Our Coaches

All Coaches are trained under ACA-CSC and the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP), SafeSport and many have additional credentials under the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) and other professional development programs.

Geoff Hall

Program Director, Geoff Hall, is an ACA-CSC Performance Level Trained Coach & Coach Education Learning Facilitator, CSIA Level 3 Instructor & Course Conductor, and Level 2 Official.

Benn Porter

As Head Coach, Benn oversees the entire Norwesters Alpine Club program from U6 through to the athletes competing at the provincial level. Additionally, he manages the off-slope dryland programs throughout the fall. He brings a broad range of experience, having worked with all ages and levels of skiers in his 12-year career to date.

Benn has coached world-wide and is currently focused on the full time U16 High Performance team in Australia and his U14, U16 & U19 teams here in Thunder Bay. He has worked a total of 4 years on the European circuit, 5 years in New Zealand and 2 years in Australia. Working in both the northern and southern hemispheres gives Benn a year-round career and the satisfaction of building strong athletes competing at the highest levels.

As well as having an extremely strong racing background competing at the FIS level in Europe for many years, Benn has had a lifetime of involvement with the sport and is recognized as having helped some of the younger racers coming out of Thunder Bay right now, whilst being renowned for keeping the sport fun and remaining focused on long-term athlete development.

Tobias (Biz) Porter

Tobias is an ACA-CSC Entry Level Coach and CSIA Level 1 Instructor. Tobias is working towards his Development Level Certification and CSIA Level 2 Certification. Coach “Biz” is also originally from England. Biz also chases the snow year-round spending the summer at Mount Hotham in Australia.

Ellie Lashley

Ellie learned to ski at Blue Mountain, Ontario. She is currently in Thunder Bay studying at Lakehead University in the nursing program. Ellie loves to spend time outside. Playing rugby and skiing are her main passions.

Ellie has competitively raced in the O-Cup circuit in Southern Ontario, with training camps over most of Canada. She has been coaching for the last two seasons with her home race club at Blue Mountain and absolutely loves seeing her athletes progress.

Ellie is now looking forward to continuing her success developing young athletes at the Norwesters Alpine Club and having a great season and meeting all the amazing athletes.


Haley Koopman

Haley has been a ski coach for the Norwesters Alpine Club for the last 4 years now. She’s had some great success with developing athletes at all age groups and abilities. Haley is currently taking Business Commerce at Lakehead University.

Growing up with a passion for alpine ski racing, she raced with Norwesters Alpine Club and then moved into the Lake Superior Division Alpine Training Group. She competed at the U16 National Championships with some great success. Skiing, racing, and coaching have been a big part of her life for the past 12 years.

Haley is looking forward to continuing her coaching passion and passing on her experiences and racing knowledge to the next generation of athletes coming through. She excited about the upcoming ski season and being able to get back coaching with the teams.

Jenna Marinigh

Jenna grew up in Peterborough and moved to Thunder Bay for school. She’s coached and instructed in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia. She's been in Thunder Bay for 4 years and now works locally as a Paramedic on the days she’s not skiing

Jenna grew up racing and transitioned into coaching and instructing as a way to stay involved in skiing throughout University. Jenna is an Entry-Level certified coach and a Level 2 CSIA instructor. This is her 11th season coaching and her 4th season with Norwesters Alpine Club. She’s looking forward to working towards more ski certifications this year

Jenna is the primary coach for the U8 and U6 programs. She’s looking forward to another great season with Norwesters Alpine Club and can’t wait to get skiing with her athletes.

Hillary Freeburn

Hillary is a ACA-CSA Level 2 (Development) Coach and Level 1 CSIA. She grew up racing at Candy Mountain, and also with NAC and LSDA. Moving to the mountains out west, she coached at all levels with Team Nakiska, developed a program in Fort McMurray and was the Nancy Greene Program Director at Snow Valley in Edmonton. She is passionate about the sport and is looking forward to returning to work with the Little Rippers. She is a proud ski Mom to two NAC racers.

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