Three VIU Mariner Alumni Take on New Role as Apprentice Coaches

Three VIU Mariner Alumni Take on New Role as Apprentice Coaches

VIU Mariners Women’s Female Apprentice Coaches. Left to right; Andrea Čanković, Emma Platner and Nicole Foglietta.

October 23, 2020 - 11:45am

The Mariners Athletics and Recreation department is proud to announce three former female student-athletes are joining the ranks of coaches for the 2020-21 sports season.

Three Vancouver Island University (VIU) graduates are back with the sports teams they have devoted so much of their time to over the past five years as apprentice coaches.  

Andrea Čanković, Emma Platner and Nicole Foglietta will be on the sidelines this year assisting the team coaches and running training and practice regimens for varsity athletes as participants in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association(CCAA) National Female Apprentice Coach Program (FACP) for the 2020-21 season.

VIU Women’s Head Soccer Coach Kevin Lindo says the apprentices this year will certainly have a unique experience with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The sporting landscape has changed due to COVID, adding to what is already a tough industry to navigate,” says Lindo. “The apprenticeship program gives participants a development platform to build their coaching skills and valuable experiences within the community.”  

Lindo is mentoring Foglietta, who capped off her varsity athletic career as a PACWEST Gold medalist in 2018 and also earned the 2018 CCAA Nationals Player of the game award.

“Nicole was the one always pushing the girls training off the field in the weight room, so she'll continue leading the fitness programs as apprentice coach as well as help on the field,” adds Lindo. “It's really a natural transition for her to take on this official role, and I think that she is going to inspire and impact a lot of a lot of young lives.”

Foglietta, a physical education graduate, is now working as a recreational therapist in a retirement home and she has also joined a women’s soccer league.

Three VIU Mariner Alumni Take on New Role as Apprentice Coaches

“The apprenticeship program will help me reach my goal of getting my personal trainer certification and gain experience training a high-level soccer team,” she says. “I believe females can be overlooked for jobs and opportunities in the sport industry and creating proactive solutions such as this apprenticeship program will help not only with development of female coaches, but also support both female and male athletes by having a variety of perspectives in the field.”

Women’s volleyball coach Shane Hyde says Andrea is one of the most decorated Mariners to suit up with a bronze and four gold medals at nationals during her time with the team and she was team captain in her final season. 

The recent VIU geoscience graduate is taking time to focus on coaching before looking for full-time work in her chosen field.  

Three VIU Mariner Alumni Take on New Role as Apprentice Coaches

“I’ve coached Mariners club volleyball and beach volleyball in the summers, but I've never had an opportunity to participate in the professional development side of it,” says Čanković. “It’s a whole new world for me, seeing how things work from the coaching side, being responsible for all of the players, being a leader in ways that I never really thought about before.” 

Čanković is with the team four days a week running workouts and says her time as an athlete on the team gives her an advantage.  

“I had to learn everything the hard way,” she says “I spent five years on the women’s volleyball team and I have a different mindset about what the girls need to develop their skills and hope to take them to their next level with a few shortcuts.” 

Platner, former guard on the women’s basketball team, graduated from VIU’s physical education program and hopes to obtain permanent residency in Canada so she can go back to school and work towards a career in law enforcement. She is excited about the opportunity to stay involved with sports beyond graduation. 

Three VIU Mariner Alumni Take on New Role as Apprentice Coaches

“Basketball and sports in general have been a part of my life from an early age and I knew it could take me places,” she says. “Being an apprentice coach is growing a different kind of passion for the game for me. I know I want to continue coaching throughout my entire life, whether it be full-on coaching a team or as a skills specialist working with individual players or a group of players.”  

Women's Basketball Head Coach Tony Bryce says he is excited to continue working with Emma as she makes the transition from player to coach.   

“I appreciate the support this program continues to give to former female athletes looking to transition into leadership roles,” he says. “Emma has all the qualities to be an amazing leader and will be an outstanding mentor for young athletes.” 

Even though there are significantly more women sports teams at the college and university levels now than in previous decades, there is still a significant underrepresentation of female coaches. Canadian Women & Sport states that as of 2019, only 34% of coaches who took a national coaching certification program were women.  

The CCAA apprentice coach program hopes to spark a transition from being a female student-athlete to a female coach in the system. In the program’s 15-year history, 233 female apprentices have been supported. This is the first time there are three female participants in one year at VIU. 

Danielle Hyde, Interim Director of VIU’s Athletics and Recreation department, says female involvement in coaching is critical to the development of future female leaders.   

“In a male-dominated industry, giving young females opportunities to practice leadership, build confidence and learn new skills lays the foundation for a future that they see themselves in, “ she says. “As a former participant in this program, the skills I developed led me not only to opportunities in coaching but also to a career in sports administration, which, as a female, can be an intimidating place to be.”  



Annette Lucas, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.7296 | E:


Tags: Student Stories | VIU alumni | VIU Mariners | Athletics

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email