FIL development program in the Covid-19 pandemic: “It's complicated when you can't meet”


Maciej Kurowski

Krynica (FIL) The head coach of the FIL development program, Maciej Kurowski (Poland), wanted to improve the basic fitness of his athletes in the summer of 2020 and had planned three summer training camps for this reason together with the team manager of the FIL development program Fred Zimny (USA). Maciej Kurowski explains: “Our big problem this summer was of course the lockdown due to the Coronavirus. Therefore, our international training camps were unfortunately not possible. Everyone trained individually at home. Of course I am in contact with the athletes by e-mail. That makes everything a bit complicated because I can't see the athletes and I can't meet them, and it is also very difficult with the sled construction too. Our athletes from different nations always take their sleds home after the season.”

The 34-year-old Kurowski competed three times at the Olympic Games and came fifth in Poland's Team Relay at the 2016 and 2017 FIL European Championships, among others. In the coming season Kurowski is expected to look after athletes from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Taipei, Moldavia, Finland and partly Great Britain. Maciej Kurowski reports: “Everything is still in the planning stage for the coming season. By the end of September I will know who wants to train and start where and when, and I can see how that might fit in with the current state of travel restrictions and infection figures. Over the summer I will now help out as a coach for the juniors of the Polish Federation until the ice season starts again.”

As with the rest of Europe, Poland was affected by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. The major lockdown in Poland was imposed by the government from mid-March to almost the end of May. Maciej Kurowski explains: “We had a curfew and had to stay at home the whole time. Only short shopping trips were possible and we were allowed to take the dog for a walk. During this time only training at home was allowed. All weight rooms and training centres were closed until the end of May.”

Maciej Kurowski

Since the end of June, Kurowski has been helping out as a coach for the Polish juniors: “Since mid-June it has been possible again to train in a group in Poland. We already had two training courses in our Olympic Centres in Cetniewo near Gdansk and afterwards in Walcz near Poznan. The third training course with the juniors is currently taking place in Krynica. We train in the ice rink, gym and in the hall.”

Together with the international FIL group, the head coach of the development program would like to start luge on ice in Lillehammer (Norway) in mid-October and says: “I hope that it will then be possible for all my athletes to participate. We just have to wait and see what the future brings.”

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