First Nations Snowboard Association
This winter, Canada~Snowboard will be partnering with the First Nations Snowboard Association to deliver the Aboriginal Snowboard Program (ASP) across Canada.
The First Nations Snowboard Team (FNST) is the only organization of its kind operated
entirely by First Nation snowboarders. Their mission is "To improve the quality of life and empower Aboriginal youth across Canada by using the winter sport of snowboarding as a fundamental tool for excellence."
Photo Credit: www.xgames.com
Spencer O’Brien is a Canadian Olympic snowboarder who competes in Slopestyle. A Six-time Winter X Games medallist including the 2016 Gold medal in Slopestyle, Spencer has won gold at the 2013 FIS World Championships and also claimed the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships.
From the time I began snowboarding at age 11, I have loved the sport. In the beginning it was just a hobby that I did on the weekends with my family, but as the years went on I realized how deep of a passion I had for it. As I grew into the sport, snowboarding gave me a platform upon which I could push myself and test the limits of my capabilities. In the 17 years since I started, I have participated in competitions around the world. I represented Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was awarded the gold medal at the 2016 X Games and was crowned World Champion twice. So many of these accomplishments were possible because of sport organizations like Canada Snowboard being inclusive of my participation as an Aboriginal athlete.
I belong to the Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw Nation, and I am one of only a handful of Olympians who come from Canadian First Nations. I am proud of my heritage and where I come from and I know there are so many more incredible aboriginal athletes who just need to be given a chance, an opportunity. I strongly believe that more work needs to be done by sport organizations across Canada to ensure Aboriginal athletes have the opportunity to participate in the sports they love. Whether that participation leads to a pursuit of excellence in their given sport or just the desire to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. A great example of this is the Canada Snowboard Aboriginal Snowboard program delivered in Partnership with the First Nations Snowboard Association.
Further, I encourage all sport leaders to read the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway Sport Organization Guide and take action to ensure their organizations are considerate of participation of Aboriginal athletes at all levels.
The objectives of Canada~Snowboard’s Aboriginal Snowboard Program (ASP) are:
Develop and deliver new grassroots, community-based snowboard programming to benefit Aboriginal children and youth in select Aboriginal communities across Canada.
- Increase awareness of the opportunities available to Aboriginal people in the sport of snowboarding.
- Increase participation by Aboriginal athletes, managers, coaches, officials, and volunteers in snowboarding by alleviating and reducing barriers.
- Increase the number of trained Aboriginal coaches by offering Aboriginal only Comp-Intro Coaching courses and build capacity to train Aboriginal Learning Facilitators and Master Learning Facilitators.
- Deliver LTAD stage appropriate Aboriginal only snowboard camps and competitions across Canada.
- Develop partnerships with Aboriginal communities and sport organizations to assist in the ongoing delivery of Aboriginal only snowboard camps and competitions.
- Provide support (mentoring, bursaries and opportunities) to Aboriginal people identified as having leadership potential and interest.
- Increase the number of positive Aboriginal snowboard ambassadors and role models pursuing active and healthy lifestyles.
- The Aboriginal Snowboard Program promotes equitable participation of First Nation, Metis and Inuit people in the sport of snowboarding as coaches, managers, judges, officials, volunteers and athletes.
To view our full Strategic Plan click here.
For more information on this program, please contact the C~S Sport Development Program Coordinator: email@example.com
Take a minute to watch this inspiring video about the First Nation Snowboard Team and see why it is important to keep the youth involed in this beautiful sport that is snowboarding.