Since Australia doesn't have its own long track facility the team is based overseas, primarily in The Netherlands. The Netherlands is a country with a strong following for every kind of speed skating, long track speed skating being the number two sport behind football.
In the summer when there is no ice, training focus switches from ice speed skating to inline speed skating. Our Aussie athletes are already well established in the inline community, with Daniel and Josh having claimed numerous Junior World medals between them and Brooke dominating the Dutch marathon circuit. Inline training provides a large amount of competitions and tough competitors for the Aussies all year round.
The national coach, Desly Hill, is the coach for the Dutch national inline team during the summer months. As a result, much of the summer is spent training with the Dutch inliners, who expand the training group and provide welcome competition. The Dutch have just returned from their most successful Inline World Championships ever, meanwhile the Aussies continue training in the Netherlands preparing for the winter. Soon it will be their turn to show their stuff, legs are itching for the chance to leave everything on the ice once again.
The ice is back in The Netherlands tomorrow, but there is still a little bit of preparation to go before the show begins, the first World Cup event will take place in Chelyabinsk, Russia on the 18th of November. Be sure to watch the results, because with so much hard work in the bank, there is nowhere to go but up for our Aussie long trackers.
Article written by AIS Long Track Speed Skating athlete - Daniel Greig