Natassya Lu – a wrestler of the University of Guelph for the last 5 years, will now make history as the first female coach to participate in the program.
Among 18 athletes who were chosen to take part in the ”U Sports Female Apprentice Coach Program”, Lu was one of them.
”Doug, out head coach, has really encouraged me to step into that role and he’s the one who suggested that I apply for the apprentice coach position.” said Lu.
On the other hand, Scott McRoberts – the Athletic Director, as well as the University of Guelph say that they are very proud of Lu.
”It is non-traditional to have a female coach in wrestling, and it’s something that was very important to our program and our head coach.” stated McRoberts.
The program is financed by Sport Canada, and it marks its second year now. Its goal is to increase the number of female coaches in Canadian Universities.
”It’s really about providing opportunities to young coaches. Athletes need female role models.” said the Chief Sport Officer of U Sports, Lisette Johnson-Stapley.
For Lu, being selected by the program as a female coach means so much more than just a position. The development of females in sports, not just as athletes but also in positions, can increase in the upcoming times. ”It’s important because then our career doesn’t have to end when our competitive one does.” added Lu.
The promotion of females in sports is something which the University of Guelph works on, with the help of an initiative ”She’s Got Game”.
”I think it speaks a lot to the culture of the University of Guelph. They’re interested in getting more females involved in sport and coaching.” stated Lu.
For Lu, her goal is to be a role model for the future generation of female athletes. Her apprentice coach program will virtually begin by the end of May, and it will continue until next year.