Ice Sports head coach takes on national role

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Simone Thornett. PHOTO: THE ENSIGN FILES

A new challenge awaits Simone Thornett.

The Ice Sports Southland head coach was appointed as the New Zealand Ice Figure Association coaching director earlier this month.

It was “really good” to be chosen for the role, which had been held by a Canterbury coach since 2015.

Ice Sports Southland nominated her after she expressed an interest.

“It’s great challenge,” Thornett said.

She was delighted that Ice Sports Southland’s treasurer, Fiona Marsh, was appointed as the association’s secretary.

“The majority of members are from up north. We don’t have many from down here . . . with Fiona, it’s good to have new faces on it.”

Thornett’s role would involve setting up coaching courses, liaising with coaches, providing advice and new initiatives for the association.

She would be pivotal in the restructuring of the Learn to Skate programme implemented throughout the country.

“We have been restructuring it for the whole country to be doing the same thing so it will be liaising with coaches and new coaches and giving advice.

“There wasn’t a lot known about the badges so it’s restructuring as a union and looking at new things to bring in.”

She would work alongside accredited and up-and-coming coaches nationwide.

Coaches renewed their memberships last month and she was working through their credentials at the moment.

When she arrived from England four years ago as she “didn’t really know the structures”, so she hoped she could provide guidance for overseas coaches coming into the country.

However, the figure skating season was an unknown at this stage because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It could be that we push the season later into the year, depending on what happens.”

National events were scheduled for October and there was a possibility skaters might have the chance to still qualify, she said.

Thornett’s new role was voluntary and she continues her work with Ice Sports Southland.