A Turning Point in Canadian Cross-Country Ski Instruction

There’s a significant shift happening in Canadian cross-country ski instruction and we should all take notice.

This year, Nordiq Canada is introducing ski instructor training workshops, signalling the end of Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI)long-standing monopoly.

This is a pivotal moment for everyone involved in Canadian cross-country ski coaching and instruction and we’ll see the consequences play out in the next couple of years.

It’s vital for CANSI’s leadership to take this evolution seriously. They need to consider the implications and start planning to support Canadian ski instructors in an orderly transition to the new system.

Nordiq Canada’s Instructor Training: 3 Advantages

  1. Comprehensive NCCP Training – This marks the first time Canadian cross-country ski coaches and instructors can get all the training and certification we need within the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). This gives us access to numerous cross-sport educational opportunities and ensures we are trained to the highest national standards for coaching excellence.
  2. Alignment with Nordiq Canada – This initiative will bring our training in line with Nordiq Canada’s technical standards, resolving the confusion that resulted from CANSI’s differing techniques.
  3. More Affordable – While the cost of training will vary between provinces and territories, it will be significantly more affordable than current CANSI courses. Additionally, club-based instructors can forgo CANSI’s annual membership fees, while still maintaining insurance coverage and up to date certification.

CANSI’s Future in the New Landscape

The introduction of Nordiq Canada’s instructor training workshops marks a critical moment for CANSI; its leadership needs to be clear-eyed and realistic about its future.

Nordiq Canada and the NCCP are a powerful combined force. They are endorsed by Sport Canada and tied into an ecosystem of sport NGOs that keep them informed of and accountable to the highest standards.

Ski clubs and ski instructors are likely to heavily favour the more aligned and cost-effective NCCP workshops over CANSI courses. The loss of course fees and membership dues will put CANSI under financial strain.

I call on CANSI’s leadership to recognize the new reality and help us avoid a future of division that is unhealthy for our sport.

Imagine instead, a world where all Canadian ski instructors and coaches learn the current and best techniques under the leadership of Nordiq Canada and have access to the best coaching resources through the NCCP.

Practical Matters

There are 3 coach development streams in the NCCP framework:

  1. Community Sport
  2. Competition
  3. Instructor

Nordiq Canada has fully developed coach education for the first two pillars. The third pillar, “Instruction” will ultimately have 3 levels: Beginner, Intermediate Performers and Advanced Performers.

The Intermediate Performers course is offered by Nordiq Canada this season. The Beginner level is scheduled to roll out next season, and the Advanced level will be available the following year.

Provincial and Territorial sport organizations can request the course be brought to their region. If you are an instructor and you want to take this course, please contact your provincial or territorial sport organization for cross-country skiing. You can also ask them about prerequisites.

On a personal note, I have CANSI level 3 certification and NCCP CCI-L2T (Trained). I plan to take the Nordiq Canada course as soon as it’s available.

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