The Teck Coaching Series brings Olympic-level expertise to coaches and athletes in Canadian communities.
This year two-time Olympic gold medallist in women’s ice hockey Catherine Ward, along with former Team Canada gold medal-winning coach Danièle Sauvageau dropped in to educate local coaches, inspire up-and-coming hockey stars, and engage with the sports-crazy community in Trail, British Columbia.
Trail is a town with a rich sports history – hiking trails wind up through the trees, the soccer fields seem to be permanently in use (even in the winter), and the Cominco Arena – better known as the Trail Memorial Centre – occupies a marquee location in the centre of town.
Nestled between the Monashee and Selkirk mountains, Trail is a hockey hotbed, boasting an impressive roster of NHLers such as Ray Ferraro, Dallas Drake and Shawn Horcoff. But this is more than a one-sport town. The Trail baseball and skating programs are known across Canada for producing top-calibre athletes.
The Teck Coaching Series had an early start with a breakfast for local area coaches from various sports, from hockey (obviously), to volleyball, athletics and curling.
Ward wowed the crowd by flashing her two Olympic gold medals and sharing stories of the grueling training and ‘bootcamps’ she endured with her teammates leading up to the Sochi and Vancouver Games.
Sauvageau shared her wealth of coaching experience, showing that a great coach and effective techniques can be implemented in any sport and everyday life.
On the ice
It’s a privilege to hit the ice with an Olympian and an Olympic coach, and the lucky kids in Trail did just that on Sunday morning. With the help of coaches from the community, Sauvageau and Ward put hockey players age 10-12 through their paces with skills, drills, and an epic shoot out to cap it all off.
The puck drop
A trip to Trail just isn’t complete without checking out the local junior “A” team, the Smoke Eaters. Sauvageau and Ward had the chance to meet & greet fans, sporting throwback jerseys to take part in the ceremonial puck drop before the “Smokies” took on the Vernon Vipers.
If it takes a village to raise an Olympian, Trail does its part by getting behind its athletes. With the leadership of the great local coaches that took part in the Teck Coaching Series, be sure to keep an eye out for future athletes – perhaps Olympians – coming out of Trail in the years to come.