The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association is proud to announce its 2017-18 participants for the Female Apprentice Coach Program from the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ):
Cavaliers de Bois-de-Boulogne
Apprentice: Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc
Mentor: Sylvain Noël
Despite her success at the University level, Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc has not forgotten her Cégep roots.
After five seasons with the Université de Montréal’s Carabins, the former Cavaliers volleyball standout will return to Cégep Bois-de-Boulogne as an apprentice under former coach Sylvain Noël.
Bergeron-Leblanc suited up for the Cavaliers from 2007-09, leading Bois-de-Boulogne to the conference final twice. The former RSEQ most valuable player also played for Noël and Team Quebec at the 2009 Canada Games.
“We are very happy to see that Sophie, who made a big contribution to the program as an athlete, now wants to share her knowledge and experience with our current student-athletes,” said Marie-Claude Lamontagne, Student Life Counselor at Bois-de-Boulogne. “We are particularly pleased that she has chosen to do so here, at her former Cégep.”
In addition to her five-year stint with the Carabins, Bergeron-Leblanc suited up for the provincial and national junior teams. When her competitive career came to an end, she stayed involved with the sport as an assistant coach at Collège Jean-Eudes.
She was also an assistant coach for the Montreal region at the Quebec Games on three occasions and spent a season as an assistant coach for the Cararbins. In addition, Bergeron-Leblanc has assisted several cadet and youth teams at her former high school and frequently helped at summer training camps.
With an ever-growing resume, she has plenty to offer current student-athletes at Bois-de-Boulogne.
“I remember when I was an athlete in Cégep a few years ago and I understand the challenges that come with participating in competitive collegiate sport,” said Bergeron-Leblanc. “I also believe that a female presence on the coaching staff would be of great benefit to all the players.”
Noël, the CCAA Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2016, is entering his 18th season as head coach of the Division 1 Cavaliers.
“He is an outstanding educator and is deeply committed to the Cavaliers program,” said Lamontagne. “He readily shares his knowledge with athletes and other coaches, and does so with a true concern for their development.”
Noël is thrilled to have Bergeron-Leblanc on board as he believes this is a natural next step for her.
“She always was a model of determination,” said Noël. “Her analytical and communication skills, her attention to detail as well as the strong ethics I have seen her demonstrate in a few situations will serve her well in her future career and be of great value to our team.”
Champlain Saint-Lambert Cavaliers
Apprentice: Gabriella Farallo
Mentor: Eric Beaudoin
Gabriella Farallo will bring her tremendous personality and valuable insights into the sport of Cross-Country Running back to her former team this fall as an apprentice.
Farallo, who was a member of the Cavaliers program from 2013-15, will be mentored by former coach Eric Beaudoin.
“Gabriella is a wonderful team player and listener and she genuinely cares about the student-athletes,” said Vince Amato, Coordinator of Athletics at Champlain College Saint-Lambert. “Her ability to turn situations into ‘teachable moments’ will greatly assist our Cross-Country Running team as it continues to grow and develop.”
Farallo, who participated at the 2013 CCAA Cross-Country Running National Championships at Humber College in Etobicoke, ON, is currently studying at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) School of Management.
She began blossoming into a leader in high school, where she was captain of the curling and field hockey teams. Farallo has also worked with children ages 4-17 as an alpine ski coach for five years at Sommet Morin Heights in the Laurentian Mountains.
“I created my own training programs to make them challenging, depending on the skiing abilities of the children, as well as entertaining and creative,” said Farallo. “This experience truly made me appreciate the responsibilities that come with coaching.”
She will get the opportunity to work closely with Beaudoin, who has taken the program from a club at its inception to where it is today, 40 strong and competitive at the provincial and national levels.
Beaudoin, the Cavaliers coach for the past 12 seasons, previously mentored Coralina Tse in 2013 as part of the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program.
“Eric brings vast experience to the college, having coached for over 17 years in the educational milieu,” said Amato. “He is a true student of the sport and is deeply implicated with its growth in the RSEQ and CCAA.”
Beaudoin is enthusiastic about the positive impact Farallo will have on his runners.
“As an athlete, Gabriella was never the most naturally gifted member of the team, but her hard work and dedication made her one of the leaders of our group,” he said. “This internal drive and passion for her sport made Gabriella very popular among her teammates.”
With the recent Cross-Country Running boom in Quebec, Champlain Saint-Lambert has seen rapidly rising participation numbers, therefore, it’s an ideal time for Farallo to make an impact.
“Together, we will build a program that will bring these student-athletes to the next level,” said Beaudoin.