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Kay Mills chosen to coach team of 14 skiers for 2023 Canada Winter Games

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jan 23, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton

University of New Brunswick (UNB) student Kay Mills has become the first female head coach for Team New Brunswick in alpine skiing. Mills will coach a team of 14 skiers for the upcoming 2023 Canada Winter Games, which will hold its skiing events at Crabbe Mountain, just outside of Fredericton.

“I attribute the person I am today to the coaches I've had and my teammates,” said Mills. "As head coach, I hope to give back to the community who raised me and contribute to creating an environment where female representation is seen for other athletes.”

Mills is a third-year kinesiology student, performance-level trained ski coach with the National Coaching Certification Program and the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation and personal training specialist with the Canadian Fitness Professionals Inc. and GoodLife Personal Training Institute.

“I grew up as an athlete playing volleyball and skiing, so UNB’s kinesiology program has always been an attractive program because of the sense of community that comes with it," said Mills. “Growing up in the sports world and in Fredericton, this program was a natural step for me."

Mills has skied on her home hill, Crabbe Mountain, most of her life. In 2015, she began competing in competitions leading her to the Canada Games (2015) representing team New Brunswick in Prince George, B.C., Whistler Cup (2016) and many other North American ski championships.

In 2019, Mills became an assistant coach and began teaching competitive skiing at Crabbe Mountain. Last year, the Ski New Brunswick board of directors appointed Mills as the head coach for the Alpine ski team at the upcoming Canada Winter Games.

She has also received the Dr. Chris and Dianne Stevenson Award, holds a 4.1 grade point average and was accepted to the NB Institute for Research, Data and Training (NB-IRDT) Pathways to Professions program (P2P) this past summer. Through P2P, Mils trained ski athletes using a high-performance training program called the Athlete Development Pathway developed by Mills with the support of the Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic (CSCA) and UNB PhD student, Renee Matte.

Prospective team members will prepare for the final selection through the Athlete Development Pathway led by Mills and Ken Morisson from CSCA, and athletes selected for the final team will continue to make use of these services leading up to the Canada Games.

“I would like thank Ken Seaman, assistant dean of the kinesiology faculty at UNB, and Ken Morrison for helping me continue my degree over the winter and train my team through experiential learning,” said Mills. “I feel grateful to be given the opportunity to apply my degree and coaching education in real time while gaining valuable experiences and supporting my athletes and my community.”

UNB’s office of experiential education gives students the opportunity to make an impact with their university education and shapes graduates into engaged, critical thinkers with the skills to support communities, tackle grand challenges and reach personal and professional goals.

Mills and Morrison will focus on strength and conditioning training as well as developmental physiology with the athletes participating in the Athlete Development Pathway program. Seaman will supervise a yearly training plan ensuring its structure is based in science.

“My approach to coaching is simple – I use science and kindness,” said Mills. “What I am teaching is founded in science and the athletes should feel a safe and welcoming environment. I believe this is the best way for them to step outside of their comfort zone and reach their full potential.”

The 2023 Canada Winter Games will be hosted in Charlottetown, P.E.I., from Feb. 18 to March 5 with Crabbe Mountain featuring freestyle and alpine skiing.

Please join us in congratulating Kay on her appointment to head coach and wishing Team NB Alpine the best of luck.