course lined with spectators which the senior athletes use in their Summer Grand Prix competitions afterwards. Again, the winners can look forward to a joint Prize Giving Ceremony with their idols.
On Sunday, the teams have the opportunity for some more training jumps on the HS 60 or 106 hills before everybody departs for home again.
Stefan Huber, Secretary General of the OC in Oberstdorf is well aware of the importance of the occasion: „Finally the day has come - the ladies are starting in Nordic Combined, too. We are very happy that Oberstdorf is able to host this historic competition when the Nordic Combined Ladies will battle out their first international winner.“