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Whistler to be coaching hotspot

Three local instructors to attend workshop later this month

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A trio of local coaches will collaboratively improve their crafts later this month.

Tami Mitchell, Meredith Gardner and Lucinda Jagger are all set to head to Ottawa from Jan. 27 to 29 after being accepted into the Canadian Sport for Life Leaders' School.

The three applied because of their respective interests in long-term athlete development, and all were later accepted to pursue projects they pitched. Only 20 coaches were selected to attend.

Mitchell, the Whistler Gymnastics head coach, said she got involved after discovering the program in the viaSport newsletter.

"I thought that would be my next route, my next direction in recreation and sport," she said. "It was a perfect fit."

The program provides mentors for small groups of coaches, who work collaboratively to try to develop sport in their home communities. The sharing doesn't end when participants leave the capital, as they will be in contact on a monthly basis to provide feedback on one another's projects over the course of 2015.

"My project would be to enhance acrobatics basics in individuals for any sport that they choose to participate in," she said. "The leadership school has mentors for us so I can learn from experienced professionals."

Jagger, meanwhile, is no stranger to the Sport for Life program, having been connected in various capacities for about a dozen years. Whistler Sport Legacies' vice-president of sport is pumped for the chance to grow.

"There's a few projects in Whistler that we're pursuing at WSL," she said. "I believe Whistler is very well-positioned to be a Sport for Life community and embrace the principles of Canada Sport for Life.

"I view it as an opportunity to learn from others across the country that have already started to do this."

Jagger explained her area of focus would be to analyze the pathways athletes take within the sport system.

"My project is starting to look at how we better align the system and create linkages so we make it easier for children and athletes to move through the sport system," she said, noting items like physical literacy, coaching, facilities, and sport services are all areas in which she hopes to bolster her knowledge. "It's an opportunity to get great knowledge or some input on how that might look and then finding a good fit for Whistler and the Sea to Sky."

Gardner, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association's sport development director, could not be reached before deadline. Jagger explained Gardner would be focusing on early diversification in multi-sport clubs.

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