Since 2008, Donna Kemp-Drysdale has been teaching youngsters in Dauphin as young as two how to skate. But after 14 years at the helm of Skate Dauphin, she is looking to take a step back and let someone else takes the reins.
Kemp-Drysdale began her career as a junior coach in 1978 at the age of 11 in Brandon.
“And then I started coaching professionally in 1984 in Ste. Rose. So that’s what brought me to the Parkland,” she said, adding she began coaching in Dauphin in 2008. “So just after they moved into the new building. But I did spend a lot of time in the old DMCC as far as that goes. It was an incredible building. Had a great vibe happening in there,” Kemp-Drysdale said.
“Lots and lots of early morning skates in there that I would travel when I was working with some of the students from Dauphin when I was teaching in Ste. Rose.”
In 1982, Kemp-Drysdale became the Manitoba master clinic conductor for the Can Power Skate program.
“So my role at that point was I traveled all around Manitoba doing clinics for coaches to learn how to do power skating. So within that realm, I reached out to a lot of different people in different communities,” she said, adding she held some clinics in Saskatchewan, as well.
There are many different levels that Kemp-Drysdale enjoys about coaching.
“The reality is I’m not inventing the wheel. I’m passing on knowledge that I’ve gained and processed and then give over to the students. And the expectation is that they process that knowledge and they have to put it into their abilities,” she said. “For some kids, they soak it up like a sponge. Other kids, it just falls to the ice. And it’s not so much that they don’t want to learn, they just don’t translate it well. So everybody learns in so many different ways. And as a coach, it’s my responsibility to come up with ways that they’ll understand it.”
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