New Program Director Announced
We are pleased to announce that we have filled the newly created role of Program Director at the National Ski Academy. Among many highly qualified candidates, we are excited to announce that our own Jeff Jones has been promoted to this leadership and management position. This new role is designed to add greater emphasis and focus to the athletic programming at the Academy. Jeff brings with him an immense depth of expertise including local and international coaching experience from U10’s at the club level, all the way through the development pipeline to elite U21 athletes at the Continental Cup level. He has been an Interim GM, Program Manager and Head Coach. He has sports psychology acumen and physical training discipline. Jeff is a licensed CSC level 4 Program Director, CSC EL, DL and PL Course Facilitator, Level 4 NCCP coach, Level 4 CSIA instructor and most recently completed his training as a FIS TD.
“I am beyond excited to be selected for this position at NSA,” shares Jeff. “I feel as though I have spent my coaching career building towards this moment and this opportunity. I intend to carry on the NSA legacy that began in 1986 with founder Jurg Gfeller. I look forward to collaborating with all the NSA staff to honour our past, deliver great programs now and prepare NSA for the future.”
Founder, Jurg Gfeller believes, “this evolution of NSA’s leadership structure and Jeff’s contributions especially, will take the NSA athletic program to a new level and will help achieve an optimal balance between high performance athletic and academic programming.”
Outgoing Athletic Director Sami Piana agrees. “Jeff will be instrumental in its goal to be Canada’s high performance ski-racing academic destination of choice for our top young athletes.” We thank Sami for his 15 years of coaching and athletic leadership with the Academy and are pleased that he will be working with Jeff to plan our Saas-Fee camp this September.
Jeff will continue as the U16 Head Coach and has already begun his new duties, including prioritizing hiring next year’s coaching staff, and planning the athletic program for next year and beyond.
Our Head of School, Tobin Walsh was interviewed by Collingwood Today’s Maddie Johnson about the National Ski Academy’s elite student athlete programs and plans for the future.
The Jurg Gfeller Award
The Jurg Gfeller Award was donated by the Wallace Family and will be presented annually at the Awards Banquet in June. The trophy designed by renowned crystal artist Mark Raynes Roberts depicts a mountain pinnacle symbolizing the high academic and athletic standards required of the National Ski Academy student athlete receiving the award. The multi-faceted shape of the crystal is reflective of the talent, flexibility and vision required of the student athlete to attain both substantial improvements and results in academics, alpine ski racing and their physical development. The engraved skier and alpine race course symbolizes the discipline, leadership and citizenship in the community required to “Stay the Course” for success in both education and life. All of the qualities Jurg has shown by example throughout his own life.
January 2017 – Larisa Yurkiw (NSA ’04), Canadian National Ski Team member and founder of Team Larisa Racing launched her post-racing career by interviewing NSA founder, Jurg Gfeller for the winter edition of Escarpment Magazine.