Calgary, Alta. (January 9, 2017) – Alpine Canada, in conjunction with Panorama Mountain Resort, successfully hosted the 2016 NZ Foundation Rising Stars camp with 26 ‘rising star’ athletes who had seven days of early season training from some of Canada’s best coaches.

After a schedule change, due to unseasonably warm weather in November, Panorama was able to turn on the snowmaking guns and provide a great training environment for the athletes.

“After contemplating cancelling the races, we decided to move the camp back two weeks and give the resort a chance to make some good snow with the predicted change in the weather,” said Dusan Grasic, Alpine Canada, Director of Domestic Sport. “It paid off and we were able to host a great camp. The athletes were excited, dedicated and ready to jump right into the sessions even when it was frigidly cold! The athletes attitude, and superior quality of the coaching staff on the ground, contributed greatly to the success of the camp.” 

Cold weather and dark days couldn’t slow the camp with super-G, giant slalom and slalom training happening daily. Nights were filled with video review, technical presentations and team meetings, providing a high performance experience for all athletes who received personal and timely feedback for implementation the next day.

Athletes saw a huge value in the dedicated coaching staff. Elizabeth Sullivan (ON athlete) said, “I really liked that we got feedback from a bunch of different coaches. It gave me a fresh perspective on my skiing and how to make it better.” 

“The coaching staff were all outstanding, they helped me further improve my skiing,” said Jayden Metcalfe (ON athlete). “Thanks to them I felt myself improve physically, mentally and tactically, and I had increased confidence heading into the season. Best of all, I met a lot of new people from all over the country and I cannot wait to see them at races in the future.”

The provinces and Alpine Canada selected coaches on the ground for their outstanding contribution to U16 coaching or their recognition as part of Alpine Canada’s Top 10 Coach Program; a program that recognizing coaches, while providing opportunities for them to grow their skill set across a variety of coaching environments. 

Dryland testing was also a success and a new element to many of the athletes in attendance.  It reiterated the importance of physical preparation and training as part of their path to success in high performance ski racing.

Moving forward on the success of the 2016 Rising Stars camp, Alpine Canada will look to continually add value, with increased dryland training elements, health and wellness seminars and improved integration with athletes and their education requirements whilst away from school.

The importance of continually growing the NZ Foundation Rising Stars Camp is to help athletes qualify for FIS Children’s events such as Topolino and Whistler Cup, while supporting their pathway to the Canadian Alpine Development Ski Team. Not only does it support healthy on snow competition, it allows coaches to be exposed to these up and coming stars at a much younger age. 

Alpine Canada wishes to thank the Provinces (BC, AB, SK, ON, NB and NS) for their support of the coaching staff in attendance at the 2016 NZ Foundation Rising Stars camp, as well as the camp partners including; Panorama Mountain Resort for providing a world class training facility, World Cup Supply for the athletes training bibs and the Nick Zoricic (NZ) Foundation for their swag and $500 bursary to each attending athlete.

All the best to the athletes and coaches for a successful 2016-2017 season!

2016 NZ Foundation Rising Stars Athletes and Coaches 


Caeden Carruthers – NB

Aaron Puskas – ON

Griffin Hanson – ON

Daniel Harrison – AB

Logan Dunn – AB 

James Small – AB

Adam Matejko – AB

Kurt Wilde – AB 

Nathan Romanin – BC

Garrit VanSoest – BC

Beckett Hooton – BC

Caele Kassa – BC


Emily Todd – NS

Jayden Metcalfe – ON

Elizabeth Sullivan – ON

Emma Williamson – ON

Nadine Fehr – SK

Kiara Alexander – AB

Avery Lebsack – AB

Tora Hoshizaki – AB

Alyssa Hill – AB

Cassidy Gray – AB

Maja Woolley – BC

Gigi Kranjc – BC

Charlize Street – BC

Julia Ross – BC


David Todd – NS

Wayne Howard – ON

Matt Fisher – ON

Leslie Firstbrook – AB

Kyle Buchanan – AB

Shannon Smith – BC

Elias Jonsson – BC 

Dusan Grasic – Alpine Canada

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