The University of Alberta Augustana Campus and Camrose Ski Club are pleased to announce the appointment of Lowell Niven as Head Coach, Nordic Sports – encompassing both Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon programs. This coaching position is shared by both Augustana Campus and the Camrose Ski Club, with partial funding support from Cross Country Alberta.
“We are very excited about Lowell’s decision to accept this new role. In the short term, he is able to step right into this dual coaching role having complete familiarity with the both the Ski Club and Vikings programs, as he now enters his fifth season as coach of the Vikings Biathlon Team,” says Augustana Athletic Director, Greg Ryan. Ski Club President, Gerhard Lotz adds, “In the long term, Lowell provides stability to our Nordic programs. He is a long-time resident of Camrose who has clearly demonstrated his skills, energy and commitment to all of our Nordic Teams.”
Niven brings a wealth of coaching and skiing experience to the position. Born and raised in Camrose, Niven has been involved with the sport of Biathlon for many years, since his start at age eleven with the Camrose Ski Club. Coached and mentored throughout his young athletic career by Willie Pederson, Garry Gibson, Hans Skinstad and Les Parsons, Niven is a former Team Alberta Biathlete and national medalist. Niven continued in the sport of ACAC Cross Country Skiing at Red Deer College, and then at Lakeland College in Vermilion, under the tutelage of coach, Les Parsons.
Niven will continue to share his coaching expertise provincially and nationally. He will be Team Leader and Head Coach of the Canadian Biathlon Team at the 2017 World University Games in Kazakhstan. He fulfilled the same coaching role at the 2015 Games in Slovakia and was the head wax technician at the 2013 Games in Italy. Part of Niven’s new role will be to support Cross Country Alberta in the development of young skiers and volunteer coaches in Northern Alberta. He will build on the tradition of having a strong center of skiing in Camrose and a competitive university team at Augustana as something for young skiers to strive towards.
Coach Niven offers passionate leadership to grow Nordic sports at Augustana, in his hometown community, and throughout Northern Alberta. He looks forward to recruiting new athletes and to reconnecting with Augustana’s exceptionally strong Nordic Alumni base. An active outdoorsman, Niven enjoys photography, river guiding, hiking and cycling. He remains a construction entrepreneur in the off-season, is based in Camrose, and the loving father of two great boys.