The Nancy Greene Ski League is the grass roots program of Alpine Canada Alpin - while national in scope, it is operated by the provincial associations and the many affiliated ski clubs across the country. Each club offers the type of program that fits their situation while following the guidelines set out by their division or zone and keeping in mind the national philosophy.
The Nancy Greene Ski League was conceived during the winter of 1968. Nancy Greene's World Cup victory the previous spring had inspired hundreds of youngsters to want to start ski racing, but there was no easy way to get started. The NGSL was the solution - an introduction to ski racing in a team format. Nancy agreed to be the Honourary Chairman, a position she still holds.
Nancy's philosophy, that children's competition should promote participation and fun and de-emphasize winning, has stood the test of time.
From the beginning, the Canadian Ski Association (now Alpine Canada Alpin) realized that ski conditions and ski clubs differ widely across Canada. Because of this, NGSL 'rules' have always been flexible, and ski clubs and divisions are encouraged to developed their own modifications and to involve as many youngsters as possible in their programs.
The first NGSL teams included boys and girls aged 8 to 13 ranging from beginner racers to more experienced ones. Coaching was mostly done by volunteers. As ski clubs became more organized, the ability level of young skiers improved dramatically. It became evident that the age range needed changing, and that the older, more experienced skiers were ready for individual racing. Each division is now encouraged to set their own age limits and race formats - what works in the Laurentians might not work in northern British Columbia or in Manitoba.
Today most club programs provide training in ability groups, however racing for the beginning levels is always done in the team format. A prime concern is to avoid too much pressure on novice racers. 'Ski racing for the fun of it!' will always be the slogan of the Nancy Greene Ski League.
Over the years, the NGSL programs have evolved in various parts of Canada, but today there are more youngsters than ever enrolled and the quality of the programs has never been higher.
Contact Alpine Canada Alpin, the govening body of ski racing in Canada to find the address for the provincial ski racing association. Get the name of a ski club in your area from the provincial organisation. You must join a ski club to be in the NGSL.
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