If you want to ski and go to school, Ottawa is one of the best places to do this due to the high caliber of schools in Ottawa and Gatineau, and the close proximity to the city of top notch trails in Gatineau Park and at Nakkertok. Our coach, Kieran Jones, has great relations with both universities, and can help organize proctoring and off-campus exams and midterms when needed.
Applications for most programs are due mid-January for entrance in September. Whether you’re from Ontario or elsewhere in Canada, find out all you need to know to apply here: https://admissions.carleton.ca/apply/
NJDT’s Carrington Pomeroy on Balancing School and Skiing
Why did you decide to continue skiing while attending university? I knew I couldn’t just do school. I’ve always needed something to take my mind off school when it gets to be too much. So I figured I’d either have to continue to ski, move somewhere where I could go adventure every weekend, or do every intramural sport there is. I just really liked skiing. There’s no other answer. The training and travelling as well as the social and competitive aspects of it have always really appealed to me.
Why did you choose to study and ski in Ottawa? At the time there did not seem to be many options. Thunder Bay, Laval and Ottawa seemed to be the only places where I could continue to ski competitively at the same time as pursuing my education. I also considered going to the States but the cost was a bit of a turn off. However, after learning a lot more about it from Phil Marshall, who attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, I wish I had done more research on it. After talking to a few people, I decided on Ottawa because it really gave me the most options. Between Carleton and Nakkertok, I could fine tune exactly how much school and skiing I wanted to do. So far, I’m really happy with this decision as I feel as though I’ve been able to get my best out of both skiing and school.
Did it prove difficult to balance school and skiing in your first year at Carleton? I’ve only ever taken four courses at a time so I’ve never found it really difficult to balance skiing and school. Having such a busy schedule basically forces you to be on top of everything. Honestly, I’ve found that it helps to have both going on at once. Skiing makes me forget about homework until I’m tired of skiing and then homework makes me want to go skiing.
How have Carleton and the Nakkertok Junior Development Team helped you achieve your skiing and academic goals? In terms of both athletics and academics, both sides have helped a lot. Kieran Jones (Nakkertok’s Head Coach) is ridiculously flexible when it comes to planning. If I need a lighter week to make room for studying, he arranges it, or if I decide that I want to go to a race two days before, he rolls his eyes… and then arranges it. His patience and open mind are pretty unique. On the Carleton side of things, having varsity athlete status is huge. When you’re on a varsity team, professors don’t ask questions; exams and assignments just magically get moved. But even when I was in first year and didn’t play “the varsity card,” as long as I asked far enough in advance, the professors were happy to move things around. As for athletic help, having access to the Carleton gym coach and athletic therapy has been huge. I’ve made a lot of gains in the gym and any injury scares have been put to rest quickly by the team at Carleton.
Why did you continue training/skiing with Nakkertok as well as with the Carleton Varsity Ski Team? Both teams have their benefits and it’s really helpful to see different faces at each training session all week. Carleton’s program is essentially free and the team atmosphere is awesome. Everyone there still wants to ski fast, but is also there to have fun. It makes for a really high quality, low pressure environment. I’ve continued to ski with Nakkertok for the individualized programs provided by Kieran. I still want to ski as fast as possible and I think that working with Kieran and being able to tune my training properly gives me the best chance to succeed in the race season.
What strategies did you use to improve your chances at being successful in both school and skiing? Communication is super key. Making sure to talk to my profs/coaches as soon as something comes up has to be the most important thing I’ve learned. The more time people have to plan, the better. Similarly, I try to plan out my week in advance, just to make sure there are no surprises. Lastly, I eat constantly and go to bed early(ish). When your body and mind are working all day every day, you need the fuel and rest to make them do that work.
Tell us about your decision to attempt to qualify for the World University Games, how you felt when you were successful, and why you are looking forward to racing in Almaty, Kazakhstan in February 2017? This is actually something I have been thinking about since I started university skiing. I had heard lots of good things about this trip from other athletes, and to Kieran and I, it seemed like a reasonable goal for me to shoot for. So last year we looked at the criteria and decided that in order to give myself the best shot, I had to be consistent and race well all year instead of hitting any major peaks. Getting selected was obviously a great feeling. I had put a lot of work into this for the past year and then having to wait a few months to see if I was selected was pretty tough. It was also really cool to see the list of skiers that I will be racing with. I’ve been racing with a lot of those guys for a while now and lot of them are really impressive skiers, so to get the chance to race on the same team as them internationally, is awesome. I’m really looking forward to racing in Kazakhstan for many reasons. I don’t think I’ll ever have another chance to visit Kazakhstan and it’s in a pretty unique part of the world. I’m sure just experiencing the culture over there will be hard to forget. I’ve also never raced internationally, so it should be fun (and probably a learning experience) to race people from countries like Norway or Germany.