It was a weekend of accomplishments, personal bests and gold medals as some of the best young athletes across the province came to compete at the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games.
At each Games, thousands of youth stand in the spotlight as parents and peers cheer from the sidelines. But off to the side, slightly in the shadow of all that glow, stand the 450 coaches who have dedicated much of their time to helping mold teenagers into athletes competing against the best in the province.
It’s sometimes forgotten that weekend competitions and late night practices are not their day jobs, and in fact the opposite: they’re just dedicated volunteers.
Some of the coaches are avid sports fans while others are looking to garner experience for their career. Some have also been athletes at one of these Games.
Yet despite the long hours and travel, coaches like Chilliwack’s Jennifer Greggain keep coming back.
Greggain, who’s coached golf in the Fraser Valley for more than 10 years, said Cowichan is her fourth Games.
Previously acting as a zone coach in Abbotsford, Nanaimo and Surrey, Greggain told the BC Games Society that competing at this level means a lot of hard work, dedication and really loving the sport.
This year, Greggain – a Games veteran – was joined by a newbie at the provincial games, Luke Bogdan of Abbotsford.
Between the two, they have a combined 15 years of coaching experience under their belts, and in 2018 had six kids in Zone 3 (Fraser Valley) looked to them for guidance over the course of the weekend.
When it comes to golf, navigating the course, assessing the distance from the tee to the hole, using the right clubs and knowing when to play it safe are all factors that come into play, the coaches said.
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