CAC Program Involvement: Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprenticeship Program
Mentor: Garry Yamshita
“Laurie, a five-time national champion striving to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games, is also ‘giving back’ by balancing her training with a commitment to coaching. She provides assistance and technical training to young athletes in her club and at provincial tournaments. In a predominately male sport, strong leadership from a female coach motivates and inspires both current and future female judokas. Her commitment is to ‘improve the sport of judo at all levels in Alberta.’ She is on the right path towards achieving her goal, as well as the goal of the Games – ‘inspiring dreams and building champions’.” – Shona Schleppe, Sport Consultant, Sport Development Branch, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation
Laurie joined the Niten Judo Club in Fort McMurray, Alta., in 1993 at the age of 10 and started competing one year later. She was on the junior provincial team from 1998 to 2002 and became junior national champion in 2002. From July 2001 to June 2005, she trained at the Varennes Judo Club, formerly a national training centre in the Montreal area. A member of the senior national team since 2002, she was national champion in -52kg from 2005 until 2009. She currently trains and coaches at Hiro’s Judo Club in Calgary, Alta. Laurie won the 2007 US Open and was fifth at the 2007 Universiade and the 2009 Francophonie Games.
Laurie began coaching at the club level in 2000. The guest coach at an all-female judo camp in 2006, 2007, and 2010 in Alberta and in 2008 in Saskatchewan, she was the junior national female coach in 2007.
YMCA personal trainer; carded athlete; Westjet TAC agent
• Mount Royal College Personal Fitness Trainer program
• National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), Competition - Introduction Parts A and B, Dojo assistant course
Expectations of the Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprenticeship Program
“I expect to gain a lot of coaching experience from the apprenticeship program, mostly building relationships with the younger athletes whom I hope to coach full time after I retire from competition. I am looking forward to more coaching workshops over the coming year to help sharpen my coaching skills. I also look forward to working with my provincial sport association and mentor coach in completing my NCCP courses and becoming a Level 3 certified coach.”
Greatest achievement: As an athlete, representing my country at international tournaments around the world; as a coach, being picked by Judo Alberta and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation for the apprenticeship program.
Source of motivation: As an athlete, small accomplishments led to larger accomplishments, which led me to train harder and pursue greater goals in judo as well as the encouragement received from family, friends, coaches, and teammates that helps me to train through the rough patches; as a coach, anytime I am thanked by an athlete or parent for a practice or for coaching at a tournament because I enjoy helping athletes achieve their goals.
Greatest wish: To be part of the judo community for as long as possible, whether it is competing, coaching, or volunteering, and providing I can give back to the sport what it has given to me – lifelong friends, a healthy lifestyle, and self-confidence.