Women’s Rugby News

In celebration of International Women’s Day, U SPORTS is proud to announce 18 former student-athletes have been selected for the 2021 U SPORTS Female Apprentice Coach Program.

Leading this year’s class for the program’s second season are a pair of former national award winners in 2013 U SPORTS Female Athlete of the Year Shanice Marcelle – who played women’s volleyball for the UBC Thunderbirds and is now coaching with the York Lions – and two-time U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian Ciera Disipio (2017-18 and 2018-19) of the Cape Breton Capers women’s soccer program.

The program aims to increase the number of females in coaching positions across Canadian universities, by matching apprentice coaches who have recently graduated, with a head coach in one of the 11 U SPORTS-sanctioned sport offerings for female-identifying student-athletes.

“We’re excited to continue to build our Female Apprentice Coach Program. Despite the unprecedented challenges faced in the program’s inaugural year, this initiative is already opening new doors, providing the tools for further coaching development and education in Canadian university sport and fostering success to our proud alumnae who aspire to become coaches themselves in the near future.”

Lisette Johnson-Stapley - Chief Sport Officer, U SPORTS

IMG_7372_Ian_MacAlpine.JPG (4.41 MB)
Nicole Barnard, right, who played for the Queen's Gaels women's basketball team in 2013-14, has served as an assistant coach since 2017 and will be taking part in the 2021 U SPORTS Female Apprentice Coach Program. 

In addition to Marcelle and Disipio, this year's class also includes several other national and conference champions, major award winners and All-Canadians or All-Stars, as well as national team athletes and Olympians. 

A total of 46 applications were received for the 2021 edition of the program, nearly double from the inaugural campaign, with 18 apprentice coaches selected for the second consecutive year. Nine of the 11 sports are represented – including rugby, soccer, cross country, hockey, basketball, volleyball, swimming, track and field and wrestling – as well as all four U SPORTS member conferences, in addition to the BIPOC community.

All participants in the program will be a member of the coaching staff at their respective schools and where possible, will provide feedback to colleagues as well as student-athletes, while taking part in team activities. Job duties may vary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Each apprentice coach will also attend at least one National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), with the option to also take additional professional development courses and seminars in the field of coaching.

The 2021 U SPORTS Female Apprentice Coach Program begins on Apr. 1.

2021 U SPORTS Female Apprentice Coaches

Name

Sport

School

Athletic Career

Coaching Career

Hometown

Laura Taylor

Swimming

Memorial

2012-14

-

St. John’s, N.L.

Savannah King

Swimming

UBC

2010-15

-

Vernon, B.C.

McGill

-

2019-Present

Sara Miller

Cross Country

Track & Field

Moncton

2006-10

2016-17

2021-Present

Moncton, N.B.

Jamie McCarron

 Basketball

StFX

2015-20

2020-Present

New Glasgow, N.S.

Kayli Sartori

 Basketball

Fraser Valley

2012-17

2020-Present

Chilliwack, B.C.

Winta Desta

 Basketball

Lakehead

2010-14

-

Ottawa, Ont.

Ontario Tech

-

2021-Present

Nicole Barnard

 Basketball

Queen's

2013-14

2017-Present

Ayr, Ont.

Chanel Ramcharran

 Basketball

Bryant (NCAA)

2013-17

-

Pickering, Ont.

Centennial (OCAA)

-

2018-20

Ryerson

-

2020-Present

Savannah Newton

 Hockey

Boston (NCAA)

2014-18

-

Halifax, N.S.

Dalhousie

-

2020-Present

Taylor Kezama

 Hockey

Alberta

2016-18

2020-Present

Camrose, Alta.

Erica Porter

 Hockey

Concordia

2011-16

-

Coaticook, Que.

Catherine Dubois

 Hockey

Montreal

2015-20

2020-Present

Charlesbourg, Que.

Carolyn McEwen

 Rugby

UBC

2010-15

2018-Present

St. George, Ont.

Sammy Nadeau

 Rugby

StFX

2016-20

-

Bewdley, Ont.

Trent

-

2020-Present

Ciera Disipio

 Soccer

Cape Breton

2015-20

2021-Present

Ottawa, Ont.

Kendra Finch

 Volleyball

Thompson Rivers

2015-20

2021-Present

North Vancouver, B.C.

Shanice Marcelle

 Volleyball

UBC

2008-13

-

Victoria, B.C.

York

-

2018-Present

Natassya Lu

Wrestling

Guelph

2014-19

2019-Present

Brampton, Ont.