Bailey Andrews grew up in Charlottetown, PEI where she played a variety of sports including soccer, basketball, ringette, and rugby. She first discovered rugby in Grade 10 when her basketball coach encouraged her to join the high school team. She was reluctant to join and didn’t even intend to show up to the first practice of the season. On the first day of practice Bailey had to wait for a drive home, because her older sister was going to the practice. While waiting, her basketball coach saw her, and mistakenly assumed that Bailey was there to try rugby; after telling her how excited he was to see her come out, she was too embarrassed to correct him, and ended up participating. After getting sucked into rugby, she stayed with it, and now considers it to be one of the greatest decisions of her life.
Following after her father, and sister, Bailey began coaching in early high school. She helped her sister coach youth soccer, and not long after Bailey began to coach rugby as well. After graduating high school, she started to become more invested in her coaching career. In 2018 she started coaching a middle school co-ed rugby team in Fredericton. This was the first time she really got to take the lead in terms of session planning, and organization. It was also around this time that she took her first coaching course. Since then, she has gone down a rabbit hole of seeking out new opportunities to gain experience in the field of coaching. She has coached local club teams, regional/provincial academies, a local high school team, multiple age-grade provincial programs, and is now taking on an apprenticeship role heading into the 2022 Canada Games.
When it comes to coaching philosophy, Bailey values responsibility, team unity, sportsmanship, respect, and safety of the athletes. These values feed off each other in a way that works especially well in a sport like rugby where teamwork is a major factor in a successful program. Bailey believes that for players to play in unity they must respect one another and be able to resolve problems when they arise.
Bailey finds inspiration in not just creating athletes, but in developing community members. She aims to do this by creating a safe environment where athletes can ask questions and feel comfortable making mistakes. She hopes that creating this environment will teach athletes to trust themselves, try new things, and to learn from their mistakes.
While acting on her duties as a coach Bailey also works as the Rugby Development Officer for Rugby NB where her boss told her about the Canada Games Apprenticeship Program. Seeing the program as a learning opportunity, Bailey applied, and is now making progress in her development as a coach. Since joining the program she has taken part in both multi-sport, and sport specific professional development courses. The financial support from the program has also allowed her to partake in other professional development opportunities that will help her reach her next level of coaching certification. Finally, Bailey has been able to work closely with a very knowledgeable, and respected coach in the world of rugby. Overall, the program has helped her achieve her goal to continue to learn but has also helped her see some more specific aspirations for programs that she is currently working with, as well as some long-term aspirations for coaching at higher levels.
Moving forward Bailey aims to apply lessons she has learned from her past coaches through various sports. Some coaches have shown her traits that she aims to replicate, and others have shown her things that she does not wish to repeat. Growing up she never saw herself as a coach but can no longer imagine life without taking on this crucial role.