Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comIn the spirit of International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2019, we share an update on the Coast Zone Women in Sport working group, formed in the fall of 2017 with a purpose to foster CommunityPathway and Inspiration.

On Monday Feb 25th we held our second Women in Sport meeting with Danielle Robson as moderator. This meeting was used as a mid-season check-in with our female coach community to find out how the season is going to-date, and allow us to discuss pieces which have helped or hindered growth and development. Highlighted success so far this season, two members have moved up to coach older age groups, and another received the course set job during our latest FIS race. Each little win grows confidence and highlights the positive impact we have on sport.

Our guest speaker for the evening was Leslie Clarke who spoke on Leadership. Leslie's sport CV is impressive as she has progressed through many ranks; Coaching with the WMSC, Program Director for Cypress and Whistler, Athletic development director for BC Alpine, Head Coach for the Canadian Para Alpine national team and most recently, moving over to multi sport, overseeing sport development for CSI in Whistler. Leslie is now following her passion, embarking on a career as a mentor, leadership-coach, currently working as such for Mike Janyk, program director of the Grouse Tyee ski club.   

Her presentation focused on what we inherit in our roles as leaders and the practice of deliberate leadership. She highlighted the importance of providing adequate training so we can successfully develop our skills and empower others to then gain the necessary experience. As leaders we must be willing to pass the torch, allow for mistakes to be made and be aware of collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation to create quality. 

Our main takeaway was a need for shadowing opportunities for new coaches to learn from more experienced coaches, and for the more experienced coaches to be given experience opportunities in key positions. We have tasked ourselves to work with the other program directors to create some cross mentor/mentee opportunities within the zone during the Spring and Summer camps.

Our next meeting is set for April 29th 6pm-8:30pm in North Vancouver. Please let this stand as an open invitation to all Zone and Provincial female coaches; the more who come, the stronger and more creative we become! For more information please feel free to contact Catherine Grant, Vice President and Chair of Women and Sport, Grouse Tyee

Photo: Shannon Smith (WMSC FIS Coach) and Montana Molyneux (FAST U16 Head Coach)