Our experienced ski race coaches come from all over the world to teach race at Cardrona, from the juniors all the way through to FIS level competitive athletes.
Meet our Cardrona Alpine Ski Team coaches for 2020!
Note: Coaches for each programme are subject to change.
Adi Bernasconi – Programme Director
With a total of 55 back-to-back winters in both Switzerland & New Zealand, Adi is the man behind the success of the Cardrona Alpine Ski Team. Adi has a history of coaching U16 athletes to podiums at international races including Topolino, Whistler Cup & Pinnochio. He has spent many years on the Junior World Champs circuit coaching the best of New Zealand’s younger athletes, as well as being an Olympic coach in Salt Lake City (2002).
Sami Corne – Administrator
Sami grew up in Australia, skiing since she was 2 & training and racing with the Thredbo Ski Race Club. She has worked in the ski industry for the last 12 years, gaining qualifications through the APSI & working overseas in Japan, France, Italy & Switzerland where she began her coaching career before moving to Wanaka in 2016. In 2018, Sami was selected as a National Technical Official to work for the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics & Paralympics, preparing the pistes for the GS, SL & Parallel Team Event. Sami now spends her summers working as an Assistant Coach on the World Cup circuit in conjunction with her role as the Administrator for the Wanaka Ski Team, now returning for her 3rd year.
Jonny Rice - FIS Head Coach
Jonny calls Wanaka home & is Cardrona’s most experienced & longest-serving coach. He spends most of the year away, travelling & racing with his athletes. He has vast amounts of experience – as well as being a former coach for the Great Britain Women’s team, he has been a five-time World Championship coach, a nine-time Junior World Championship Team Captain & was New Zealand’s Alpine coach at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.
Jonny's most recent achievements include coaching Piera Hudson to earn New Zealand's first World Cup points in 15 years in Killington. Holding a Bachelor degree in Sport Science, as well being a World Cup accredited ski coach, he has coached athletes to World Championship top 25 results, Olympic selections, Nor-am victories & European Cup top 10’s. Jonny loves the challenge that goes with ski racing & believes that an individualised approach to technical, mental & physical training, as well as equipment setup, are the most important elements for ski racing success.
Sergi Avila is a Strength and Conditioning coach from Barcelona, Spain. He studied Sport Science and specialized in high performance training optimization in the University of Barcelona. He has also taken part in few international study programmes as Winter School in Sport Science in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
From 2017 to 2019 he was working as a Strength and Conditioning coach for the high-performance alpine ski team of the FCEH (Winter Sports Catalan Federation). An all year round programme for U18 and U21 FIS skiers of the country. Training and competing all over Europe. During 2018/19 season he was also the S&C Head Coach of the Catalan Pre-technification Academy. Leading and coordinating the S&C coaching staff for the U14 and U16 alpine skiing, freeride, freestyle and snowboardcross teams.
He has also worked as a freelance S&C coach for 6 years, physically training skiers (FIS and European Cup Level) and athletes from other sports.
His passion and daily goal is to optimize the physical training so the athletes can achieve their highest performance in alpine skiing.
Scott grew up in Dunedin and learnt to ski with his family at a young age. After finishing high school in 2008, he procrastinated from going to university and signed up to the Otago Polytechnic Certificate in Snowsports Instruction at Cardrona, and hasn't left.
From there he has spent the past 11 years travelling between North America and Cardrona teaching skiing. Scott has a passion for adaptive snow sports and offering everyone the opportunity to enjoy the snow as he has done.
Scott is an NZSIA Examiner and runs the Cardrona Adaptive Snow Sports programme.
This year Scott has recently become a father and is looking forward to one day teaching his son to enjoy the snow. When Scott’s not at Cardrona you will find him carrying his bike or skis up a mountain or getting lost in the bush.
Lena-May grew up skiing in the Italian Alps, racing from a young age. She comes from a very successful family of skiers & has travelled the world instructing & coaching athletes of all ages, ranging from U10 to FIS, with experience in both Europa Cup & World Cup racing. She’s extremely passionate about skiing & strives to cultivate this passion in all athletes. She holds full certification with the Italian Ski Instructors Association in Piemonte. It will be her first season in New Zealand & she's looking forward to this new adventure!
Tim grew up in Wellington, started skiing at the age of 3, & started racing at the age of 11. Racing for 7 back-to-back winters as an athlete for CAST & World Ski Connection. Tim transitioned into coaching after finishing racing, working part-time for CAST alongside studying commerce at Otago University. Tim has done two seasons working in Canada where he Coached at Revelstoke Ski Club and also coached the New Zealand Youth Team at Whistler Cup. Upon graduating last year Tim did his first full-time season at CAST and looks forward to returning for another year.
