How do Kids Define Fun? AOA Coaches Conference Recap

(November 5, 2018) Collingwood, ON — Thank you to the 100+ who attended this weekend’s 2018 Fall Coaches Conference at the Caledon Ski Club. All four AOA Divisions were represented including a team of nine coaches from the Calabogie Peaks Ski Club and five coaches from Thunder Bay!!

The weekend kicked off Saturday morning with headliner Dr. Amanda Visek speaking to her research on FUN MAPS at George Washington University. Her 3-hour presentation captured the full attention of all those in the room. Her findings identified 11 FUN FACTORS as expressed by both competitive and recreational athletes ranging in age from U10 to U19. Most interesting is her findings was that regardless of age, or athletic stream, the 300+ athletes surveyed identified the following three factors in determining FUN & ENJOYMENT IN SPORTS:

  1. Trying hard and giving it your best
  2. Positive Team Dynamics
  3. Positive Coaching

Coaches of all levels and experience are encouraged to listen to her 30-minute podcast presentation here>

Other themes throughout the weekend included Player Development from the U10 through to the Ontario Ski Team; Athlete Retention; Fitness Standards; Sports Simplicity; Parent Education and of course Coach Education. Two members of the Alpine Canada Alpin team made presentations – Jenni Stielow, ACA Senior Manager, Coach Education spoke at length on the soon to be released LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) Plan and Vania Grandi, President, and CEO of ACA, spoke on Sunday about the past, present, and future of ACA affairs. Vania was brutally honest in speaking about her experiences at the Olympics, Respect in Sport initiatives and the way forward including improved cooperation in building a strong skiing nation.

AOA would like to thank the following contributors to this year’s Coaches Conference:


  • Dr. Amanda Visek and Heather Mannix – Fun Maps
  • Jenni Stielow – ACA Senior Manager, Coach Education
  • Vania Grandi – President and CEO of ACA
  • Nate Morris — Masters of Kinesiology, CSI Calgary
  • Stefan Overgaard — SXS Fitness Owner and Trainer


  • Kip Harrington – OST program director
  • Bennett Carter – U12 and SX consultant
  • Jacques Reid – U14 Consultant
  • Graeme Buckrell – U16 Consultant
  • Gwen Binsfeld – Para program manager
  • Nathalene Hagar – Officials Chair


  • Sporting Life and World Cup Supply for the great Apres
  • Karson Benn, Jen Swan, and staff from Caledon Ski Club
  • Jonathon and Maritzia — SUL IRMAOS   SMOKEHOUSE Food Truck

Lastly, thank you to AOA Competition Director, Robyn Skinner for working tirelessly with the AOA Athletic Committee members leading up to the weekend and to AOA’s Manager of Partnerships & Events Bill Reeves, for spearheading the organization of the entire event.

Copies of the presentations will be posted to the AOA Resources/COACHING section later this week.



For more information contact:
Kristin Ellis
Communications Manager
Alpine Ontario Alpin (AOA)
705-444-5111 x 132
[email protected]