Q&A with Apprentice Coach Ally Dandy

(November 25, 2018) Collingwood, ON — Over the last few weeks, we’ve caught up with Ally Dandy to learn more about coaching opportunities for women. Ally is currently enrolled in the Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprenticeship Program, a partnership between The Canada Games Council and The Coaching Association of Canada. As she explained during this AOA Q&A this program provides the opportunity for each province and territory to send two female coaches to the Canada Games in apprenticeship roles. Ally’s mentor is Georgian Peak coach Heather Metzger, U16 OCUP Head Coach, and AOA U16 Consultant on the Athletic Committee.


Q: How did you get involved in coaching?

A: I grew up racing at Milton Heights Racing Club, my whole family was involved at the club while my brother and I were racing. I started working as an apprentice coach with our junior development teams when I was in U16. For the last couple years of my racing career, I was coaching alongside my racing schedule. From that moment on, I knew that coaching was something I really wanted to pursue!


Q: What coaching level do you have?

A: I have my Development Level (DL) trained certification. During my involvement in this apprenticeship role I will be completing my development level certified level and begin my performance level certification.


Q: How did you find out about this program? 

A: I saw this program promoted on the Coaches Association of Canada Twitter feed. I kept it in the back of my mind for a couple weeks and then decided that if I really wanted to possibly have this opportunity, I would make balancing school and this program happen.


Q: When did you start?

A: The applications to the program closed last November. I was fortunate to find out that I was one of two Ontario coaches selected for the program in January. The early months were all about learning what the program was about, being introduced to a mentor and understanding the desired outcomes at the end of the Canada Games.


Q: What have you done so far?

A: In April, all the apprentice coaches met in Calgary. We participated in professional development, NCCP courses, and CAAWS (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport) workshops. We also were able to visit and tour the Win Sport Facilities and the Canada Sport’s Hall of Fame. In between these two events, I have been working on my NCCP courses and working with Heather Metzger, my mentor.

In the fall I participated in the U16 High Performance Program retreat in the Collingwood area working alongside Heather, Duncan, Stefan and Graeme and the 30+ athletes. I learned more about the U16 HPP program and the yearly training plan of these athletes.

This month I attended the AOA Coaches Conference in Caledon and following this traveled to Ottawa for the Canada Sport Leadership Conference. On top of the conference, we also participated in workshops with the CAC coaching staff and national team coaches from a variety of sports to introduce us to the Canada Games and talk about women in coaching. The next time we all see each other will be at the Canada Games in the Coach House!


Q: Tell us more about the Canada Sport Leadership Conference in Ottawa.

A: The Sport Leadership Conference was truly an amazing experience. Being surrounded by so many like-minded people created this buzz all week long. Many of the speakers presented on very hot topics in the sport industry right now. It was very beneficial to walk away with updated knowledge on Rowan’s Law, the future of multi-sport in Canada, and how to improve well-being, culture and performance by Jim Moss.

My number one take away from the event as a whole would be from Jim Moss, the CEO of Plasticity Labs. He taught me that skills like gratitude, optimism, perseverance and self-efficacy which can be taught and used in the sport world and everyday life. He shared the positive aspects of journaling and using a moment of gratitude to positively change his day around. In the constant hustle and bustle of the life we all live in, it was great to hear all these initiatives to slow your day down and live in the moment.


Q: What happens next leading up to the February 23rd start of the Canada Games?

A: Between now and Christmas, I am currently working on finishing my NCCP development modules and finishing up my semester at school (Nursing at McMaster). Over Christmas break, I am planning to work with Heather on-hill. I then will be working with Heather at the Ontario Mid-Winter Race Series February 1-4th where the athletes will be qualifying for the Games. Lastly we will be at the Canada Games from February 23-March 3rd.


Q: What is your goal as a coach?

A: So far I’ve been an apprentice with a Junior Development Team and was selected as the Canadian female representative at the 2013 FIS Alpine World Championships International Youth Camp. Both of these experiences left me with an unwavering passion for coaching. I want to inspire and motivate athletes to be the best version of themselves through sport.

This program is giving me the opportunity to be working alongside high performance coaches at a multi-sport event. As I can see myself coaching high performance athletes in the future, this will be the first step in achieving my goal.

Thank you Alpine Ontario for the support in this program!


For more information contact:
Kristin Ellis
Communications Manager
Alpine Ontario Alpin (AOA)
705-444-5111 x 132
[email protected]