By Joel Wittnbel/The Oshawa Express
A familiar face is returning to the Durham College women’s volleyball program, this time as an apprentice coach.
Tess Newey, a part of the Durham Lords team who claimed a silver medal at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association championships in 2015, was recently named an apprentice coach for the 2018/19 season as part of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Female Apprenticeship Program. Newey marks the fourth female apprentice coach Durham College has seen in the 14 years of the program, and the second in five years.
“I am super excited,” she says. “My goal has always been to be able to coach at a post-secondary level and be able to continue contributing to the volleyball community after my varsity career. So this apprenticeship program is helping me achieve that goal. I am also honoured to be one of the 12 women chosen for this opportunity.”
During her time with the Lords in the 2014/15 season, Newey finished tied for second on the team in points per set with 2.1 and second in kills per set with 1.57.
Ahead of her arrival at Durham, Newey studied at Canadore College in North Bay where she played volleyball with the Canadore Panthers program and earned a diploma in Recreation and Leisure Services. From there she studied at Brock University for two years, earning a bachelor’s degree.
Since that time, she has used her knowledge to help coach with the 14U regional volleyball program, while also being an assistant coach with the 16U Clarington Grizzlies.
The CCAA offers the Female Apprenticeship Coach Program on an annual basis, this year supporting 12 apprentices across five different sports in all five of the CCAA’s member conferences.
The association is made up of the Pacific Western Athletic Association, the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, the Resea du sport etudiant du Quebec, and the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association.
According to a media release from the CCAA, the project helps the apprentices to develop skills that will aid them to coach in the future by increasing their confidence and competence in the sport. Apprentices are also joined throughout the year by a mentor who helps them along the way.
“The Female Apprenticeship Coach Program is building capacity and is beneficial to all involved,” says Sandra Murray-MacDonell, the CCAA chief executive officer. “The institution is developing future coaches for hire as is evidenced by the numerous CCAA coaches from the program feeding other levels of sport in the country.”
For Newey, her mentor will be a very familiar face in her former head coach Tony Clarke, and she’s excited about the opportunities it presents.
“He is such a a great coach. I learned so much from him as a player and now I can’t wait to learn as a coach. I for sure think that Tony and I will work well together. We worked well together in our former player-coach dynamic so I can only imagine that our coaching relationship will be the same,” she says.
Clarke noted much of the same.
“It’s great to have Tess on board as a coach with a lot to offer our program,” Clarke says. “As a player in club she accepted every role, which contributed into her time as a varsity student-athlete in college and university. She was a key player with the Canadore Panthers program and at Brock University she worked hard to get onto the court, but when she was on the bench she also contributed as an active teammate by taking stats. I believe all of this experience as made her a well-rounded player.”
The club will see their first conference action of the new season on Oct. 20 at Centennial College. The team’s home opener will fall a week later on Oct. 27 against Algonquin College.