News & Events

Two athletes share common ground in sport

The road to the Olympic Games can be difficult, but two Saskatchewan athletes are hoping to make their potential journey...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup Nov. 22-28

John Wetzstein comes home to Sask Rowing Association  It’s a homecoming for John Wetzstein as the distinguished national team coach...

Parapan American Games Wrap Up 

Photo Credit: Dave Holland Sunday November 26 marked the conclusion of the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games, with the Closing...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 24

Photo Credit: Angela Burger / Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada has gained a spot in the medal rankings, moving to eighth...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 23

Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee Comité paralympique canadien Canada has fallen in the medal rankings, sitting in ninth with 26...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 22

Photo Credit: Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada continues to sit eighth in medal standings, with 24 medals, four of which...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 21st

Photo Credit: Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada holds it place in medal standings, sitting in eighth with 14 medals, three...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 15 – 21 

Donsberger among eight on National Athlete Pool in skeleton  Kyle Donsberger, who hails from Regina, was named to the National...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 20th

Photo credit: Angela Burger / Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada has made its way to the top ten in medal standings,...

Parapan 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 17th

The 2023 Parapan American Games will commence with Opening Ceremonies today. Para-cyclist Shelley Gautier and wheelchair tennis player, Rob Shaw...

Santiago Welcomes 2023 Parapan American Games This week

Canadian athletes are once again descending on Santiago, Chile as the city plays host to the 2023 Parapan American Games...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 8 – 14

Ray represents Canada with U18 Men’s National Softball Team Rayn Ray from Saskatoon has joined the Canadian softball team at...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 1 – 7 

Swift Current group at 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships  The 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships commenced on Sunday, November 5th...

Pan American Games Wrap Up

Photo Credit: Diego Alvujar/Santiago 2023 via Photosport The Closing Ceremony took place on November 5, marking the conclusion of the...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 3rd

Photo Credit: Heuler Andrey/Santiago 2023 via Photosport Canada reclaims its place as third on the medal standings, with 136 medals,...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 2nd 

Photo Credit: Dragomir Yankovic/Santiago 2023 via PHOTOSPORT Canada has moved down in the medal standings, now placing fourth with 116...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 1st 

Photo Credit: PEPE ALVUJAR/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT Canada holds its place as third in the medal standings, with 109 medals,...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – October 31st  

Photo Credit: JAVIER SALVO/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT  Canada continues to hold its place near the top of the medal standings...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Oct. 25 – 31 

Klimchuk announced for Canada’s men’s rugby roster    Regina’s Matthew Klimchuk will join the 32-player roster for Canada’s Men’s 15s...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Midway – Oct 27 

DANIEL APUY/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT  The 2023 Santiago Pan American Games have come to the midway point and will conclude...


WECAN Be Nimble

December 16, 2021

Be nimble, be quick. Isn’t that how the old nursery rhyme goes?  While Jack is busy jumping over candlesticks in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, we present lesson number one in the IST Lowdown: ISTs are nimble and ISTs are quick.

The Integrated Support Team (IST) – a collection of experts across a multitude of disciplines that collaborate to enhance performance, is an integral component of any high-performance sport program.

These experts are physicians, physiotherapists, coaches, sport scientists, nutritionists, sport psychologists, biomechanists and others, many of whom come from the four Canadian Sport Institutes (CSIs) and three Centres that make up the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sports Institute (COPSI) Network.

To say that ISTs are nimble we mean they evolve, adapt, and deal; to say they are quick we mean they troubleshoot and solve.

Take Freestyle Canada (FC), the National Sport Organization (NSO) for the four freestyle ski disciplines of moguls, aerials, halfpipe and slopestyle. In today’s warming climate, chasing snow has become a driving force in the program. By necessity, therefore, FC is decentralized, meaning the entire team is scattered across the country and the challenge is optimizing on-snow training and competition around the globe. How do they make it work?

