News and Announcements
We’ve recently updated our Covid 19 Vaccine Policy to be in line with our local provincial sporting bodies BC Alpine, BC Snowboard and Via Sport. Please view it here or look under Athelte-Parent Info, Covid 19 Vaccination Policy
Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club (SSSC) is very pleased to share some exciting program and coaching announcements for this upcoming season.
Program Director Announcement*
With enrolment growing across all ski and snowboard programs and over 120 athletes last year, SSSC is excited to announce a new Program Director position. This pivotal leadership role will define, build, and manage ski and snowboard club programming and provide oversight to all club coaching and athlete development, in addition to coaching our older alpine ski team (U14-U18) athletes.
Please welcome Leslie Firstbrook as our new SSSC Program Director! Leslie has spent her life immersed in the ski racing world, starting as an athlete from Collingwood, Ontario and competing on the national and international stages as a member of the Ontario Ski Team. Progressing into coaching with 15 years of experience, Leslie has coached at the club level from U12 to FIS age athletes at Osler Bluffs, Whistler Mountain, and Nakiska. Most recently she was Assistant coach for the Alberta Alpine team, including bringing the nation’s best to Norway for the World Junior Championships just as the pandemic was starting in March 2020. Leslie is a lifelong learner in both coaching and academia, with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and Physical Education from Wilfred Laurier University, and a Sports Business Management Graduate Certificate from Durham College. She is a CSCF- Performance Level Certified Coach, a CSIA-Level 2, and has completed her NCCP Advanced Coaching Diploma. Her passion for skiing, mountain biking, hiking, golfing and athletic mentorship will make Smithers a perfect match! Leslie will start October 1st as we gear up to full planning /prep mode.
U14-U18 Alpine Ski Team Coach Announcement
Our Alpine ski team (U14-U18 ski) saw strong numbers last year and we are expecting 18-20 athletes next year, including for the first time in a generation a U18 cohort. It was clear last season we needed two coaches on a consistent basis, with Dick Eastmure and Claire Challen doing exceptional work getting us through the season. Executive has been working hard to solidify a plan for next year.
Please also join us in welcoming Dillon Prophet to our club as our second new Alpine Ski Team coach! Dillon comes out of Tremblant Ski Club and progressed to the Quebec Ski team, retiring in 2010 as one of the top tier athletes in the country. Dillon continued into coaching, first at Sunshine Ski Club (Banff) as Assistant FIS Coach, and for the last two seasons as Assistant coach for the Quebec Provincial team. Dillon is a CSCF- Performance Level Certified Coach, not to mention a Civil Engineering Technician (Dawson College). He has combined his outdoor skills and passion for mountain biking and is busy building bike trails this summer in some of the biggest biking areas in BC, so he’s bound to fit in well here in Smithers. Dillon starts November 1st and will be focused on U16-U18 development.
Dillon and Leslie will be working closely through the season to plan and proceed with a training and travel schedule that works for our U14, U16, and U18 ski athlete goals and program schedule.
U14 Snowboard Coach Announcement
SSSC Executive also recognizes a need for change on the snowboard side. We were fortunate to have Kathy Fraser stay
on for the last two seasons and help our older snowboard athletes continue to develop; please join us in thanking her
for her exceptional commitment to coaching over the past decade.
As we turn our attention to next season, with events returning and older snowboard athletes wanting to progress, please welcome Brianna Belisle to our U14 Snowboard Coach position! Brianna is well known to many of us, having grown up in Smithers and competing as a member of the BC Snowboard team. Her gold at the BC High School provincials hosted in Smithers in 2019 was a proud moment for the entire club. Brianna exceled at coaching U10 last year and has agreed to step into the more senior position this year. Working closely under the direction of Leslie, Brianna will receive strong mentorship and a coach development plan that will help her continue to grow.
Returning Coach and Executive Announcements
We are very pleased to announce a near-full return of coaches and Executive for this season!
It is an incredible sign of club depth, passion, and commitment to have returning once again the following coaches:
U12 Alpine 2 day- Clay Collingwood, Jessica Hall-Weinstein, plus always tailgunner Matt Sear
U12 1 day program- Doug Chaplin is back!
U10 Ski- Dave Bobb, Mark Rossman, Jayson Chaplin, Ryan Willman, Oren MacDougall, Coby Hall, Sean Rowell.
