ROSSLAND, British Columbia — Red Mountain Academies started a Nordic Academy this year with the help and support of David Wood and Black Jack Ski Club. Four students attended the program in its first year, three from Rossland and one visiting from New York State. The program was a huge success with all four student athletes achieving great results both academically and athletically.
The four athletes will all graduate together this year from Rossland Secondary School, and each have different plans post-graduation. “Our visiting athlete has applied to various American universities with competitive ski teams” said Bernie Hofmann, Academic Coordinator with the Academy. “However, once he has been accepted he will have the option to defer enrollment for a year to continue training with Black Jack, which is an alternative he has been considering”. Other athletes plan to attend Canadian universities, continue training under David Wood (head coach, former Canadian National Team Head Coach) or move to one of the national training centers in Whistler or Canmore.
What is most notable about the four nordic athletes is that they missed approximately 30-40 days of school this winter season for training, travel and competition and yet still excelled academically. In fact, two of the nordic athletes hold two of the highest grade averages of the entire graduating class, a true testament to the success of the Academy model of blending learning. In the program, students blend traditional in-class learning with a variety of more flexible options like supervised online courses, keystone projects that incorporate various subjects and various forums and discussion groups.
When asked if there were any changes he would make to the program next year, head coach David Wood commented that it is difficult for young visiting athletes to be away from home for an entire 12 months. Instead, he has decided to offer a 10 month program under the condition that athletes are following his rigorous dry land training program at home.
“Racers are made in the off-season” is Davidʼs philosophy, so he wants athletes to arrive fit and prepared in September if they choose the 10 month program. Athletes will also have the option to meet David and the team for various summer camps, like high-altitude training at Haig Glacier.
For more information about Red Mountain Academies or the Nordic Program, visit redskiacademy.com.
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Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.