Employment Opportunity: Head Coach Alberta Ski Team

Position Summary

The Head Coach will manage all technical aspects of the Alberta Ski Team (AST) program. You will work collaboratively with the AASA Athletic Director to set and manage AST budgets, establish long-term development and yearly training plans, establish and cultivate an effective and positive performance-orientated team culture, integrate club-level athletes into training and competition, and scout and select future generations of the AST. AST Coaches will be evaluated on their ability to maximize the talent of Alberta’s developing athletes. Coaches must be capable of working independently or collaboratively as directed and required with Resort partners, Officials and ROCs, AASA Clubs, PST, CAST, & ACA staff, AASA & AST IST providers, AST Equipment pool suppliers, and AASA & AST sponsors. All AST Coaches are expected to be highly effective and professional team players and leaders.

FULL JOB POSTING

Application

Please submit your application (resume and cover letter), before April 27th, 2022, to:  jobs@albertaalpine.ca

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AASA Member Discounts – Holiday Inn Express & Suites Calgary University

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites University Calgary have an ongoing promo for this season. They are offering a $89.99 plus tax rate from now until March 31, 2022.   View the fact sheet here.

 

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Updated Covid-19 Protocols for the 2021- 2022 Season – Feb 9, 2022

February 9, 2022

To: AASA Membership:

Updated Covid19 Protocols for the 2021- 2022 Season

Dear Members,

As Covid19 continues to change and evolve, AHS has been updating its protocols and restrictions to meet the new challenges.

AHS Protocols

AHS has terminated the REP program as of 11:59 pm February 8th, 2022.

Covid19 Protocols for Alberta Alpine sanctioned races.

With the ending of the REP program AASA will no longer require proof of vaccinations to participate in Alberta Alpine sanctioned events for all ages.

AASA requires all members to follow the AHS Covid19 current protocols, along with the Covid19 protocols at both your local ski resort and any ski resorts that you plan to visit this season. Ski resorts may have enhanced protocols that go beyond what AHS has put in place, and this needs to be followed.

If you are traveling to another province or internationally, please contact their local health authority on what Covid19 protocols they have in place.

AASA strongly recommends that everyone who is eligible, get their double dose of the vaccination as well as getting a booster if eligible. It is very important that all coaches, officials, and volunteers are vaccinated not only to protect the community but also to ensure their jobs can be done safely.

Accepted Covid19 Vaccines in Canada.
• Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
• Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273)
• AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
• Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)

The Covid19 pandemic has shown us all that it is always changing, and protocols will need to change with it.

If you have any questions, please give me a call. Best regards,

Patrick Gillespie
President of Alberta Alpine Ski Association

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Sporting Life – Top 3 Reasons To Get A Ski Boot Fitting

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/zAd8poypd6U” /]

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Sporting Life – 5 Step Process of a Boot Fitting

Chris Powers, Alpine Canada Men’s Development Coach, walks through the 5 steps of a boot fitting.

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoU-3Z0c9Sw” /]

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Covid-19 Update

To: AASA Membership

RE: Covid-19 Update

Dear AASA Membership,

Winter is fully upon us, and our athletes are training at their home resort and throughout the province. We have also started to Race again in the province after a year and a half of no racing at all. Thank you to the ROC for making sure that these races are safe and fun for all.

I want to thank everyone for following the AHS, AASA and your local ski resort Covid19 protocol’s. With everyone complying with these protocols, we will ensure that we have a safe and successful year of racing.

Now that children from ages 5 to 11 can get the Covid19 vaccine, AASA strong suggests that all eligible children in the age group of 5 to 11 get the vaccine. This goes along with the strong suggestion that all members get the vaccine when they are eligible, as well as the booster when eligible.

AASA will not be making any changes to the Race Protocols that are in place at this time, and we will advise of any changes should changes need to be made.

It has been so great seeing our athletes racing again, so please make sure that we all follow the AHS, AASA and Ski Resort’s protocols.

If you need any other information, please let me know. Best regards,

Patrick Gillespie
President of Alberta Alpine Ski Association

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Randy Pruden: Honoured Builder

Behind every great race is a passionate person to build the track.

