Atlantic athletic bodies seek speedskating coach
New coach will make use of Halifax oval
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic and Speed Skating Canada are hiring a long-track coach to grow the sport in Atlantic Canada.
The new coach will begin working out of the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic office in Halifax in October, making use of the new skating oval on the Halifax Common.
The hire will select, screen and develop speedskating talent in the region, drawing in part from other sports and regions, and mentor other coaches.
Ken Bagnell, president of Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, is casting a wide net to fill the role. He says a Canadian Olympian would be an ideal candidate.
"Some of the speedskaters are household names across the country, like Catriona Le May Doan or Jeremy Wotherspoon," he said.
"Not that they're available for anything like that. But if there was somebody who had that name recognition … interested and capable of coaching, that would be an interesting name to throw in the mix."
Bagnell says he also expects to receive applications from overseas candidates.
"Word of the search for a coach is travelling fast … that they're serious about growing the sport on the East Coast," he said.
The goal is to take advantage of recent momentum and enhance the sport locally. Bagnell notes that Nova Scotia had its best ever showing in the sport at the Canada Games in February.
Halifax hosted this year's national competition for young athletes, which is held every second year.
Coaching at a competitive level also keeps former athletes engaged with their sports.
"I know with Own The Podium nationally there's a big emphasis in trying to get some of these athletes re-engaged at the coaching level because they have so much ability and talent and name recognition that can draw people to that sport," Bagnell said.
Own The Podium is a national initiative designed to improve funding and results for Canadian athletes competing in Olympic and Paralympic Games.