VICTORIA, BC – The Paralympics are approaching soon and, for the first time ever, the Canadian Sport School is proud to have a direct connection to the Games, as current student-athlete Mel Pemble has been named to Team Canada in Para-Alpine.
The Canadian Sport School (CSS) is a program run by Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, delivered in partnership with the PacificSport Centres. With campuses located in Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George, this program provides athletic and academic support for secondary student athletes who are balancing their educational and high performance training demands. The Canadian Sport School helps to alleviate the pressures experienced by high performance secondary school athletes and ensure that our future Olympians and National Team members have all the skills and resources needed to continue to progress as high performance athletes, while excelling both on the playing field and in the classroom.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be nominated to the Paralympic team! It still all feels very surreal to me,” said Pemble. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I remember setting my goal as making the 2018 Games and feeling like it was so far off and now suddenly it’s three weeks away!”
Now in her third year at CSS, Mel has been a sport school student since September 2015 as a grade 10 student when she was a member of Team BC for BC Adaptive Snowsports. Mel had her first interaction with CSI Pacific the previous year as part of our PODIUM SEARCH™ program when she attended in May 2014. After joining the school in 2015, she was named to the Alpine Canada Development Team in April 2016 and began skiing on the World Cup circuit in the 2016-2017 season.
Currently a grade 12 student, Mel is the first para-athlete to attend CSS, and the first named to a Paralympic Team. Born with cerebral palsy, Mel’s right arm and leg are affected, which is why she only skis with one pole in her left hand. A dual sport athlete, Mel is also the 2015 Provincial Para Track Cycling Champion.
With her busy training & competition schedule, Mel attends SIDES (South Island Distance Education School), which allows her to take all her courses online. This permits Mel to have a flexible academic schedule so she can travel for her sport and not feel stress or pressure of missing classes. During ski season (September to April), Mel typically travels for 2-4 weeks at a time, and then returns to Victoria for 1-3 weeks.
Members of the Canadian Sport School team are extremely proud of her accomplishments. CSS Coach Jenn Joyce says, “We are so incredibly proud of Mel for the development that we have seen in her over the past three years while she’s been a CSS student-athlete. We’re so glad to be able to play a role in her young career and are excited to watch Mel compete not only in PyeongChang, but in the coming years.”
Mel is also a part of the IGNITE™ Athlete Development program, which is the physical component of Sport School and another of CSI Pacific’s programs. IGNITE delivers physical training in the areas of weightlifting, sprinting and gymnastics. Due to Mel’s sport schedule, the summer months are crucial for off-season training.
“When Mel first started at CSS she had never been in a weight room before and now she can squat more than her own body weight,” notes Joyce.
Every summer, Mel continues to work with CSS staff and weightlift 3 times a week, in addition to cycling and other cross training.
“The Canadian Sport School has helped support me with things I would have never thought of,” adds Pemble. “It has given me skills that are relevant in both competition and the less talked about aspects of being an athlete.”
Mel is now just over 2 weeks away from the beginning of her Paralympic debut.
The Paralympics take place from March 9-18, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Find out more about Canadian Sport School:
Find out more about IGNITE™ Athlete Development Program:
Read more about Mel Pemble:
For More Information, contact:
Coach, Canadian Sport School
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific
About Canadian Sport Institute Pacific: Powering Performance. Inspiring Excellence.
Offering world-class Olympic and Paralympic training environments in Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (www.csipacific.ca) is committed to Powering Performance. Inspiring Excellence. Working with national sport organizations and fuelled by our national and provincial partners such as Sport Canada, viaSport, Own the Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Coaches Association of Canada, we are driven by our mantra to Collaborate. Serve. Innovate. Our team of sport science, sport medicine, coaching & life services experts provide leading-edge programs and services to athletes and coaches to ensure they have every advantage to win medals for Canada.