If you’ve raced, officiated, or watched a World Cup or FIS Downhill or Super-G in Western Canada over the last 29 years, you owe a significant debt to Randy. From his largely by-chance start as a ski race volunteer, he grew to become the de facto leader in Canada for designing, installing, and developing the complex on-course systems critical to athlete safety in speed races – especially at Lake Louise and Vancouver 2010.

His personal highlights say much about this selfless and soft-spoken leader. From the start, it’s been about watching exceptional athletes blazing by on massive skis from close-quarters and wanting to know how the course and safety worked. Evolving from a volunteer to the paid crew and then ultimately becoming the Chief of Safety for the Lake Louise World Cup pleasantly surprised the guy who largely didn’t ski much less race when he came to Jasper and the Rockies. Working directly for Alpina in the lead-up to Vancouver 2010 and then the re-design of Lake Louise’s Fishnet, Fall-Away, and Tickety net systems to respond to modern realities also make him proud.

Topping those personal highlights, however, is how his work and energy incrementally – or by huge, measurable factors – significantly reduced the number of serious injuries. Watching athletes “dust themselves off and ski away” rather than need the toboggan “is everything”. Behind these gains are people that Randy feels privileged to have worked with or led, especially the beloved Net Monkeys. Francois Bourque once couriered Randy and the crew 7 kg of Moose Meat to say thanks after a trip into the nets with a good outcome at Panorama! Pretty good for “a guy who is not a math or physics person. I just paid attention to O-Zee (John Oostyen), had questions and ideas, and watched a lot of racing.”

  • 1992 – Volunteered first ski race at Jasper – Cavendish Cup with Chuck Cantlay – after moving to the area at 19 as a cook.
  • 1994 – first year volunteering at Lake Louise World Cup. Recruited by Dick Porteous and Gene Durand.
  • 1995 – joined the ‘paid’ Net Crew.
  • 1999 – became Chief of Safety for LL World Cup.
  • 2010 – helped design and build all safety for Vancouver Winter Games Alpine.
  • 2012/2013 – major redesign of LL World Cup Safety.
  • Has worked high-level speed races across the country: Mt. St. Anne, Panorama, Whistler, Apex, and Nakiska – “everywhere there was a serious SG or DH.”
  • 2018 – stepped back from Leading the Net Monkey’s and Safety at LL and is currently building exceptional bike, ski, and sled trails in Valemount, BC.

The list of people Randy acknowledges as important influences on him and why is striking. Doug Savage went from employer to best friend and instilled both a passion for ski racing and the important virtue of patience, “we can do that next season”. Bruce Hampstead instilled gravitas, “ski racing is serious business – it’s the car crash without the car.” FIS Technical Directors Helmut Schmatzl and Atle Skaardal for changing outlooks and reducing the sport’s macho attitude. Darrell MacLachlan, Gene Durand, Dan Gallagher, and John Oostyen for their respect, trust, and instilling work ethic, knowledge, and an ethos that all questions are good and that the work is never done. Finally, although he was their leader, he learned much from his crew, together everyday for 13 weeks each year.

Randy is a thoughtful person and has important insight to share. In whatever role you have, get interested, ALWAYS ask questions, and commit to learning however you can (he watched races on TV to learn from the crashes – not out of morbid interest!) including listen carefully to the conversations on your radio for insight.

As a leader, know that you are dealing with a huge mix of knowledge and talent – always explain the ‘why’ so they understand and then share and spread information as far as possible to create a higher standard. Do all the work that you demand of your crew. His Net Monkey Rule #1 – Pay attention. Rule #2 – see Rule #1. He attributes the group’s effectiveness largely to “Go out as a crew and come home as a crew” and an attitude that everything they do is about the inexperienced ‘999’ athletes – get them to the bottom and give them all a 100% fair race.

With your people, Randy says to never judge a book by its cover. Teach respect, to be professional, and to be a good human. Pay attention. Be humble. With the paid-crew at LL, “we’re just like volunteers – just here longer.”

As to the differences in dealing with speed races? “Every knot counts – details are critical to good outcomes.” The force of a 100kg racer moving at 100kph is astounding.

