Who owns the NSA?
The NSA is a non-profit charitable organization and therefore does not have any shareholders. It was founded in 1986 to serve the needs of student athletes who wish to pursue ski racing at a high commitment level without compromising their education. The NSA is governed by a board of directors comprised of parents, alumni and community members.
How does the NSA Racing program compare to club programs?
The NSA’s programs are complimentary with club programs. Club programs at the U16 and FIS levels provide coaching, training and racing with approximately 50-80 days on snow each year. The NSA’s programs have been designed to compliment club programs by providing an option for athletes who wish to train and race at a higher commitment level. At a higher commitment level, student athletes require a comprehensive fitness program and an education system designed for elite athletes. NSA programs provide 110-130 days on snow each year with integrated fitness, education and room and board options available.
Where does the NSA conduct its on-snow training?
Starting mid August, the NSA begins its on-snow training in Saas Fee, Switzerland. In the fall, NSA U16 and FIS athletes train in Eastern Canada or the US (Mt Ste. Anne or Sunday River, ME) and/or Western Canada (Nakista, Alberta). During competition season, NSA coaches will often conduct training sessions in Quebec and the Eastern States prior to race events in those areas. From December to March when NSA athletes are in town they train at a variety of locations local to Collingwood. When the private clubs are closed (typically Monday through Wednesday), the NSA trains at Blue Mountain. When at home, NSA athletes typically have at least one day off on the weekend to ski at their home club with friends and family. Depending on the program, an NSA athlete will have between 110-130 days on snow per year.
How does the NSA contribute to elite ski racing in Ontario?
The Ontario Ski Team (OST) provides an opportunity for approximately 20 Ontario athletes to train at an elite level. Through the NSA’s all-inclusive programs, the NSA increases that number to 50 or more. In addition, the NSA’s educational support helps to retain more athletes in the sport so that they can reach their full potential. The NSA also offers tutoring, night school and summer school courses for non-NSA athletes including many of the athletes on the OST.
How many athletes attend the NSA’s summer camp in Switzerland?
The NSA has been running the Switzerland camp for over 20 years. The Saas Fee glacier hosts many world cup teams and is known as one of the best glaciers in the world for summer training. The NSA’s longstanding relationships in Switzerland help to ensure the best possible lane space and accommodations in Saas Fee. The NSA brings 50-60 athletes to this camp each year including NSA athletes who remain for the full two months and guest campers who attend the initial 3 week camp. The 3 week camp is always sold out so please book well in advance.
Will the NSA help an athlete meet the criteria for the Ontario Ski Team?
Yes. The U16 years are a critical time in an elite ski racers development whereby technical skills are developed prior to the rigorous travel and racing schedule at the FIS level. The NSA’s U16 programs greatly enhance an athlete’s chances of qualifying for the OST when they reach FIS. In addition, many NSA athletes have joined the NSA at the FIS level and qualified for the OST in 2nd or 3rd year FIS.
Does the NSA provide education to non-NSA athletes?
Yes, as a fully accredited private school, the NSA’s academic offerings have expanded over the years to include athletes engaged in other sports and other members of the community requiring customized education..
Can I attend the NSA and remain at my home school?
Yes. Each student athlete at the NSA has unique needs and the NSA has a long history of customizing the right program for each individual. In some cases NSA students begin their 1st semester courses in Switzerland and complete the 1st semester in December prior to the competition season. Some students remain enrolled in their home school for the 2nd semester. In these cases the NSA acts as a liaison with the home school and provides tutoring services to ensure a smooth transition back to the home school once the ski season has ended.
Do all NSA athletes board at the NSA?
No, boarding is an option. However the NSA’s property on 200 Oak Street provides a home base for all student athletes whether they are boarding or not. The facility includes classrooms, fitness facilities, tuning room, gymnasium, kitchen with full time chef, study hall and games room with foozball, billiards and table tennis.
What is the NSA Post Grad program?
The NSA’s Post Grad program was developed to meet the needs of athletes who have already graduated high school, but wish to continue racing prior to University. The Post Grad program provides additional time on snow and exposure to national and international levels of racing. The program also provides counselling and support for the university/college application process as required.
Can U14 athletes attend the NSA?
Yes, the NSA has a individualized U14 program for motivated 12 & 13 year old student/athletes. Please call the NSA office for additional information.
Does the NSA have a Bursary program?
The NSA has a number of bursary programs that are funded by generous individuals and corporations who are passionate about ski racing and helping to retain talented athletes in our sport. Please contact admissions for more information about these programs.
What is included in the program fees and what additional costs will there be?
The NSA’s programs are “all-inclusive”. The standard program fee includes camps, travel and accommodation, meals, local transportation, coaching, fitness, Descente team uniform, and private school education. Extra costs may be incurred for program options such as boarding. The program documents on our website explain program inclusions and exclusions in detail.
What are NSA’s academic results and support for post secondary education?
NSA offers, predominantly, Ministry required compulsory courses at the academic level. Student/teacher ratio approximates 8:1 and 2011 courses averages ranged from 85-to above 90%. Post secondary research/application is facilitated through university seminars, information boards and library materials. Students are guided through the application process and helped with submission requirements.
Can the NSA help me to get a ski scholarship to a US University?
Yes. Many NSA graduates have attended US universities on ski scholarships and/or have used ski racing to help gain admission into Ivy League universities that don’t offer athletic scholarships. The NSA’s principal and coaches are in regular contact with US universities and often hear about opportunities for student/athletes. NSA Alumni who are currently enrolled in the NCAA system can also provide helpful insights to NSA athletes during the application process.