Caledonia’s Alison Leach coaching at BC Winter Games

The coach of the Fort St. James Falcons speed skating club is heading to her sixth BC Winter Games from Feb. 23-26.

Allison Leach has passed on her passion for speedskating

What the spectators see at the 2012 BC Winter Games is only half the story; the other half lies in behind closed doors with athlete-only signs, and on sleepless rides on dark buses.

For those with all access passes to the arenas and venues that make up the Games it’s a reunion with friends you haven’t seen in two years, a close community with people who’ve got your backs, and a road-trip that they’ll never forget.

“It’s more than just the winning. I’ve taken athletes who are going to be medalists, I know that, I’ve coached many of them. I’ve also taken ones who are just there to race. They like speed skating or they’re there to support the team. So for them it’s the experience. Quite often on the long bus trip they start chatting with other people from different sports that they might never chat again with. There’s one woman, a coach from Vanderhoof, that I always meet on the bus going to the Winter Games. She’s Ping Pong. And we chat,” said Allison Leach.

Leach, coach of the Fort St. James Falcons speed skating club, and BC Games Zone 7 Speed Skating Head Coach, will be heading out to her sixth Winter Games this February with her daughter Sarah, her third daughter she has brought with her to the games.

Though her skaters don’t always come home with medals they do come home with stories and experiences that enrich their lives.

“I had one of the athletes I went with, he had never flown before,” said Leach. “He was lucky because that year we flew. Even the traveling for some of the kids in the northern communities, they travel a long ways, which they may never have done in their life.”

The adventures inherent in the trip are not always such unmixed pleasure, but the battles have a fun all their own.

“My first Games I went to my luggage went missing,” said Leach. “And you don’t have time. Everything is scheduled. By the second day of the games so many people knew my luggage was missing and they were looking for it. They’d go: ‘Oh you’re the lady who lost her luggage. We’re looking for it.’ Some people with our club that were watching they’re daughter race, bought me an outfit so that I could survive.”

She could tell stories all day of her adventures. There’s the time they didn’t have shower curtains, another time they were without hot water, and yet another time when they didn’t have showers at all. Each story Leach relays with a smile and a sense of humour.

“You kind of learn, for the athletes, to go on the fly, to invent, to not be rigid or think that it has to be this way,” said Leach.

Each of these hurdles creates stories that can be told for year, and they foster the community that is growing in the games.

“Even though you’ll never see those people again, they were looking out for you, and trying to accommodate, or solve the problem, or whatever it is,” said Leach.

So each year she goes back to meet with her once-every-two-years-friends and enjoy the adventure.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

20th annual walk-a-thon held on May 26

St. John Hospital Auxiliary group is raising money to buy equipment for the hospital

Gallery — 2019 Madison Poker Ride

It’s been eight years since Madison Scott went missing from Hogsback Lake

Category 2 open fires are now prohibited across the Prince George Fire Centre

The first ban was set on May 8 that covered the Stuart Nechako and Prince George Forest District

Photo Gallery: Kids have a blast during the ‘Fun Run’ organized by David Hoy Elementary School

Elementary school students across school district 91 participated in the event

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read