To help manage the program’s complexity, FC relies on the expertise and support of three COPSI Network members: Pacific, Calgary and Québec.

Adrian King, Director of Sport Science and Medicine and IST Lead at FC, says that because the team is decentralized they have created an IST across the country that is an extremely experienced, high level group of therapists, doctors and sport scientists.

King says that accessing experts through the CSIs helps from a quality control standpoint, too. “The CSI helps us bring in IST members that we know are vetted, quality people and practitioners.”  These are the ones who evolve, adapt and deal – the nimble part.

Todd Allison, High Performance Director, Moguls and Aerials at FC, says the partnership with the COPSI Network also allows FC to seek expert guidance on short notice, use facility space for training and logistics, book lab space for testing and analysis, and have athletes access Game Plan services – Canada’s athlete wellness program that strives to support national team athletes in living balanced and holistic lives.

“These things are over and above what we get from the IST,” explains Allison. “CSIs can basically service us wherever we are. They help troubleshoot for all issues that arise — if we have a problem, they can solve it.” That’s the quick part.

Let’s highlight a real-world example of quick and nimble.  A phone call comes in to Andrew Kates, Strength and Conditioning Coach at CSI Pacific and a key part of FC’s IST. “It looks like we might not have a good warm-up facility at the Olympics in Beijing.” He is unfazed: “Yeah, so?”

Dealing with the unexpected is routine for Kates and the entire FC team, IST and athletes included. “We find fast, unique solutions for training all the time” explains Kates. “Sometimes we warm up in cafeterias and hallways.”

Kates is also nimble. His primary role is crafting and implementing off-snow training programs. The key skill he has fostered is carving out specialized knowledge from the halfpipe to understand and meet the demands of the sport.  “There is no textbook for how to build a halfpipe athlete,” Kates explains. “I draw on knowledge I have from more traditional sports and use that experience to see how new things will apply to this niche sport.”

For Kates, that means constantly adapting and refining his training programs, and innovating by building his own data and monitoring solutions to track every single jump.

But the next step highlights the real power of the IST, and is one of its hallmark traits – sharing information and knowledge across disciplines within the IST to help make better decisions and plans to enhance athlete performance. Because FC is decentralized, Kates can tap into the expertise of other experts in the COPSI Network.

“This collaboration is essential to providing an optimal performance environment”, says Lu Bonnett, High Performance Advisor at Institut national du sport (INS) Québec. FC relies on INS Québec to meet needs and standards in data collection, and facilitates sharing knowledge with the IST that directly benefits athletes.

It’s not always seamless and communication can be a challenge, but it’s a way for experts to rub heads together and collaborate, which advances the sport to higher levels of performance.  Build knowledge, share, improve, repeat.

So, there you have it: IST takeaway #1. WECAN be nimble and quick – COPSI Network experts create specialized knowledge, share that knowledge with each other and thrive in a complex, decentralized sport.  

About the COPSI Network

The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSI Network) provides world-leading training environments to elite athletes and coaches across Canada. The team of experts delivers sport science and medicine, coaching, research and innovation, education and Game Plan services to power podium performances and help Canada win more medals. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network includes four Canadian Sport Institutes (Pacific, Calgary, Ontario and Québec) and three Canadian Sport Centres (Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Atlantic).


Media Contacts:

Annie Gagnon, Director, Marketing & Communications

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

c: 613.262.9644


Noah Wheelock, General Manager, Operations & Communications

Canadian Sport Institute Pacific

c: 250.220.2534


Jean Gosselin, Director, Communications & Marketing

Institut national du sport du Québec

c: 514.757.9092


Laura Albright, Senior Advisor, Communications & Marketing

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

c: 647.395.7536


Jaime Lammerding, Communications Coordinator

Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan

c: 306 975-0830


Sarah MacNeil, Communications & Project Lead

Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic

c: 902.595.0485


Jessie Davis, Marketing & Communications Specialist

Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba

c: 204.891.5441