Since the organization of ski racing is somewhat confusing to the new parent or skier I have tried to boil it down to the basics. Ages are based on age as of December 31 of a given year. As of 2013, the class names have changed to the ‘Under ##’ system. At the same time, all of the age categories were moved up a year to give young skiers more time to master the skills before getting into higher speed races and more challenging hills. Of course, there is a lot more that can be said but that is accessible through other sites and organizations. Alpine Ontario gives a great overview of the whole racing program in Ontario as well as at the National level. In general, Kamiskotia is geared towards more recreational racing. Historically, racers who have gone further have had to travel out of town for further training. That said, we have produced some great racers over the years. In 2010, Scott Duhan qualified for the K2 national ski races in Collingwood, having topped many of the best provincial racers. This was the first time in 20 years someone from Timmins has made the national level races where he place quite respectably.
More importantly, racing with the TSR has given a lot of kids a love of skiing that follows them for the rest of their lives. Because of the group dynamics, racers can start at older ages and still have a great time while learning valuable skills and techniques at a rate far faster than would be possible through purely recreational skiing and lessons. As a sport, skiing is something that can be enjoyed by entire families over the course of a lifetime with several generations going skiing together on the same vacation.
Overlapping with the listed racing levels is the Husky Snow Stars Program which is a ski skills development tool for young skiers aged 5-12. Much like the Red Cross swim program, the Snow Stars is a seven level graduated program endorsed by Alpine Canada as well as provincial organizations. It coaches and guides children through a progression of skills to build long term athletic abilities on the slopes. The goal of the program is to celebrate the progress of ski skills at all levels of ability and create an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all the skiers and thus create a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm for the sport.
Ski racing, like other sports, falls under the regulation of organizing bodies. The Timmins Ski Racers club is one of five clubs in Northeastern Ontario, collectively know as the Northern Ontario Division or NOD. We have a race series each season, competing with the other clubs in our division. Similar competition occurs in each of the other three provincial divisions (Lake Superior Division, National Capital Division and Southern Ontario Division). In total, there are 42 ski race clubs in the province, the largest proportion being from the Southern Ontario Division (SOD). All of the clubs and divisions exist under the umbrella of Alpine Ontario Alpin or AOA which sets the standards for the provincial programs. At the next level is Alpine Canada Alpin or ACA which is the national governing body.
The top racers in the province are invited to join the Ontario Ski Team run by AOA. From there, they can progress to the national team. Our vision in the Northern Ontario Division is to develop enough high calibre athletes to again run a NOD ski team, featuring the best of the Northeastern Ontario Racers. This would allow increased training opportunities at elite levels to improve NOD athletes’ chances of qualifying for the provincial team. Decreases in program enrolment in prior years lead to the loss of the NOD team but as numbers climb in recent years the division is again reaching the point where a team should become possible. Skiers at this level are usually entering the FIS division of skiing