This page is dedicated to our beloved Coach Dave.
We’ll be updating the page, so check back from time to time. Scroll down to see photos and videos, read more stories, and use the comments field to share your favourite memories of Dave Battison.
Pediatric sports symposium
The first annual Dave Battison Pediatric Sports Medicine Symposium takes place June 13-14, 2015 on Mount Washington. This inclusive symposium is intended for everyone who may be working with youth and children in sports.
This unique conference has been created as a resource for physicians, physical therapists, health care professionals, coaches and parents and is hosted on the beautiful Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
* Dr. Jim Bovard, Team Physician, Vancouver White Caps
* Dr. Shelina Babul, Associate Director, Sports Injury Specialist, BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit
* Chris Miller, Sport Physical Therapist, Canada Snowboard National Freestyle Team
* Ashley Armstrong, Sport Dietitian, Canadian Sport Institute Pacific
* Matt Fisher, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Golf Canada National Development Teams, Canada Snowboard National Freestyle Teams
Visit the website or facebook page for more details!
Dave Battison Memorial Stadium
On January 31, 2015, we gathered for the dedication ceremony at the nordic stadium at Mount Washington Resort.
From Laura Battison’s address at the dedication ceremony,
I’d like to thank Mount Washington, the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, the numerous contractors, and Brian Stamp for helping to make this tribute to Dave possible. Since 2004, Dave was the Head Coach of the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club. His impact permeates this mountain, especially the stadium.
Dave loved the stadium; the raw energy of competition, the line, and—most importantly—the clock, the place where every inch was measured. Every decision is counted in minutes, seconds, and tenths of a second. Triumphs and defeats are celebrated.
Outside of race day, this is where Dave stood for endless hours coaching and mentoring. Breaking down the fundamentals of skiing with animated actions, skiing trivia, and constructive criticism, everyone learned. What should have seemed like endless hours of torture built friendships and challenged people. Dave had a way of making racing fun for all ages and abilities.
He was a wealth of knowledge was continuously available: a waxing guru, an accomplished international athlete, an acclaimed coach, and a good friend, always ready to help. Dave demanded the basics of time management, accountability, and good planning while building self-confidence in those around him and helping everyone be the best they could be.
Dave believed in developing not only athletes but coaches and a supporting facility to establish the strong foundation we enjoy as a club today. By working with the club coaches, teaching the fundamentals of the Long Term Athlete Development program and engaging people, the club has expanded in size and depth. During his tenure, the teaching grid was built, trail lighting was installed, and the world cup trails were established. We are no longer the little club that could, we are now the club that does.
This sign now stands where Dave spent so many hours. His 90-year-old mother still does things better than we do. Our hips still aren’t far enough ahead, and pain is just weakness leaving the body. As a monument to the things we have accomplished thus far, the torch has now been passed on. Let’s also use this as a marker for all the great things we still haven’t done.
David J. Battison, Cross Country Ski Coach Extraordinaire!
June 16, 2014
It is with profound sadness and shock, that we publish this brief summary of the accomplishments and passions of our beloved head coach and good friend. Dave Battison left us unexpectedly and well before his time. He has inspired several generations of cross-country skiers here on Vancouver Island and across the country.
2014 marked David Battison’s 23rd year as a professional coach. He was a Chartered Professional Coach (one of only 6 in our sport) and certified NCCP Level 3 and NCI Diploma. He has worked with grass roots club teams, varsity nordic programs, provincial nordic teams, professional race teams, and NST skiers and biathletes winning dozens of medals at Nationals and other competitions. His work has taken him across the country and around the world with multiple assignments as a wax technician, assistant or head coach including, Nationals, Canada Winter Games, Universiades (China & Italy), and World Jr Championships (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006).
Dave has been the Head Coach of the Strathcona Nordics Ski Club since May 1, 2004, where he has built a top-level ski program and produced a following of dedicated skiers and athletes. He is loved by his athletes and coaches alike, instilling confidence, respect and a deep loyalty and commitment. Dave had a holistic approach to athlete development respecting strong principles and self-discipline. This is reflected in the institution of awards at SNSC. In addition to “Fastest Female” and “Fastest Male” awards are the “Coach Dave Dedication Award” and the “Coach Dave One Inch Award” (for the athlete who strives the hardest in all aspects, day-to-day, in every step, gaining and winning that race, one inch at a time). Dave’s pervasive (and often derisive) sense of humor was a centerpiece of his coaching and motivational skills that was much loved by his athletes – young and old alike – and no one was immune to it. Amongst the masters racers in particular it became a badge of honor to be singled out for some technique or fashion faux pas.
Dave was always at the cutting edge of technology and coaching theory and practice and was a strong proponent of thorough monitoring and testing. He valued the input and guidance of his mentor, Alain Parent and the connection it provided him to the latest information and approaches coming out of Canmore and the world. He kept right on top of developments and changes in the sport and integrated these into his training sessions. Always looking for better ways to collect information from his athletes he was involved in the design and testing of a new app to allow instant upload of athlete data by athletes using their smartphones.
Dave was also a consummate wax technician applying a depth of experience with his extensive scientific and technical knowledge mixed with some pure magic and alchemy. One of his happiest places was in the midst of a humming wax room supervising and passing on his knowledge to a legion of parent waxers and assistant coaches. He also made sure his athletes learned to wax – they were always responsible for their own skis for all training sessions – and this enabled them to run waxing fundraisers at any big club event.
