Are you age 12-18? Do you want to try something new and exciting? Luge could be the sport for you!
Luge Ireland is always keen to recruit young and enthusiastic individuals. Contact us now to start your winter sports journey.
I found the recruitment process really good - after I sent the initial email saying I was interested I got a reply explaining what would be involved and the steps to get started. The federation sent me loads of information and I was always kept up to date with what was going to happen. Any questions I had were replied to very quickly. I appreciated having all this info as it was all going to be new to me and I didn’t know what to expect, and I felt more relaxed and at ease knowing everything. Before I departed for my first training week Elsa arranged a video call with me to really explain what would happen when I was there and just general rules and things to do / not to do while at the camp.
A few months before I started, in one of the emails I was told I would be receiving a full kit - provided by the federation. This included a Gear bag, T-shirt, Hoodie, Rain jacket, Luge suit, Luge boots and a Helmet and visor. It was when I received all this that I was like ‘wow this is really happening’. The kit was all done out with the Irish colours, flag and luge federation logo which was really nice.
When I arrived for the first time I was picked up at the airport by the coaches, and there were also 2 other athletes with me - one other beginner and someone who has done luge for years. This was really good as she was telling us everything about it and what it would be like for us as beginners. The coaches were also really friendly and I always felt at ease.
My training was In Bludenz, Austria. When we arrived I was given my sled and told how to properly carry it and look after it. Arriving at the track for the first time was really exciting - before this the only bit of luge I had seen was during the olympics and on YouTube, and now I was here at a track about to do it. Being a beginner I started near the end of the track and the main focus was to learn proper position on the sled and to try get a feeling of the steering - it’s a lot harder than you’d expect! Most days we would have 2 training sessions - so we got to do loads of sliding. Throughout the week the coaches would be videoing us and giving us advice on how to improve and as I improved I got to move up on the track so that I would be going faster and doing more of the track. Elsa also kept in contact with us asking how we were getting on and if I was enjoying it - she also made it clear that if I wasn’t enjoying it, I could stop at any time and not train - there was no pressure at all - but I was enjoying it too much to stop.
After my first week I didn’t want to leave. The rest of the group I was with continued for the whole season, which I would have loved to do, but unfortunately I couldn’t as I had exams to do. Ever since leaving I couldn’t wait for the next time I would slide. Anyways I returned for another 10 days and trained again, joining the same group of people I was with the first time and continuing to progress up the track. I had fun every time I went down the track and was constantly trying to improve and fix my mistakes.
The Olympics were on soon after I finished for the season and it made it more exciting to watch when you actually know a bit more about the sport.
Throughout all the time I was away sliding I kept thinking to myself ‘how is this real, how am I here doing this’. I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to do this - like it’s unheard of for someone in Ireland to be on a luge team for their country - until now, thanks to Elsa setting up this federation. Like barely anyone else in the country would have done anything like this before and I felt so lucky that I was able to. My friends and family thought I was crazy for trying and were always like how the hell did I manage to get into it - but this is only because they never heard of or seen anyone else from Ireland do it before, like Elsa was the first Irish athlete ever to compete in luge in the Olympics, so hopefully there will be a greater representation in the future with this federation set up and running.
If you’re thinking about joining luge I would 100% recommend it - even just to give it a go. You might love it or you might hate it but you will never know until you try it. Overall it is a great experience and I really think that you should take the opportunity to try it while you can. and.have great support