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How to Start a National Ski Association
By:  Mark Rajack   (2013/06/21)

Before you begin:

    If you are interested in starting a national ski association, a word to the wise. Should you happen to be from a small-island nation state, or any other state devoid of winter and with no enduring culture of winter sport, be prepared to receive lots of “oh, like the Jamaican bobsled team” the second you mention you are looking to represent your country in international competition. To reply, you can politely inform them that it is no longer possible for inexperienced amateurs to compete at an Olympic level (research Eddie the Eagle) and that nowadays, point standard qualifications exist with governing bodies to preserve the validity and integrity of the sport.

    With that said, this article will give general direction to those interested in starting their own National Ski Association (hereinafter called NSA) for the purposes of international competition.

Step 1: Ensure your NSA doesn’t already exist

    Do not start with your country’s Olympic Committee or National Sports Ministry. In my case, both of them make no mention about the existence of a NSA for Trinidad and Tobago. Instead, go directly to the governing body for all major ski related events, the International Ski Federation or FIS.

 http://www.fis-ski.com/ www.fis-ski.com -> Inside FIS -> National Ski Associations

You can find your country’s NSA using their search function.


    According to the above photo, if it happens that you are a competitive Nordic skier, part of the Togolese diaspora and in possession of a valid Togolese passport, then you are in luck - your NSA exists. Proceed to step 3, if not, continue reading please.

Step 2: Follow the application guidelines for membership with FIS

http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/insidefis/fisgeneralrules/statutes.html www.fis-ski.com -> Inside FIS -> FIS General Rules -> Statues -> Information application for membership with FIS


    Now this is where the real work begins. This document outlines everything required to have a FIS recognized National Ski Association. Start with ensuring your country’s passport is still valid and that you are affiliated with a Nordic ski club. A major challenge can be obtaining written support from your state’s National Olympic Committee and National Sports Ministry. Beware that for certain countries, especially developing ones, response times may require infinite patience. Expect to send many emails and to make numerous long distance calls back home, just keep at it.

Step 3: Obtain your FIS license

   FIS licenses must be obtained through your existing or newly created NSA and are required to earn FIS points and represent your country. Many NSA’s have additional forms and associated fees. At the very least, all participants must complete the FIS athlete’s declaration and identify their discipline.


www.fis-ski.com -> Inside FIS -> FIS General Rules -> Licences

Step 4: Understand how your discipline works

    We can now make the switch to www.fiscrosscountry.com . The FAQ section is very well organized and easy to understand. To qualify to compete at select international events you must satisfy both your NSA’s and the FIS point standards at a minimum.


Step 5: Start racing and proudly represent your country!

    Nordic skiing is not an easy domain to enter. Unlike soccer, you don’t just need a ball. I have found the trifecta of opportunity, money and technical knowledge to be necessary precursors to just getting yourself onto the snow successfully. Do as much as you can to spread your knowledge and enjoyment of this sport, as it has the potential to bring life-changing happiness throughout our coldest, darkest and most isolating days. Barriers to this abound. Most people I’ve approached in the Trinbagonian and Caribbean community want nothing to do with winter, let alone commit resources to it. But with each successive generation, we become better integrated and attitudes are slowly but surely changing.

Here’s to making it better.
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