The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association is proud to announce its 2017-18 participants for the Female Apprentice Coach Program from the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST):
Apprentice: Adelia Paul
Mentor: Steve Beauchamp
Adelia Paul’s collegiate career wrapped up last March in Edmonton, AB, at the 2017 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship. Or so she thought.
A season removed from her final year of eligibility, in which she led the Royals to their first PACWEST title in 23 years, the former captain will return to Douglas College as an apprentice.
The PACWEST’s all-time assists leader (317) will be mentored by head coach Steve Beauchamp.
“Adelia is one of those rare student-athletes that comes along once in a lifetime,” said Brian McLennon, Manager of Athletics at Douglas College. “While her on-court accomplishments are exceptional and allows her to stand among the elite student-athletes of the PACWEST and CCAA, it is her innate behaviour to give back and mentor others where she is most impressive.”
Paul has already established a legacy within her hometown, the small Aboriginal community of Kitamaat Village, BC, where she has initiated basketball camps for boys and girls ages 10-18. Last September, Paul organized a two-day camp with the assistance of her Douglas teammates as well as Coach Beauchamp.
“My hope in doing those camps and teaching what I know about basketball to other players, especially younger players, is that they chase whatever it is they love to do,” said Paul. “I chased basketball outside of Kitamaat and it has exposed many opportunities, such as this one, to try to grasp and take advantage of.”
In addition to the basketball component, the cultural and community aspects of the trip to Kitamaat were incredible, according to Beauchamp.
“The respect and role model Adel represents in the area are undeniable,” he said. “Basketball is such an important part of the community and Adel’s success at the college level, both from an academic and basketball perspective, are truly an inspiration for so many young First Nations children and teenagers.”
Throughout Beauchamp’s 30-year coaching career, he has welcomed and encouraged his players to get involved in coaching. In 2003, Beauchamp established an U13 girls’ community based basketball club and he continues to run it today with the support of several former players.
While the Royals look to defend their PACWEST title in 2017-18, there’s no doubt that Paul’s work ethic, experience and leadership qualities will make her a valuable addition to the Douglas Royals coaching staff this season.
“I fully expect Adel to be a Head Coach at some time in the future,” he said.
Apprentice: Kelsey Acaster
Mentor: Chris Laxton
As former Royals captain Kelsey Acaster transitions from student to teacher, she’ll have the added benefit of being an apprentice coach with the Women’s Soccer team at Douglas College.
Acaster, a graduate of the Royals program, will be mentored by head coach Chris Laxton.
“Both Kelsey and Coach Laxton are excited at the opportunity to build the capacity of female coaches in the sport of soccer and to participate in the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program,” said Brian McLennon, Manager of Athletics at Douglas.
Acaster was a part of the Royals program for four years, the last three as captain. She led the Royals to their first ever PACWEST title and fourth-place finish at the 2015 CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship at Fleming College in Peterborough, ON. Laxton coached Acaster in her final two seasons at Douglas.
“Over the course of my career, I learned to appreciate the knowledge each of my different coaches possessed and how their diverse styles have been integral to my overall comprehension of the game,” said Acaster, a Douglas graduate who is now working toward her teaching degree at Simon Fraser University.
Acaster has already begun building a credible coaching resume, having coached the U12 girls team at the BC Summer Games in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. It was through these experiences that she recognized wanting to take part in the lives of children as a career.
“I look forward to being one of many people who will help develop Kelsey as an educator and help her develop her coaching style and philosophy,” said Laxton.
This past off-season, Douglas had the opportunity to see assistant coach Rachael Pelat accept the head coaching position at Langara College. Pelat, a former Falcon, was an assistant at Douglas since 2011 – the last three seasons with Laxton.
“We hope to continue developing people in these positions and see them grow within our leagues and in the game,” said Laxton. “It is also important to me, as a coach of female players and a father of a daughter, that we have more female role models in our community and elite coaching ranks.”
Meanwhile, the door has opened for Acaster, who will surely take advantage of another opportunity at Douglas, where she’s already learned so much.
“Putting on the Royals jersey in my rookie year, I quickly realized how fundamental my coaches were to my development as well as how those individuals impacted my life as a whole,” said Acaster. “It was this revelation that has inspired me to pursue coaching after my retirement as an athlete.