BC Coaches Week Profile: Nicole Poirier, Karate

Sep 24, 2014


British Columbia Coaches Week is September 20-27.  An initiative of viaSport, this week focuses on the recruitment, development and celebration of sport coaches with events around the province.   In honour of BC Coaches Week, we wanted to introduce and profile some of our BC Games Coaches.

The BC Winter and BC Summer Games are an important part of BC’s athlete development pathway, but the Games also provide an important opportunity for coaching development including earning certification, attending coaching clinics, and learning from other coaches around the province.  Provincial Sport Organizations like Karate BC have made the BC Games an important part of their coaching development where young coaches can learn from experienced coaches like provincial team coach Nicole Poirier.

Question and Answers with Nicole Poirier

How many BC Games have you attended as a coach?
I attended four BC Winter Games, two as a zone coach and then for the past two Games as a scouting coach for the BC Team Squad.  Since 2012, Karate BC has used the BC Winter Games as a platform for Talent Identification.  We select four athletes (two males and two females) and we invite them to train for free with the BC Training Squad in preparation for Nationals. 

Why did you choose to get into coaching?
I have a background in Education with a major in Psychoeducation, I have a counselling background which I find helps me with my coaching to Elite athletes.  I am currently the Head Coach Karate BC.  The reason why I opted for coaching is due to my own personal experience as an athlete and want to lead and support upcoming athletes.  I am also passionate about karate and I really don’t see myself doing anything else and to be honest it does not feel like work most of the time. 

What is your favorite thing about coaching?
My favourite thing about coaching is setting goals, training for competition, and evaluating the progress. I have my own karate club and children bring me so much joy in my day.  I love seeing them growing up. 

Do you have a particular coaching style?
 I have a holistic approach to my coaching for the development of body, mind, spirit.  Humour and laughter is definitely part of the package when coaching. 

What is your coach certification level?
I have completed the Competition Development modules. Prior to the new NCCP, I completed NCCP level 3 and with this I am able to coach Provincially and Nationally.  I also completed the required grading with World Karate Federation to coach internationally. 

What was your favorite memory from the BC Games?
My favourite memory of the BC Games was to see all athletes of all sports getting on buses, being fed and lodged for four days and going to compete in a province wide event. What a great experience for these young people in preparation for National and International competition. 

What were you able to learn from other coaches at the BC Games?
That working together in the development of athletes will reach greater success than working alone. 

How is coaching at a multi-sport Games different from a single sport event?
Although we always have our gym, during downtime or days where we are not competing, we were able to go see other sports.  One sport that really intrigued me and totally enjoyed watching was wheelchair basketball.  The other thing is to witness the amount of Winter Games athletes a opening and closing ceremonies. 

What has been your best success in coaching?
One of my best memories is coaching Pat Grant who won the Pan American Championship Gold medal in Mexico in 2011.  Also, winning a few Coach of the Year Awards in BC and Canada wide.  Another great moment was coaching Jusleen Virk who won a Jr. Pan Am Gold medal in Chile in 2009.  I have coached great athletes for Canada and BC.  In 2011, Victoria Barusic was the only athlete who represented Canada at Commonwealth Championships in Australia and returned home with a Gold medal as well. I have so many great memories that I could probably write a book on this!

Do you have a coach mentor?
I had many mentors in my development.  At the moment, my mentor is Antonio Oliva Seba who is a world known combat and tactic expert.  He is an International coach that I have been learning from since 2008.

What are your next goals as a coach?

My next goals are to continue taking the multi-sport module with NCCP, grow my karate school, and continue developing the BC Team program.

Tell us about the photo you submitted for this profile. 
This picture is one of my favourites.  On the left is Pat Grant from Ontario.  We are just walking off the ring after Pat won the Gold medal at Pan American Championships in GuaduMexico in 2011. This photo was taken by Dick Grant, Pat’s father, who always tags along and travels internationally. He fills his time taking numerous photos from all the events and provides memories for all to view for free. Thanks to Dick Grant’s abilities to capture the moment, this picture is indeed one that has marked history in Canadian karate.


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