Former Tigers cross country standout Emily Clarke has been chosen as one of 18 to participate in the U SPORTS Female Apprentice Coaching Program under current head coach Rich Lehman.
Funded by Sport Canada, the program provides educational and training opportunities for female apprentice coaches across Canada in university sport, which is an initiative within U SPORTS strategic plan. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of female coaches at the U SPORTS level.
“It’s designed to identify and support female student-athletes who have graduated within the
last five years and who demonstrate the desire and skills for coaching,” says Lehman. “It gives them first-hand opportunities to share in the coaching experience in U SPORTS national championship sports.”
A member of both the Dalhousie cross country and track and field teams from 2011-2016, Clarke was a multi-year AUS all-star and was named team MVP at the end of the 2014-15 cross country season.
Clarke has been a volunteer coach with HaliFast since spring 2017 and has also been serving as an assistant coach with the Tigers since the fall of 2017.
The opportunity to help develop a positive cross country and track and field environment across Canada and to help women develop their full potential is what drew Clarke to the apprenticeship program.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to further my skills and give back,” she says. “I’m very happy to be able to continue working with Rich (Lehman) who is a long-time friend and mentor.”
“Emily will work as my primary assistant coach with both the men’s and women’s cross country teams and the endurance teams during the track and field season,” adds Lehman. “I'm very excited to continue working with her in a more formalized role. She was the first athlete I ever coached, so we've been learning together for over ten years. She has great coaching instincts and I'm confident she will continue to be a huge asset to our program.”
Clarke credits a great experience as a student-athlete as a key factor in moving on to coaching.
“I really value the importance of the student-athlete experience, which is what drew me to coaching,” says Clarke. “I enjoyed my time as a student-athlete and I want to give back to a community that has given me so much.”
More information on the program and other participants can be found on the U SPORTS website.