From long experience and caring, Randy has some advice for younger racers. “Have patience. Bad things happen when you are in a hurry. Wait for it!” Also, “We know where the WC line is, but inspect where you’ll likely going to be skiing because you’re not that strong yet. Be honest with yourself.” A favourite moment on a course was when a storied West Coast coach answered a question from his athletes about line by pointing at Randy, “this guy stands here every day of the season – ask him!”

Not surprising, ski racing has changed Randy’s life – even though he’s quick to tell you of the parallels between feeding hundreds in a restaurant and delivering a World Cup race! “I can go to any town and sure enough, run into people I’ve worked with, who want to talk.” Every year, when temperatures start to drop, his phone starts to ring with people calling from around the world, to check in and check up, “this enthralls and humbles me!” Community, friendships, passion, the satisfaction from teamwork, and a continued effort to make his part of the sport “less individual, more team/family” continue to be rewarding. And even though he is still trying to reconcile that ‘this actually was a job”, he takes great satisfaction that he is “one of only a handful of people in the world who can do this. Not in an ego sense, but it is just so darn cool!”

Ski racing is filled with characters, but in his quiet way, Randy epitomizes the quality of character.

Thank you for all you have done, Randy Pruden!

The Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Randy Pruden, our 2021 Honoured Builder, for a lifetime of passion for ski racing and providing those essential great training and competition venues for our athletes!

Author: Gregg Ferguson

 

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Sporting Life Update

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ASXT Athlete Journal: Phil Tremblay

Hey racing fans! My name is Phil Tremblay, I’m an athlete on the Alberta Ski Cross team this year!

[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOu2sZM5Bxc” /]

What a season it’s been so far! We started out with a huge training camp in Stelvio, Hintertux and Saas Fee where we got to spend time on a world cup level track, chasing world cup level skiers. We managed to get into some amazing heats with both Canadian and international athletes, and held our own! The Europe camp was an amazing way to see how the hard work over the summer and last winter through COVID is poised to pay off.

Once we got back to Canada, we were in the gym for a little bit before getting back on snow at Nakiska! The crew out there set up an amazing 15-second start section for us to train on, and it was a blast working with the national team before they went to China for the first world cups. The GS training is also A-1, with an amazing surface to work on.

The focus and drive on the ASXT this year has never been higher. Everyone on the team is firing it up at training and working hard to bridge the gap to the national team. Needless to say, since it’s been almost a year and a half since our last race in Colorado, we all can’t wait to be racing. With the 2026 Olympic Cycle starting soon and a home world cup in Nakiska, there is still all to play for.

On top of all the training, I’ve also been working as an intern/ski racing journalist for SnowBrains. This has allowed me to further my knowledge of the alpine side, and have a lot of fun writing about what I love! With this I was able to get a media pass for the Lake Louise World Cups, where I got to talk to some of the best in the world like Alexis Pinterault, Marco Odermatt and Alex Kilde.

Enjoy this little video of some awesome training runs from the past two months!

Thank you to everyone at Alberta Alpine and our sponsors for helping us push the limits every day. See you at the first NorAm, Dec. 14th and Nakiska!

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GMC Sponsorship of Alberta Alpine

Alberta Alpine is absolutely thrilled to announce that GMC has become our Official Vehicle Sponsor and we are incredibly thankful for their support of Alpine Ski Racing in our province.

GMC has been involved in the Alberta Ski Racing community for decades and now the GMC dealers from across Alberta have come together to supply further support for Alpine Racing.

“GMC dealers from across the province have been supporting their local clubs and PTSO for years and we cannot be more excited to have them join us as our Official Alberta Alpine Vehicle Sponsor. “To align with a brand so passionate about excellence, safety, and performance perfectly captures the essence of our sport” commented Alberta Alpine President Patrick Gillespie.

GMC has also stepped up to be the sponsor of the Alberta FIS Race Series, “The GMC Cup”. These races will be held throughout the province and will provide local GMC dealers the opportunity to be involved with the race. GMC products will be featured at the GMC Cup races and the dealerships will assist with support at the race and at the Awards Ceremonies.

The Alberta Ski Teams will travel the provincial in safety, style, and confidence in their GMC vehicles this season to all their races and training.

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