COACHES

SAMI PIANA

SAMI PIANA

Athletic Director & Head Coach

Head Coach Sami has been with the NSA for 11 years and as Athletic Director oversees all the NSA’s alpine development programs and works with both our men’s and women’s FIS teams. He has his Masters in Sport Management and his full European coaching education. Sami has coached NSA athletes through to NCAA college teams, including Middlebury, Utah, UNH & UVM as well as NCAA Champion, CAST member & Olympian, Roni Remme. Sami grew up in the Italian Alps and returns home every summer.

JURG GFELLER

JURG GFELLER

Founder & U16 Head Coach

Jurg is one of the founding members of the NSA. Before becoming the Executive Director and a coach at the Academy, Jurg coached the Canadian National Men’s Ski Team for 5 years, coaching at the World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Games. Going into the Academy’s 33rd year Jurg is the U16 Head Coach and continues to support all the Academy’s student athletes on and off the hill.

LIISA SAVIJARVI

LIISA SAVIJARVI

U16 Coach

Olympian, World Cup winner and former Canadian Ski Team member, Liisa is back coaching the U16 team. Liisa grew up skiing in southern Ontario and prior to joining the NSA team coached athletes at Georgian Peaks Ski Club. In 1989 Liisa started the ‘Ski Escape’ ski improvement and corporate programs across Canada and in 1997 was inducted to Canada’s Ski Hall of Fame. Liisa lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter and spends the winters in Collingwood.

ISABEL VAN BUYNDER

ISABEL VAN BUYNDER

FIS Coach

Isabel spent five years as a member of the Royal National Belgian Ski Team and competing in World Championships. She grew up competing on the French race circuit and was the first female Belgian athlete to compete in all five alpine disciplines. Most recently, Isa was Mansfield Ski Club’s U16/FIS lead coach. Isa brings a background and expertise in dryland training, course setting, working with athletes on goal-setting, self-assessment and coordinating with parents and colleagues to help each athlete achieve their goals. Isa lives in Collingwood and is looking forward to working with our FIS athletes on a daily basis, in the gym and on the hill.

ALBERTO BELFI

ALBERTO BELFI

FIS Coach

Alberto most recently coached the Slovak World Cup team and Olympic team leading up to the Pyeongchang Games.Before becoming a coach, Alberto was a professional skier on the US Pro Tour and the Fiamme Oro Military team in Italy. Alberto has outstanding technical and tactical coaching skills and works to promote and model a positive image to support and encourage the athletes he works with at every level. Alberto also coached our Men’s FIS team in 2013 and we are excited to welcome him back to the NSA.

SERENA GIROMINI

SERENA GIROMINI

FIS Coach

The NSA is thrilled to welcome Serena Giromini back to the Saas-Fee & Red Mountain camp coaching staff working with the FIS Women’s team for her fourth year. She was a successful Italian FIS ski racer who now coaches in Grans Montana CH and runs her family restaurant on the Italian side of the Alps. She holds a full Coach and Instructor qualification and she currently training to be part of the Italian Demo Team for Alpine Skiing.

ALEX BECKER

ALEX BECKER

Sports Psychologist

Hailing from Guelph, Ontario, Alex Becker started running cross country in high school, where she led her team to an OFSAA championship title. After accepting a full athletic scholarship at the University of Tulsa (Division I), Alex became the school’s first seven-time All-American (Top 8 in NCAA), four-time Conference Athlete of the Year, and three-time ESPN Academic All-American (4.0 GPA). She competed for Team Canada three times with a top finish of fifth in the world for the 10k at the World University Games. After Tulsa, Alex worked as an athletic director, recruiter, and coach at Bradford College in England, University of Tulsa Oklahoma, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Georgian College. After completing a Master of Mathematics and Master of Counselling, Alex worked as a counsellor at Park University, specializing in athlete mental health and wellness. Her unique approach supports athletes through identity development, anxiety management, and self-belief. She currently works as a counsellor and run coach in the South Georgian Bay Area.  

CHAD WARREN

CHAD WARREN

Fitness and Wellness Consultant

Chad Warren of Chalk’s Training in Collingwood is back working with our student athletes overseeing their dry land training programs. Originally from Newfoundland, Chad grew up playing different sports, he played basketball at St. Francis Xavier University and upon graduating, moved to Collingwood and began training local athletes. His passion for athletic development has allowed him to learn how to motivate and push high-caliber athletes, creating and implementing new ways to challenge and improve athletes. Chad has worked in the strength and conditioning world for several years and has his Masters of Science in Psychology.

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