– It is an unpleasant situation, Alexander Stukel told Dagbladet.
Since 2011, he has been the coach of the Norway national team in jumping. The current four-year contract expires in the spring. But he has yet to hear anything from the Norwegian Ski Association about the extension.
Previously, this was in effect a year ago. This is to avoid mid-season speculation and create predictability for coaches, athletes and sponsors. Now Stockel does not know what will happen when the Olympic season ends in March next year.
The disadvantage is that you get more questions about uncertainty about the future, the Austrian tells Dagbladet.
It is usually sporting director Claes Brady Brathin – who goes against the federation – who nominates a new coach for the national team. Then the jump committee comes in for final approval.
To Dagbladet, Bråthen says:
– What is happening is absolutely clear to everyone: there is a lot of uncertainty associated with many things in our beloved sport. There are no other explanations than the situation that characterizes the news picture, creating uncertainty regarding leadership, sponsors and other things.
There are many undesirable things in this situation. And this is one of them.
The conflict with the Skating Association may end with the release of Bråthen. In the wake of the scandal, neither Stöckl nor Christian Meyer – the latter’s jumpers coach – were offered new contracts. Mayer’s contract also expires after the season.
In the extreme, Bråthen, Stöckl, Meyer and the sponsors of Hopp-Norge could now all be gone. A jumping nation that had a resounding success last season, risks being beaten for supporters.
– Clas and HK (jumping committee) must answer this, says the Skating Association’s communications director, Espen Graf, to Dagbladet.
The responsibility at the Ski Association is clear: it is Bråthen who will nominate a new coach for the national jumping team. Unless he is fired – or other things happen – he will remain in business until the end of April next year.
It is already clear that the Ski Association does not want to expand with Bråthen. But he filed a lawsuit to claim permanent employment after 17 years in the position.
The responsibility is delegated to me. Then the jump committee will say something. It is an economic perspective here. I can cancel new contracts. But I can only appoint a group of people – and then there is no money to pay them, as Bråthen points out, and target patrons who threaten to withdraw.
Financial insecurity is something the skating federation must consider. Among other things, we should look at this against entering into contracts.
– How do you feel about this unresolved pending situation, Stokel?
– It’s uncomfortable. But I fully understand Clas will not be talking about extending the contract as long as no one knows who will lead the sport in the future.
– What should happen next?
– What happens is that I complete my contract. Then we take it from there.
How do you face the turbulent situation in your work to develop Norwegian jumpers?
– I find it annoying.
– Are players doing the same?
– I do not wish. But you see that they are affected. They follow and see what is in the media. They see how Clas Brede feels when we’re on tour.
Will the future as Norway coach also depend on what happens with Brathin?
– I think it is important for me and everyone else to know who will be responsible for us. We still wish it was a postal class.
– Who do you think the process about Bråthen?
– It took so long.
Do you envision the future in Norway, Austria or other countries?
I will finish this season with the coaching staff and the assistant staff. Then we take it from there.
Stöckl points out that beautiful things also happen in Hopp-Norge. This week, Fageråsen’s new jumping facility opened in Mo i Rana.
– just awesome! It is a suitable recruitment facility. The entire local community is behind the project. He says seeing so many people show up at the ski jump opening was pretty cool.
Other things on the positive side:
Halvor Egner Granerud won the Summer Grand Prix. And we have a strong team.
Do you have a message for people worried about the future of Norwegian showjumping?
– what should I say? Sometimes it’s okay to live with uncertainty. But if it takes too long, you will get scared.
The coaching staff and the assistant staff are committed to each other. They are working hard to make it this winter. We have not forgotten who we are here for. And these are the practitioners. The practitioners are at the center. Stöckel emphasizes that it is only about athletes and nothing else.
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