NANAIMO — A mid island rugby coach will be joining the U18 BC girls team on a trip to Ireland.
Pamela Hadikin of Qualicum Beach is a recipient of the Gerald McGavin Coaching Award. The award takes the form of an assistant coach position with the U18 program, the trip to Ireland in August, and a four day international coaching course.
Hadikin says she knows first hand the positive impact a coach can have on an athlete, which is part of the reason she applied for the award.
"Being able to have this award and coach at this level is going to give me a good idea of how much I would like to explore this side of a career of coaching rugby and hopefully at an international level at some point," said Hadikin.
The Women's Rugby World Cup is in Ireland at the same time as the U18 trip, and Hadikin says the girls will not only get to play their own games but have an opportunity to watch team Canada play on the international stage as well.
"The idea is to give them something to aspire to. This is where they want to be going with their rugby, from U18 up to U21, and then maybe further into the senior women's program," said Hadikin.
High school girls rugby is starting up on March 1st and the first player identification camp for the U18 team will be at the beginning of April. Provincial Regional Camps will start at the end of May or early June and the U18 squad will be picked and start training by July.
At the community level Hadikin serves as a girls coach for both Nanaimo District Secondary School and Dover Bay Secondary, and she has also coached the Nanaimo Hornets women's team. Girls programs start at U14 and continue to U18 in Nanaimo.
According to Hadikin there are anywhere from 100-200 girls playing in the Nanaimo region. She hopes to see those numbers go up as more young athletes are exposed to the sport.
"My goal is to help girls know about the sport first, play it, love it, and know that they can continue this on into college and even into their working life if it's a sport they want to continue," said Hadikin.
She's been involved in rugby for more than 20 years and Hadikin hopes to inspire the same passion she has for the game in a younger generation.