QAST 2020 Coaching Team
Damien O’Connell is now moving into his second year as our Program Director. Few people in QAST have more knowledge than Damo – he knows what he's talking about!
Having recently retired as the QAST Chairman, Damo has proved invaluable to us on many occasions. He has boundless energy required to manage and administer our Alpine ski racing program. His primary duty as QAST Program Director will be to define future direction for the growth of the team and bring that direction to life by handling the behind the scenes efforts - logistics, financials, staffing and management of the team.
Damo is looking forward to taking on the challenge of making us the best youth ski racing program in the Southern Hemisphere.
U10/U12 Head Coach
Lucy is a super star, a regular now on the QAST coaching team and always does an awesome job with our U10/U12 athletes.
A QAST member from a young age, Lucy grew up in Queenstown, attending Queenstown Primary and Wakatipu High School. Lucy is a very competitive person, having been brought up from a child competing at a national level both with equestrian, on the show jumping circuit, and Alpine ski racing. Racing in her blood; Lucy comes from a family that has raced extensively - her father, uncles and older sister have all raced and coached internationally. From the age of 7-14 she was involved in Alpine ski racing. She competed successfully at national level consistently placing in the top seven. She trained locally with QAST for four years, being taught by top coaches from around the world including Tim Cafe, Veronica, Michael, Chris Knight and Ian Mclean.
In 2018, she joined the International Ski Racing Academy and coached in Copper Mountain for their pre-season training. Following that, a stint in Italy coaching Juniors and FIS athletes, including Alice Robinson. This year, plans to coach in California at a pre-season camp with Tim Café were cancelled due to Covid. Under the tutor ledge of world cup coaches, Lucy is a bright young coaching talent and building a strong name for herself. Lucy is currently studying at Massey University.
U14 Lead Coach
Having lived in Twizel all his life, Willis grew up with a passion for the outdoors and from the age of 2 was enjoying the slopes of Ohau. He started ski race training when he was 10 years old which was a little later than some but quickly decided it was a huge amount of fun and what he wanted to do with his life.
Willis has a phenomenal CV as an athlete. He began racing and training with the New Zealand Ski team in 2012, competing in 4 World Championships so far (2013-2019) and 27 World Cups. The highlight so far being the 2018 Olympics where he competed in the Super G, GS and Slalom. His best World ranking was 44th and he has been ranked in the top 200 in every discipline.
Willis is looking forward to his first full season of coaching. He is focused on passing on all he has learnt over the years as a racer to the next generation of young athletes. He brings with him his fresh racing knowledge base and enthusiasm to lead our U14 age-group athletes into the future. His big personality ensures training for all is fun as well as hard work!
U16 Lead Coach
Huw is a welsh kiwi and all round awesome guy. He emigrated to Nelson, NZ when he was 10 years old and found his passion and talent for race training with the Rainbow Ski Club. After High School, he travelled to Courchevel to start his BASI training, whilst teaching & training he went on to complete his final module at BASI level 4, receiving the ISIA stamp, the Euro Mountain Security, UKCP 2 Alpine Race Coach and Eurotest.
Huw brings a wealth of technical knowledge and experience to our club. He has the ability to connect with racers and get them to perform at their best. He has worked at all levels and is an experienced and skilled ski coach who will bring his vast industry knowledge across all levels to our young squad of U16 athletes.
Senior FIS Head Coach
Once again Angus takes his place on the QAST Coaching Team. Angus is a Queenstown original, a past QAST and NZ Ski Team Athlete, who has coached with QAST for the past 18 years and has been our FIS Head Coach since 2005. Angus is our man, an experienced coach who brings a wealth of knowledge to the QAST environment including international coaching experience in the US, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Canada. He currently splits his time living 6 months in Queenstown and 6 months in Switzerland where he works coaching in Villars. We are thrilled to have Angus back and lucky to have his passion leading our FIS team again this year.