For the past 30 years and counting, Manitoban Bonnie Loewen has immersed herself into coaching volleyball.
“It’s given me a chance to build community, it’s given me a chance to stay fit, it’s put my mind and heart always at a learning edge,” she smiled.
“I’m extremely interested in how I could coach skill better and better.”
Loewen currently serves as the head coach for the Providence Junior Pilots in Otterburne, Man. The community is about 50 km south of Winnipeg, between Niverville and St-Pierre-Jolys.
She’s managed to build quite a rapport with her players this season during limited practice time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She makes you work hard because she knows that you can do more than what you’re actually doing,” said one of her players, Priya Milan.
“She knows you can improve every practice and always work on what you need to work on the most, so I think that’s why she’s really special.”
Loewen’s contagious work ethic has brought former players like Celina Lackmann back to the court to lend a helping hand.
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“I was very sad to finish my last year of club and high school volleyball, but just passing on what I learned from Bonnie and my other coaches just makes me happy inside to see how much they enjoy and love the sport,” said Lackmann, who now serves as an assistant coach to Loewen.
The Junior Pilots haven’t been able to play any games due to current public health restrictions, but for Loewen competition is secondary.
“We take the opportunities that we’re given to become the best that we can in the moment that we have and if we keep each other safe by not competing that’s OK,” she concluded.
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