Laura Watson

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					Laura Watson
BC SCHOOL SPORTS COACH OF THE MONTH JANUARY 2009
   School: Chilliwack Secondary.
   Years coaching: Over 30 years.
   Currently Coaching: Curling.
   Also coached: Field hockey, basketball,
   volleyball, and track and field.
   Subjects: Physical education.



What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teacher coach?

I think the fact that you work with the kids a lot for the time you have them in
your classes as well you see them after school weekend and you really develop
a rapport and get to know them a t different level than maybe as an outside
coach. You really get involved with the kids in their academic work and see
their other success as well as just sports.

Describe how found sports in your life.

Well I came from the Island, sort of a rural community. So I lived outside the
town in the country and sort of had a few kids around, we had farms with big
fields so we would play back yard baseball, golf and football there. We also
had a basketball hoop in the yard. I got into gymnastics, and because we had a
small school you played on every sports team you could.

What do you believe would resonate with the teacher coach of today in
terms of recognition?

Parents are very supportive and I think that’s important. They are coming to
games helping out in whatever they can do. Bringing snacks, driving athletes,
always saying thanks. That’s one of the biggest rewards, and when the kids
themselves say thanks. They do appreciate you being out there and that’s neat.

What has coaching taught you about life?

That there are ups and downs and always some good days and bad days and
you have to go with the flow and make the most of what you have and look for
positive situations. In all the years I’ve coached I’ve had very few teams I’ve
been disappointed with.
You can have winners and have losers but I think if the kids are into it and want
to improve and learn and enjoy the game then that’s a bonus, I think.

What was your proudest moment?

I guess probably seeing as I am involved in curling… I was working with the
boys and girls last year and in our play downs our girls’ team had all curled
before so they qualified for the provincials. But the boys had three brand new
curlers on their team and an experienced skip and they really held their own at
the provincials. That’s one of my proudest moments and I think this weekend
our group of boys qualified for the under 21 junior provincials. Three of these
boys I coached from when they were eight and nine years old.

Who would you identify as a role model or mentor in your life specific to
coaching?

I think I would have to go back to my small little school and we had a P.E.
teacher who taught P.E. to everybody and he coached everything. He was a
great gymnast so we had a gymnastics club. He gave up so much of his time to
help kids. He ran intramurals at lunch time and all those things. His name was
Al Limber.

Describe your first coaching experience.

I guess the first coaching experience I had a young sister who was six
years younger than me and I was involved with the Courtenay Recreational
Association.

I ended up coaching a little girls’ basketball team in high school. I just
volunteered and coached these girls in basketball. I was 17. Back then they
didn’t have smaller balls, so
these eight and nine year old girls were using size seven balls. We didn’t get a
lot of goals. One game we won was 12-4.

Other facts about Laura.

I used to play first division soccer and played in a volleyball league but the old
knee started to go. I ran lots and playing soccer and a softball catcher, I had one
surgery on my knee, I can’t do the pounding and stuff. From soccer I turned to
curling and then I moved from softball to dragon boating and I took to it.

Our dragon boat team practiced out at Harrison for six years and now we
practice at Cultus Lake which is right near my house. The boat’s down in front
of my house. I paddle as well as coach the team.

I ran a marathon once in 1981 and I’ve played competitive women’s basketball,
volleyball, softball, soccer. Sports are my life I guess. Now I curl twice a week
and ‘m there with the kids at least twice a week. My husband says I need to
have a bed at the curling club so I have somewhere to rest…

				
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