“It is so important for me to give back and provide individuals with the opportunities that other people had provided me.”
Sabrina Durepos, the recipient of last year’s Everyone Matters Coaching Award, began her coaching career as a way to give back. The former Paralympian credits many of her past coaches for providing her the opportunity to succeed as a wheelchair basketball athlete. Now, as her playing career has come to a close, Sabrina is focused on giving back to the community in a way that will allow youth to have a positive experience with sports. Coach New Brunswick was able to talk with Sabrina about the importance of giving back, as well as what it meant to be recognized as part of last year’s Leave Your Mark Coaching Award series.
Sabrina has been active as both a high performance coach at the Provincial level, as well as involvement at the recreational and grassroots levels. This comprehensive commitment has truly shown that everyone matters when she is coaching! “For me, sport is about so much more than competing, especially for people with disabilities” said Sabrina. “Sport is often a way to get to know people who have lived through similar situations and allows you to realize how much is still possible.”
Every great coach must take the time to get to know their team. On the parasport side it is perhaps even more important to understand the individuals, their circumstances, and their disabilities. Sabrina comprehends the importance of creating a rapport with her athletes. “It is so important to get to know what [the athletes] are feeling in that moment” she said. “Everybody deals with pressure differently, and pressure represents something different to everyone.” Sabrina stresses that the most common misconception is that people think coaching parasport athletes is more difficult than it is. “Just like coaching any other athlete, it takes time to get to know them and their limitations” she said.
As an accomplished athlete, Sabrina’s experience as both a Paralympian and a Canada Games athlete has allowed her to add a different dimension to her coaching. The ups and downs she experienced during her playing career helped shape her into the coach she is today. As Head Coach of the wheelchair basketball team at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, she understood how her team was feeling leading up to and during the event.
When asked about how it felt to be recognized through our Leave Your Mark Coaching Awards series, Sabrina downplayed the recognition, stating “I don’t do it to be recognized, I do it to help the kids and bring them experiences that are just so rewarding.” Sabrina has not only been a dedicated and passionate coach, but an incredible ambassador for the sport of wheelchair basketball across the province.
Congratulations and Thank you, Sabrina!