U10 Snowboard- recruitment underway and coaching course planned for December 2021
Dick Eastmure- has also agreed to be available for Professional Development support for coaches this season.
Our entire Executive team has returned! Please give thanks to:
Cormac Hikisch (President), Dave Bobb (VP), Ben Weinstein (Treasurer), Jeanne MacNeil (Registrar), Matt Sear
(Alpine Chair), Mike Sanborn (Snowboard Chair), Lara Collingwood (Fundraising), Margaret Groves (Director),
Gavin Murdoch (U10 Coordinator), Ryan Willman (U10 Coordinator), Charla Kilback (Secretary)
(Still vacant- Volunteer coordinator, Communications)
Stay tuned for more updates! (Registration opening, fundraising events, Fall Workbees, Dryland, Event Schedule,
Officials courses, Gear Swap, and much more!) As always, any questions or comments- please connect with an
Executive member, or email Smitherssscinfo@gmail.com
Thank you Wetzin’kwa Community Grant Program for a 2020 grant of $14,595 towards our SSSC Track Surface Improvement Project purchase for the Smithers Ski and Snowboard club.Our contractor Graeme Tabor of Super Duty Forest Services did an exceptional job. In the course of a few weeks, Graeme and his small crew of young workers brushed all of Cinderella, lower Turkey Shoot, and cleared a significant area for the future Pumptrack. Graeme even found time to widen a sizeable section of Lower Turkey Shoot, and also took down some danger trees on Twinkle Toes! They exceeded all expectations, with brushing done ‘wall to wall’ and down to 10 cm or lower across all areas.
In addition, SSSC agreed to organize volunteer time for debris removal in order to maximize the ‘saw time’. We completed over 100 volunteer hours in July, September, and October 2020 on thoseruns, painstakingly hand throwing all woody debris, rocks, and picking up years of garbage on those runs. It was an all ages affair with club athletes as young as 5 helping out in the action.
The results have been astounding. Cinderella instantly became the most used run in November for people ski touring on the first inches of snow before the hill opened! For our club training, Hudson Bay Mountain Resort was able to groom wall to wall right from the start of the season to improve the track surface. The beautiful new yellow safety B-nets lined the run for the entire season, keeping athletes safe as they zoomed down the track. On Turkey Shoot, we successfully did a number of ‘Race Simulation Days’ and timed training for the younger athletes on the beautifully manicured slope. Dual courses were set up right to the end of April for eager athletes. The pumptrack was a great hit, with HBMR doing an exceptional job building and maintaining the track.
We sincerely appreciate the support of Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Board towards the Smithers Ski and Snowboard.
SSSC has been fortunate to partner with Jamie McCartney of Titan Performance Inc for our spring and summer Dryland program. (Jamie has already started working with athletes that were registered in the Smithers Saltos program which ended May 26.)
Going Forward, SSSC is offering two sessions to enrol in to cover June, July, August. Consider one or both. Cost covers all classes in each session. If your athlete is away for a class, there is a training app that can be used for the athlete to do independently if they so choose (and drag some family along with them).
This is open to all ski and snowboard athletes born in 2007 and 2008 (U15). There are 15 athletes in this cohort and we’d love to see everyone commit!
This is an incredible opportunity for committed athletes to continue to develop athletically in whatever sports they are pursuing, with a particular focus on ski and snowboard skills.
June (5 classes)
Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm starting June 2
Location – Outside TBA each week
Cost $65.00 (will be billed by SSSC)
July 20 – Aug 19 (10 classes)
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:30am
Location – Outside TBA each week
Cost $115.00 (will be billed by SSSC)
Please email email@example.com to register your athlete and provide contact email(s) and cell numbers you wish to use to get info from Jamie directly during the program.
SSSC is very pleased to announce the successful completion of our Phase 2- Interior Club Cabin Renos!
A huge thanks to Northern Development Initiative Trust- $15,000 grant- for making this possible.
-Removal of old wall paneling and replace with plywood
-Repair trim and paint walls
-Install new Pine window liners
-Removal of old carpets and replace with rubberized flooring
-Remove old woodstove
-Install new woodstove with cement board and tile fire proofing
-Install and repair existing shelving.
The upgrades are simply astounding! Please check out Photos under the Media section of our Website.