Today at its headquarters, Vall Banc, the main sponsor of the snowboard and freestyle section, unveiled the sporting structure for the coming season. All the competitors attended the event, including the leaders of the FAE (Andorran Ski Federation) and Marc Cornella, Head of Human Resources at Vall Banc.
Cornella has encouraged the snowboard competitors to continue building on their success and, as a manager at Vall Banc, he is proud to "continue promoting Andorran sport as a way of encouraging positive values such as discipline, effort and bettering oneself".
The FAE snowboard section will continue with the national team formed by Lluís Marín and Maeva Estevez in boardercross. Both will continue to form part of French World Cup teams for another season. This is once again possible this year thanks to the fantastic partnership between the French Federation and the FAE. This year, Estevez joins this structure for the World Cup, which, as the head of the FAE, Carles Visa, declared, "Will provide an additional element in terms of quality for training and the resources that this structure has available (physiotherapists/doctors/technicians), and, most importantly, an additional element at competition level, which only due to the fact of being able to share training sessions, experiences, and the day-to-day with riders such as Chloe Trespeuch or Julia Pereira (Pyongchang Medallist) -both of whom are normally among the world top 5- we believe that this is a very good opportunity for her and we are more than convinced that this will help her to continue growing in this sport and, more importantly, consolidate objectives".
The structure has added a younger element by following two youngsters in SBX, Mario Da Cruz and Xavi Matas, who thanks to the excellent relationships with the Spanish Federation (RFEDI), are currently "following a monitoring programme with the youngsters of the Spanish team", Visa confirmed. Da Cruz joined programme last year, but Matas was unable to due to a knee injury. Both were able to start the 20-21 campaign despite the difficulties due to the different restrictions when travelling outside Andorra. Lastly, and with the winter in mind "soon", according to Visa, there will be "some actions with young riders of interest for the FAE, such as the Tagliaferro brothers", who snowboard in the freestyle disciplines. "The idea is to provide the resources so that they can carry out two training sessions every week (during school term) after school, combining sessions at 360xtrem when the resorts are closed and with sessions at the Peretol snowpark during the snow season, always ensuring that time out of school will affect them in the smallest manner possible", Visa confirmed. These two sessions will be added to the two weekend sessions with the aim of "improving the level of these youngsters". Turning to the winter, these riders will have a competition schedule which is still yet to be determined.
The idea of the FAE for the national SBX team is still in line with that of the last season and has its sights firmly fixed on this year's World Cup (Zhangjiakou, China, 18 to 28 February) and classification for the next Olympic Games (Pekin 22). But this is always subject to the evolution of the COVID pandemic and the requirements established by the FIS and the Andorran Government. This situation, according to Visa, "will ultimately decide if we are able to have a competition schedule with a certain degree of normality and as a result have all the opportunities to compete for the objectives". In fact, neither the dates nor competitions will be known until the end of the month, and it will not be until then that the way in which the competitions will be held is announced. At the moment, eight World Cups, three team World Caps and the World Championships have been scheduled. If this is finally confirmed, both Lluís Marín and Maeva Estevez will focus "confidently and exclusively to the WC circuit with Maeva participating in the European Cup".
Vall Banc signed an agreement in February becoming the official and main sponsor of the snowboard and freestyle sections of the FAE for the 2020-21 season.