Photo Credit: Leigh Trusler
Tina Hoeben is in the running for the Sport British Columbia Female Coach of the Year award, but if she wins, she won’t be there to accept it.
Award-winning TV broadcaster Scott Russell is set to emcee the event, which takes place March 28 at a four-star hotel on Vancouver Harbour. But the KISU Swim Club head coach will be 12,000 kilometres from the stage, and she couldn’t be happier about it.
If you’re looking for Hoeben, check near a pool in Gold Coast, Australia, where she will be helping Team Canada make its final preparations for the Commonwealth Games. Hoeben has been selected for the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Women’s Coach Internship Program, a pilot program designed to develop female coaches and promote gender equality in coaching and Commonwealth sport. Hoeben will be a member of the Canadian coaching staff as an apprentice coach, and be connected to other female intern coaches in an ongoing supportive network.
“I’m totally thrilled,” says Hoeben, 55. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity and hopeful I will learn a lot. I’ve not been to an international multi-sport Games before so I think I can take a lot of what I learn from staging camp and through the Games. I can take lessons from that back to my home club and help prepare my athletes for that type of experience.”
Hoeben recently led her Penticton, B.C., club to a provincial championship, a first for a club outside of Victoria or British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Her 21-swimmer team knocked off perennial powerhouse Island Swimming of Victoria, with a team of 35.
“There were a few really tough programs, multiple events back-to-back,” Hoeben says. “Most of those guys swam 24 races over three days.”
Hoeben points to a plaque beside her office door that says: “Honour your teammates with your effort.”
“I put a lot of time into building that aspect of swimming, that you’re on a team, we’re racing as a club and you’ve got to give everything you have when you get to the pool.”
In Gold Coast Hoeben will go from being a head coach to a member of a high performance staff full of top veteran coaches.
“I feel my role there is not to lead but rather to learn and be as helpful as I can be to the team as a whole,” she says. “My goal is to really absorb and take in what everyone else is doing. (It’s) a huge opportunity to learn from the best that Canada has.”
Hoeben, who has been with KISU since 1998, has had other development opportunities through Swimming Canada. She was a member of the 2017-2018 Select Coaches Group, and participated in the American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic. She was also part of the staff for the Indianapolis 2017 FINA World Junior Championships.
“We are delighted that Coach Tina Hoeben has been selected for the Commonwealth Games Federation Women’s Coach Internship Programme,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “This internship will provide Tina with the opportunity to be part of the Canadian swimming team at the Commonwealth Games, attending the staging camp and also the Games competition. She will work in various coaching roles on the team, and gain mentorship from the team Head Coach Martyn Wilby through this process. This opportunity fits very well into the Coach development opportunities offered by Swimming Canada over the last number of years.”
The full team list can be found here: https://www.swimming.ca/en/national-teams/senior-national-teams/commonwealth-games/