Carla Nicholls of Regina, a graduate of the Coaching Association of Canada's (CAC) National Team Coaching Apprenticeship Program (NTAP), has been promoted to the position of National Talent Development Coach for Athletics Canada's Olympic Program. She remains responsible for the organization's Women in Coaching initiatives and continues as National Event Group Coach for Combined Events, Jumps, and Hurdles. She is also Canada's head coach at the 2010 world junior championships slated to take place in Moncton, N.B., in July.
A former national-level heptathlete, Nicholls was head athletics coach at the University of Regina from 2001 to 2008. She was also a member of Athletics Canada's coaching staff at the 2008 Olympic Games (https://www.coach.ca/eng/women/blog/index.cfm). She holds a science degree in nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and is a National Coaching Certification Program Level 3 certified coach, with Level 4 in progress. She is also an International Association of Athletic Federation's certified Elite coach in horizontal jumps.
Nicholls recently completed her three-year NTAP apprenticeship, run under the auspices of CAC's Women in Coaching (WiC) program. “Although Carla's achievements are the result of her hard work, talent, and commitment, I know that NTAP played an important role in providing her with the opportunities to demonstrate her capabilities,” says WiC consultant Sheilagh Croxon.
Adds Nicholls: “NTAP is the best place for an up-and-coming coach to be, surrounded by professionals who understand where you are at, where you want to go, and how you can get there. What got me into NTAP did not get me the head coach positions at the junior worlds or with the Olympic Program. Listening, learning, and asking questions, allowing myself to learn and listen to what was being said at NTAP, along with a ton of hard work, that's what got me here.”
Joanne Mortimore, CEO of Athletics Canada, says her organization recognizes the role of NTAP in Nicholl's success. “NTAP facilitated the pathway for Carla into a full-time position with Athletics Canada as a coach/leader. Factors include the annual national coach workshop, the emphasis on creating a plan and integrating her into national team appointments, giving her the opportunity to shine. Her natural ability was already there, but NTAP definitely brought her into Athletics Canada's leadership orbit.”