Program Description  

This U16 High Performance Development Program (HPDP) is a new initiative for AOA that started in 2016 with consultations with Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA), The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport (MTCS) and many AOA clubs and PSO organizations in Ontario. The program is collaborative in design, to work alongside club and region programs and in no way replaces the existing club programs, their club/region camps and/or training days. Athletes in the U16 Program remain with their existing teams and clubs.

The goal of the U16HPDP is to bring the best of the best athletes at the U16 level together under common leadership to give these athletes improved athletic advantages while reducing costs and taking advantage of local resources.

Applications and selections took place in spring 2017. The current program runs until December 31, 2017 with 40 athletes born in 2002 & 2003.


  1. High-Performance Fitness Program. This program will focus on developing a culture of High-Performance lifestyle training including:
  • Fitness testing
  • Team building activities
  • Athletic development activities
  • Fitness level analysis
  • Fitness training program
  • Fitness, nutrition and wellness monitoring

The program will include a 7-month fitness program (running June 1st to Dec 31) using a combination of teaching, guided discovery, and self-driven development. The Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto will be the host location for the program’s fitness testing with state of the art facilities, cutting edge equipment and staff who work daily with Canadian Olympic and National athletes. Canadian Sports Institute (CSIO) will work in tandem with the National ski centre in Calgary offering a sport specific testing and tracking.

  1. Athletic Monitoring Fitness Mobile APP

Athletes and staff will use the Athlete Monitoring Mobile APP throughout the duration of the program. Visit

  1. Mentorship program

The program will include a mentorship aspect where a personal mentor will be assigned to each athlete. This personal mentor will organize one-on-one meetings during the program, and scheduled monthly emails (or Skype/Facetime) interviews. Each mentor will receive AOA training on the methods of guiding and mentoring their assigned athlete include support, guidance, advice to develop a two-way relationship that is safe and engaging in a respectful environment. Please find more details on the AOA Mentorship Program here

The mentorship program will consist of a mentor who will connect with each athlete on a monthly basis to provide input and guidance to their program and activities. The mentors will be former and current elite athletes and coaches.

  1. On-snow camp, Zermatt, Switzerland – AUGUST 12-26TH

The 12 days on snow camp will focus on improving technical, tactical and race skills and include fitness & mental training, athletic and team building activities. The project will be led by Heather Metzger as well as some of Ontario’s most experienced and knowledgeable coaches. The program will also feature a guest appearance both on and off snow by Canadian Olympian and multiple World Cup Podium finisher Larisa Yurkiw.


  • May 6-7th: 2-day opening weekend at The Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto
  • May 16th: Athletes will be provided fitness programs via AOA’s new athlete monitoring app by May 16th
  • June 1st: Athletes required to notify AOA by June 1st how they intended to follow the mandatory fitness plan using the Athlete Monitoring APP & Program provided by Totem Wellness.
  • August 12-26th: On snow camp, Zermatt.
  • Sept 22-24th: 2-day Elite Fitness Camp, September 22-24 Fitness & Leadership Camp (Collingwood)
  • Ongoing: Mentorship (athlete and mentor to meet/communicate monthly)
  • October 1st, 2017: Communications issued about the Competitive Phase of the program for on-snow 2018.
  • November 4th: Mass Fitness Testing, Pan Am Centre.  Do not register online as we have your child pre-registered for this event.


Heather Metzger, U16 Athletic Consultant, Alpine Ontario Alpin
Heather has been the Head Coach of the U16 Extended Program at Georgian Peaks Ski Club since 2011. Prior to this she was the Technical Director at Alpine Ontario for five years and before this the Alpine Program Director at Georgian Peaks for 10 years. She is a Level 3 Coach and Level 4 Instructor.

Graeme Buckrell, U16 Athletic Consultant, Alpine Ontario Alpin
Graeme is a Level 4 Coach and has been the Head Coach of the Osler Bluff Ski Club since 1994. He and his wife are also owners of Active Life Conditioning located in Collingwood.

Duncan Gibson-MacLean, Manager Corporate Partnerships & Athletics, Alpine Ontario Alpin
Duncan joined Alpine Ontario during the 2016-17 season. He grew up in Ottawa before attending Brock University, Bachelor of Sports Management and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland for his Masters in Sport Management & Health Promotion.  After his studies, Duncan completed an internship with Rugby Canada. He played Rugby for Brock University and is a Level 1 Rugby Coach and current coach with the Collingwood U14 team.

Working alongside Graeme & Heather will be those U16 club coaches with participating athletes in the program, one lead athletic trainer and staff at the Canadian Sport Institute who are experts in athletic mentoring and sport development.

David Bentley, Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario (CSIO) Sport Physiologist
Ph.D., University of Bath

David has been involved in sports science and coaching for 20 years in Australia and Europe. David worked with the English sports system and completed a Ph.D. in 2003 at the University of Bath, high-performance centre, surrounding triathlon and physiological assessment of endurance athletes. Since that time, he has gathered a broad range of experiences in sports coaching, training and performance analysis in athletes ranging from Olympians to aspiring junior athletes in swimming, triathlon and other endurance sports. His coaching outcomes in triathlon have led to success at world championship level. David has a strong academic and applied sport science background having developed specialist experiences in areas resistance training for endurance performance; simulated and actual altitude training periodization; ergogenic aids including antioxidant and sodium bicarbonate supplementation/ pre-cooling in hot conditions. David has been the assistant editor of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport since 2007.


Erin Smith, Totem Wellness
CAT(C) Athletic Therapist,

Erin Smith trained as an Athletic Therapist 23 years ago. Since then she has diversified into a Traditional Chinese Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Holistic Lifestyle Coaching, additional manual therapy and concussion assessment and treatment techniques including being a Shift Concussion Management Trained Professional.

For many years she worked treating acute and chronic injuries – then she learned how so many injuries can be prevented and treated as a whole mind-body-spirit connection from our history.  Many times Erin sees that what brought them a new layer of an injury, is actually from a past compensation pattern or muscle firing pattern left unnoticed.


Oren Smith, Totem Wellness
CHEK Practitioner
Holistic Lifestyle Coach
Golf Biomechanic

Oren played rugby while he was at Western University where he achieved degrees in Kinesiology and Physiotherapy, graduating 15 years ago.  With a love of sports his whole life – he looks at the athletic body, its patterns, its limits and looks where to enhance performance.  This interest has lead him to become a Titelist Performance Institute Medical Level 3 practitioner, as well as being trained at the CHEK Institute in California as an Exercise Coach, Golf Biomechanic, CHEK Practitioner Level 3, and Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3.

His approach is unparalleled as he is the only person in North America with this combination of titles.  Oren’s assessment and program writing is world class, while he takes clients on an adventure from infant development through to their goals at their highest level.  Oren is proud to be a part of the AOA High Performance U16 Program as it is the ideal opportunity for developing athletes.


The main outcome of the U16 Program is for AOA to strengthen its position and performance at the U16 level at higher level competitions. To do so AOA recognizes it must create a more consistent, competent athlete which is a collaborative initiative between clubs, regions, and AOA.

AOA is seeking to develop high-performance athletes and well-rounded human beings. These athletes will be able to use skills that will help them to adapt to any environment, thus enabling them to focus on their personal performance in any given situation.