Teal Harle is on his path to the Olympics.

Teal Harle is on his path to the Olympics.

Podium of Life helps build champions

It wasn’t long ago that the Podium of Life Snow Sports Academy first combined school and skiing on a daily basis.

It opened in the fall of 2010 and operated on Mt. Washington for four years, and Whistler for a year, and is still guiding aspiring student/athletes to national and international levels throughout B.C.

A testament to the effectiveness of this model is the eight athletes who are former Podium of Life participants that competed at the World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year. And there are a few that are still trying to qualify for the Olympics in 2018.

The main focus of the program is Athlete Acceleration. Students earn Grade 10, 11, and 12 PE credits while pursuing the sport they love, on their own time, outside of school.

The first course, The Power of Goal Setting and Accountability, is designed to help students realize their goals, through a process of success. Athlete Acceleration addresses emotional and mental aspects of training and competing, which are rarely covered at the school or club level. It helps athletes clarify and stay focused on goals, and develop mental strategies to deal with fear, stress, anxiety, and rest and recovery.

Although this course can replace PE 10, students are encouraged to take PE at school as well. Any B.C. student, regardless of athletic ability, can take this online PE course to complement their high school transcript.

Students can earn credit for skiing, snowboarding, hockey, biking, gymnastics, swimming, yoga, and any other activity not offered at school. A number of winter sport athletes earn school credits while training at Apex, Silver Star and other B.C. mountains.

Although the main thrust of the program is enhancing athletic performance, all other courses can be taken through Podium of Life, including Video Productions 9 – 12.

A number of athletes have chosen this online route, including Teal Harle, a World Cup winner in slope style skiing, and Sofia Gagnon, a national team mogul skier. Harle, a graduate of the program, won a World Cup last winter and is on his path to the Olympics.

For more information visit podiumoflife.ca or email podiumoflife@gmail.com.