Grade 10 Hunting Hills student Coleman McKee is being recognized for his skiing.
McKee was the Alberta Sport Development Centre-Central (ASDC-C) Male Athlete of the Month for January.
“It’s definitely something new to me,” he said about his recognition.
“This is really the first time I’ve gotten a recognition for all the stuff that I do.”
McKee began skiing at the age of four, and got into the freestyle skiing side of things just a few short years later. From there, the rest is history.
“I just enjoy how it’s a little bit different and unique. It’s not like hockey where everybody plays it, I can do my own type of thing,” he said about the sport of skiing. And it’s no light practice for this athlete, who has been with the Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club for nine years.
“I practice at Canyon Ski Resort three times a week, so I come out Wednesdays and on weekends.”
And that doesn’t include the training.
His dry land training includes strength training and working out at a crossfit gym.
“In the off-season we do a ton of gym stuff and then we also do training off the water ramps, which is just into the pond at Three Mile Bend.
“We do things like practice our tricks so that we can prepare ourselves for the snow in the winter,” said McKee.
McKee started off in his club’s Jumps & Bumps program when he was just six-years-old, and this year marks his first year with the Alberta Sport Development Centre program.
This past summer, he worked on qualifying his back flip at Red Deer’s water ramp training facility, and included the new trick in a recent competition he attended in Jasper, and ended up earning a silver medal in the Slope Style event.
Having just qualified for the 2018 Alberta Winter Games in Wood Buffalo, he’s excited for the challenge.
“I’ve already been to the Winter Games once, which was really exciting for me,” said McKee.
In his spare time, he focuses on his school work as he misses a few Fridays due to skiing competitions.
Once he completes high school, McKee hopes to study sciences in university, but plans to continue skiing and coaching.
“I’m in the top tier of our club’s competition, our ranking for how competitive we are in our ski club, but we also have smaller levels for kids that are new to it, so for multiple years I’ve helped coach those.”
McKee plans on getting out to Canyon and their new mogul course in the next month to continue to prepare for the Games and other competitions this season.