The First Nations Snowboard Team (FNST) develops high-performance and recreational Aboriginal snowboard athletes. FNST is working to establish a legacy of active, healthy Aboriginal youth using the winter sport of snowboarding as a fundamental tool for excellence.
Established in 2004, the FNST has close to 240 active members from more than 12 Nations across British Columbia and Washington State. This year FNST will be expanding to 3 new Provinces working with Canada Snowboard.
The FNST offers programs for recreational and high-performance snowboarders of varying abilities, along with youth leadership, mentoring and instructor- training programs. As the first snowboarding organization operated entirely
by Aboriginal snowboarders, the FNST is leading the country in holistic and inclusive programming to develop, support and encourage Aboriginal athletes.
Aaron Marchant envisioned FNST in 2003 with the help of many, including the former Chair of the organization, Steve Podborski. After Vancouver Whistler won the bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, his vision became a reality. The Aboriginal Youth Sport Legacy fund was established and continues to be the main source of funding for FNST today.
The High Performance Team (HPT) consists of experienced snowboarders who have an aspiration to compete. The HPT members compete at BC Provincials with the goal of competing at Nationals, NorAms, World Cup and the ultimate goal of the Winter Olympic Games. This team is coached by our High Performance Head Coach Jon Spanos in the disciplines of Slope Style and Boarder Cross. The HPT members are required to sign an athlete agreement which holds our athletes to a C+ average in school, drug and alcohol free, good community standing and 90% attendance to all FNST activities. In return our members earn their season pass, equipment and coaching.
FNST members are also given the opportunity to become certified snowboard instructors through the Canadian Association of snowboard instructors (CASI), the Canada Snowboard Coaching Program (CSCP) as well as the Aboriginal Coaching Manual. These certified members will mentor and coach the younger generation of FNST on the REC team. They will also gain employment experience and leadership skills resulting in an increase in self-esteem.
FNST hosts an Assembly of Aboriginal Coaching Clinic (AACC) each year. Team coaches and managers from each FNST come together for five days of instruction, networking and fun. The clinic is hosted at a different mountain each year.
The Recreation Team (REC) introduces the sport of snowboarding to youth aged 6-17 yrs. The REC team is a feeder program into our HPT. There is beginner, intermediate and advanced groups within the REC team. This team receives 10 days on snow with a certified snowboard instructor, equipment and a seasons pass.
FNST has developed a girls program which will be launched with a pilot program on Cypress Mountain in 2012. This program is introduced to assist the transition of our REC team girls to a competitive level. The program will give them specific training, goal setting and mental training in a comfortable environment.