FIS Newsflash continues its series of presenting activities of the various members of the global ski family. Gagik Sargysan, General Secretary of the Armenian Ski Association provides insight into the work done in Armenia to grow the sport there.
Which disciplines is your current focus?
Gagik Sargysan: The Armenian Ski Association became a member of FIS in 1993 and has put its focus on the development of grassroots participation and high level performance mainly in Alpine and cross-country skiing disciplines. But, we are planning on developing a second direction which is the promotion of Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping and roller skiing in the capital city of Yerevan.
What are you doing in more detail to develop these disciplines?
GS: While first steps in the beginning included material support (e.g. flags, poles, skis), a first initiative in a forward direction was a technical course for Armenian Alpine coaches in 2009 as part of the IOC Olympic Solidarity program. In early 2012, the second stage of the program took place in Tskhkadzor Ski Resort support by the FIS Solidarity program. This autumn, the FIS Leaders Seminar will be organized in Yerevan which will give further impulse to the development of Armenian ski sports.
What does your country’s engagement in “Bring Children to the Snow” look like?
GS: Tsakhkadzor Ski Resort” was part of the first World Snow Day on 22nd January 2012. It offered skiing and snowboarding lessons free of charge for 2 to 12 year-old children and their parents. Throughout the day, about 100 participants enjoyed games and contests with the winners receiving gifts from the Armenian Ski Federation.
What are your future plans with regards to developing skiing in Armenia?
GS: In future, Armenia will have to promote ski sports with the help of investors at local and national levels. All of our projects which have been realized and which will be done in the future, may only succeed if a strong link between the Ski Association, the national government, FIS, as well as sponsors and media is given.
How would you rate the results of your efforts so far?
GS: The best result of our efforts is the increasing number of people involved in skiing year by year. And this in turn leads to better results in the international ski sports arena. Sergey Mikayelyan who took 8th in the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships 2012 in Erzurum (TUR), is a bright example of this.