It’s been a time of recognition this week for coaches across Saskatchewan.
The Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed Sept. 19-27 as Coaches Week in the province, supporting the Canadian Coaches Association of Saskatchewan and in conjunction with National Coaches Week.
“There are few accolades as natural, joyfully respectful and heartfelt as ‘Thanks Coach,’” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said in a release.
“I don’t think we can overestimate the positive effects that good coaching and good coaches can have on the individual community — contributing to a legacy by helping guide the next generation as they move forward to become leaders and contributing citizens.”
According to the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan, the province has more than 27,000 trained coaches working with 320,000 registered participants on 6,000 different teams and clubs.
Across Canada, more than 1.5 million Canadians have received coach training.
“Coaches are leaders who work at all levels of sport and with athletes of all abilities to foster safe and quality environments while encouraging respect, inclusivity, communication, dedication and teamwork,” said Doug Hillis, chairperson of the Coaches Association of Saskatchewan.
“They are everyday role models that inspire those they work with and that can influence how people view sport, physical activity and themselves. Through that leadership they are building healthier, active communities that will benefit future generations in our province.”
Global News spoke to a few coaches around Regina to get their thoughts on what coaching means to them and what their coaches helped do for them during their athletic career.
Mike Thomas, Regina Minor Football Atom Thunderbirds coach
“We’re super blessed to have individuals that want to give their time, and for me, knowing personally that I’m able to give back is something that I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing.”
“The game of football gave me so much in terms of an opportunity to play, an opportunity for the job that I have and just the opportunities in life that I possess today.”
Wardah Mahmood, Regina Rowing Club coach
“I’ve had some awesome coaches while I was here at the Regina Rowing Club. Especially my first coach, who was my ‘learn to row’ coach. And (now) teaching ‘learn to row’ in my first summer, I took a lot of what I learned from her and applied it into teaching new athletes.”
“We have something called Regina Sprints, where a bunch of ‘learn to row’ (athletes) will race for their first time and just seeing them transition from not knowing how to paddle at all to being able to race a boat and win it, it’s even more gratifying than winning on your own.”
Carla Nicholls, Athletics Canada coach
“Those were the people that really had an influence in my life and saw the potential in me to be a coach. What those people provided me as an athlete — that’s what, later in life, I thought ‘that’s what I want to be able to do for athletes as well,” Cara Nicholls said.
“Just to provide an opportunity to show you what sport can really do for a person. It’s not just being on the track and training, there’s just a whole other realm of your life that is so positive because of athletics.”
David Calam, Regina Lawn Bowling Club coach
“I enjoy all parts of coaching, but I enjoy the beginners because they just light up. It is a fun game and it’s got a lot going for it, but it is difficult and when they realize with simple techniques and a little bit of practice, they see success and quite often in those first three lessons, they’ll deliver a really super bowl.”
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