In a typical Ringette season, Sadie Ferguson would have been a Junior Coach – giving her time to support some young players while learning the ropes of being a coach from her Head Coach mentor. Unfortunately our Junior Coach program was largely side-lined during the 2020/21 season and she, like our many other wonderful Junior Coaches, was left with another disruption in her routine.
For Sadie, the pause on the Junior Coach program also posed another problem. The volunteer hours she had hoped to earn every week through coaching were helping her achieve a big goal – completing her Gold Level of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, an internationally recognized program that challenges youth to gain valuable experiences through voluntary service.
In addition to finding other ways to safely volunteer in the community, such as with Meals on Wheels, she also reached out to SCRA to see if there were any other projects she could tackle for us. One of those projects was the creation of a guide especially for SCRA Junior Coaches. Each week over the next several months, Sadie compiled information, surveyed other Junior Coaches for their insights and experiences, and drafted a handy manual – written by a Junior Coach, for Junior Coaches.
This resource is now available on the Junior Coaches page of our website. We invite all prospective Junior Coaches – and their Head Coach mentors – to check it out and learn more about these important young volunteers that offer a wealth of Ringette knowledge and represent the future of our sport.
Thank you to Sadie and all the Junior Coaches and Head Coaches who contributed to this guide! For more info about the project, check out Sadie’s own message below:
My name is Sadie Ferguson and I was first a SCRA U10 Junior Coach two years ago in my first year of U16. When I started as a Junior Coach I initially didn’t know what my role was on my team and I wasn’t sure how to communicate with the girls. I had never talked to anyone who had been in the role before and I felt a bit lost. After talking with my U16 friends I realized that there were many of us Junior Coaches struggling with the same problems.
Hopefully this manual also helps inform Head Coaches so that they can be great mentors for their Junior Coaches. The manual has some resources that Junior Coaches can provide to their Head Coaches at their first meeting to help inform them about the role, such as a Head Coach “tip sheet” with important info about the program in general and a “Junior Coach Introduction Sheet” to fill out with info about your ringette background and your learning goals.
I really encourage all SCRA U16 and U19 players to participate as Junior Coaches at some point as I had a lot of fun during the experience and I learned a lot.
The writing of the manual also counted as volunteer work as part of my Gold Level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program. I encourage all future SCRA Junior Coaches to look at this award program before they become a Junior Coach as being a volunteer coach as well as a SCRA player counts towards 50% of the award. And it all looks good on a resume!
Stay safe everyone… and let’s all cross our fingers that Ringette is back again soon.