Dave has been instrumental at the Provincial level with CCBC in the development and roll out of the new NCCP LTAD coaching certification program, delivering dozens of workshops and evaluations. He collaborated on the NCCP LTAD Manual and developed the periodicity and strength modules. He also facilitated First Nations health and well being workshops drawing upon the LTAD model. In 2013 he joined the board of the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society and in 2014 was appointed to the Cross Country Canada high performance committee, a role he was really looking forward getting involved in.
Dave coached and contributed to the success of many athletes over the years at the three clubs where he worked as head coach. He was intensely proud of every single athlete that he coached. Some of his most notable program graduates include:
- Devon Kershaw – National JR and SR Team, World Champion, World Cup medalist and Olympian.
- Sophie Manarin – National JR Team
- Rob Bewick – NTDC Thunder Bay (also a member of World University Games Team)
- David Zylberberg – NTDC Thunder Bay, Ottawa training center
- William Fitsgerald – NTDC Thunder Bay (Team Canada at WUG)
- Alison Jeffkins – National University Champion (Team Canada at WUG)
- Kit Richmond – National Training Center, Canmore
- Simon Beaudet – National Training Centre, Quebec
- Stephen Lowry – National JR Team
- Alison Madlung – National B Tour
- Nicky Pacas – National JR/Youth Biathlon Team
- Tina Kostera – World JR/Youth Biathlon Team
- Sarah Peters – National Training Centre, Thunder Bay; Universiade team
- Andrea Lee – NTDC Thunder Bay, World Jr Championships & Universiade teams
Concurrent to his tenure as SNSC Coach, Dave coached Brian Culbert, Ultra Athlete and is part of his fund raising success for children’s health internationally.
Prior to his tenure at SNSC Dave was Head Coach of the Rocky Mountain Racers (2001 to 2004), Head Coach for the Laurentian Nordics Ski club (1991 to 2000), and Head Coach and Instructor at Laurentian University (1996 to 2000). Previous to coaching, Dave work for a short period of time as a paramedic, and he competed as a professional triathlete, representing Canada three times at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii among other international events. He is the 1995 Champion Iron Man Canada, winner and course record holder of 1997 Lake Geode International Trialthlon and a member of the 5 man winning team of the 1996 – 24 hours of Adrenaline Mountain Bike Race in Barrie Ontario.
Dave held a number of professional qualifications, affiliations and credentials that he was proud of:
- NCCP: Level 4 modules graduate program at NCI Victoria)
- NCCP: Facilitator/Evaluator ICC, CC, LTT, TTT
- A.T.P: (Athletic Therapy) specializing in exercise physiology
- Chartered Professional Coach, member of the Coaches of Canada
- Professional member of the BC Coaches Association
Dave is married to Laura Battison, whom he met during his tenure at Laurentian University. Laura shares his love of the outdoors, his motorcycle, cross-country skiing, young people, and their 2 pug dogs (PadDee and Betty). Dave and Laura made their home in Campbell River, BC.
Read the Cross Country Canada Tribute.
Read the Rocky Mountain Racers Tribute.
Donations in Dave’s memory be directed towards supporting young athletes achieve their goals and/or coach mentoring and development, two things Dave was passionate about.
- There are two options to direct donations:
- The Strathcona Nordics Dave Battison Memorial Fund. This fund will be used to provide annual cross-country skiing bursaries to promising young skiers within the club. It will be funded through direct donations as well as club fundraising activities. The club is currently setting up a charitable project so that eligible donations into the fund could receive a tax receipt. In the meantime, any donations or pledges (until the charitable project is ready) can be delivered at the memorial or sent by mail to Strathcona Nordics Ski Club, Box 3085, Courtenay, BC V9N 5N3. Please mark any donations in memorium to Dave Battison and indicate if you would like a tax receipt. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Sofie Manarin Memorial Fund which recognises the top juvenile male and female athletes each year at Ski Nationals. Sofie was one of Dave’s most promising athletes who was tragically killed in an accident while training in 2001. Donations to Sofie’s fund in Dave’s memory can be made through the Sudbury Community Foundation, 96 Larch Street, Suite 300, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1C1, [(705) 673-7770] or electronically via https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/2506 Donations to the Sofie Manarin Memorial Fund are eligible for a tax receipt.
In addition to these two funds, the family and the club also intend to establish an annual, national coaching award in Dave’s name to recognise excellence in cross-country ski coaching at the club level. This will be a recognition award as opposed to a cash award, and it’s creation will come from part of the proceeds donated through the Dave Battison Memorial Fund.
Any donors interested in making a charitable donation in exchange for a tax receipt will make the donation to Cross Country Canada using this Donation Form indicating an intent that the funds be directed to the Dave Battison Memorial Athlete Development Fund.
Note that donors may not receive advertising or sponsorship recognition – just a thank-you.
Funds generated through this project cannot be directed to any individual – in other words bursaries and travel grants are out, but these may be funded from non-charitable fundraising. This avoids the possibility of any direct link between donors and recipients.
For full details on the rules please see the CCC Charitable Donations Policy
Here’s a video that we made with Coach Dave a few years ago. The video was for coaches and for skiers.