Samir El Akkati of the Dynamiques de Sainte-Foy is the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.
El Akkati received the award during the All-Canadian Banquet at the 2019 CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship, hosted by Concordia University of Edmonton.
“Samir has led the Dynamiques to a very successful season in Quebec,” said Marlene Ford, CCAA Women’s Soccer Convenor. “He has created a culture of excellence at Sainte-Foy and takes pride in developing individuals on and off the field with healthy values.”
El Akkati guided the Dynamiques to a 4-2-2 record and second-place finish in the always competitive Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ). Sainte-Foy punched its ticket to the National Championship by eliminating perennial powerhouse Garneau in a thrilling semi-final shootout at the RSEQ Championships.
The Dynamiques, who were defeated 2-0 by the defending CCAA National Champion Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers in the conference final, will represent the RSEQ as a wildcard entry this week.
After an injury-riddled 2018 campaign, El Akkati and the Dynamiques reacted by implementing initiatives to provide better guidance and support for their student-athletes. That included specific strength and conditioning with health professionals, individual monitoring by a physiotherapist as well as mental preparation to help players deal with various mental health issues.
El Akkati’s goal at Sainte-Foy is to communicate the ethical and educational values of sport and to develop independent and responsible student-athletes by encouraging them to cultivate excellence as a state of mind, to respect themselves and others, to work and play hard, and to engage in an individual learning journey.
“Samir has created a culture of excellence within Sainte-Foy’s first division women’s soccer team,” said Cynthia Côté-Beaupré, Athletics Coordinator at Sainte-Foy. “Beyond performance, he develops players holistically and promotes a values-based approach to sport.”
Other nominees for the CCAA Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year award were Kevin Lindo of the VIU Mariners (Pacific Western Athletic Association), Sean Carey of the Lethbridge Kodiaks (Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference), Luca Sirianni of the Seneca Sting (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association) and David Vicente of the UNB Saint John Seawolves (Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association).
CCAA Coach of the Year winners receive a customized ring provided by Jostens Canada, the Official Ring Supplier of the CCAA National Championship Awards Banquet.