Amy has grown up in a ski racing family. She started skiing at the age of 3 at Mammoth Mountain, USA. When she moved to NZ, she continued skiing at Mt Ruapehu as a weekend warrior. At the age of 8, her family moved to Wanaka & she started ski racing with CAST. She then began following winters, skiing summers in Switzerland with World Ski Connection then home to Cardrona as part of the Alpine Ski Team. Amy is currently in Year 12 at Mount Aspiring College. She began her ski racing qualifications last year after deciding she would prefer to share her love of ski racing teaching, rather than pursuing a competitive career. She is looking forward to sharing with younger children what she has learned & experienced on the snow.
Alex lives for skiing. She grew up on a farm in Cantebury and raced with Team Hutt throughout her childhood. She took up race coaching with her local race team, before eventually moving to Wanaka in 2016. This will be her 27th season teaching skiing, having done winters in NZ, Japan, American Canada. Her winter seasons were intertwined with her university studies, but all roads had led her back to skiing. She is dedicated to sharing her passion with young athletes to help them achieve their potential. Alex has her ISIA stamp and is working towards becoming a trainer for NZSIA.
Jonatan Sterley Ekberg
Jonatan is 20 years old and comes from Stockholm, Sweden. He started skiing at the age of 3. Following his brother to the ski slopes, Jonatan began alpine skiing at the age of five, and mogul practice a year later. After 10 years in alpine racing, he began work as a coach in one of Swedens largest ski teams. During the last couple of years, he has been coaching Swedish ski talents in U12 groups.
After moving to Wanaka 12 years ago, Harry's passion for skiing was ignited and since then he has been coaching skiers of all levels for 10 years in all corners of the world.
He is a trainer with the New Zealand Snowsports Instructors Alliance (NZSIA) and was a member of the 2019 Demo Interski Team Congress in Pamporovo, Bulgaria. His passion in skiing and teaching is developing sound technical skills and understanding in every skier he works with.
He is really looking forward to skiing with the Wanaka Ski team again and hopes to instill his passion for skiing in all the young athletes.
Kate is in her final year at Mount Aspiring College and next year is looking forward to attending university and studying sport and exercise science. Skiing has been a life-long passion for Kate as she started at the age of 3 and started racing at the age of 8. She has done many years of back-to-back winters, competing in numerous International Children's events, such as Topolino, Val D'Isere, Whistler Cup, Trofeu Borrufa and Abetone. Kate's best result was achieving a podium place at Trofeu Borrufa in U16 Girls. Kate stopped FIS racing to focus on her studies and now she is looking forward to sharing her knowledge and love for the sport with the younger generation.
Jay grew up in the North Island of New Zealand and began skiing at the age of 3. He is now 18 and is currently studying at the University of Auckland. Jay first started skiing with CAST in 2015 and has 6 years of race experience including 2 years at FIS level. Since leaving racing, Jay has transitioned into coaching and has been qualified through NZSIA and has always looked forward to pursuing greater qualifications withing coaching. Jay first coached for CAST during the 2019 season and is looking forward to another great season in 2020.
Sam is a local Wanaka boy having lived here since 2001. He started racing at 10 years old with CAST and repeated numerous back to back winters in Switzerland. During his ski racing career, he represented New Zealand several times including at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games. Last year was Sam’s first year full time race coaching and he looks forward to another season part time coaching alongside going through flight school.
Annabel is a Wanaka local and is in her second to last year at Mt Aspiring College. Annabel has been skiing since she was seven, growing up in her family as the oldest of three girls, who all share a love for skiing and ski racing. Annabel was a member of CAST from 2017 to 2018, and competed in regional and national races during her time with the team. Annabel earned her NZSIA ski instructor's qualification in 2019, and is excited to be a part time coach with Wanaka Ski Team this season.
Meg has been coming to Wanaka for 11 years so could almost be considered a local! Her love for skiing started at the age of 5 learning at Cardrona and has grown from year to year. Meg started ski racing in year 6 for her school and soon became passionate for the sport. She has been member of the now, Wanaka Ski Team for six years, and competed in many school, regional and national races with some great results. Last year Meg gained her NZSIA ski instructor's qualification and is looking forward to giving back to the sport that she loves. She has a great connection with younger children and is looking forward to sharing her ski racing knowledge and skills. Meg loves ski racing, WST and everything it represents and looks forward to begin part of the coaching team this season.