2021/22 Program and Coaching Announcements
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