Coaching and officiating grant helps turn spectators into trained, qualified role models

Mar 06, 2014

With the 2015 Canada Winter Games less than one year away, preparations are already underway to make Prince George one of the most memorable events in Winter Games history. With the Games taking place on home turf for us in British Columbia, it’s also important that the coaches and officials in the north receive the funding and support they need in order to guide BC athletes to the podium.
Northern Sport Strategy helps train and prepare coaches and officials for the Games

The need for support was also echoed with the Province of BC and sport leaders in the north when the groups came together to create the Northern Sport Strategy —a multi-pronged approach developed to engage communities, sport groups, athletes, coaches, officials and others in northern BC in the effort to ensure a lasting legacy was left in the region following the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George.

A strong priority for the Strategy was the education and training of our northern BC sport coaches and officials, which in-part led to the creation of the Northern BC Coaching & Officiating Development Fund supporting those who spend countless hours mentoring our up-and-coming athletes in the region.

Northern BC coaching and officiating grant supports increases training and leadership opportunities

To date, 24 grants have been allocated to individuals and community groups of up to $1,500 each through a recent intake of the Northern BC Coaching and Officiating Development fund.

Funded by the Province of BC and supported by Northern BC Community Sport Development Society, these grants are administered by viaSport to provide funding for coaches and officials to host or attend a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) course or other training and development opportunities offered in a community within BC Game Zones 7 and 8.

The Northern BC Freestyle Club is just one of the recent grant recipients that now has the opportunity to train and educate more coaches to support the growing need for athletes preparing for the 2015 Winter Games in Prince George.

Northern BC Freestyle Club to train eight new coaches, opening more doors for new young athletes

Formed in 2011, the Northern BC Freestyle Club was founded by five former skiers and instructors looking for a safe environment to teach their kids. At the time, the closest freestyle ski club for athletes was in Jasper, Alberta—about four hours away. After taking a club coaching course and building several training areas on the local ski hill, the northern freestyle club was born to create opportunities for athletes in Prince George that previously didn’t have the chance.

Three years later, the club has seen a jump from 15 to 33 athletes in their program, with 17 waiting eagerly on a waitlist to join. Unfortunately, this season they also dropped from five down to two coaches. With the help of the northern BC coaching and officials grant and in partnership with BC Freestyle Ski, the club can now host a club coach course in order to recruit and train a much-needed eight new coaches to support their athletes.

“This grant will give the kids more one-on-one training and also help to avoid burn-out for our existing coaches,” says James Hudson, president and assistant coach for the Northern BC Freestyle Club. “The funding provided will allow us to accept more kids into the program and help turn spectators into qualified and informed role models in their sport.”

The spring/summer 2014 intake dates will be updated in the coming months on the viaSport Grants Page. For more information on the Northern British Columbia Freestyle Club, visit their website at

For more information on the Coaching & Officiating Grant and the Northern Sport Strategy, visit

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