Story courtesy of the CCAA
As former Royals captain Kelsey Acaster transitions from student to teacher, she’ll have the added benefit of being an apprentice coach with the Women’s Soccer team at Douglas College.
Acaster, a graduate of the Royals program, will be mentored by head coach Chris Laxton.
“Both Kelsey and Coach Laxton are excited at the opportunity to build the capacity of female coaches in the sport of soccer and to participate in the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program,” said Brian McLennon, Manager of Athletics at Douglas.
Acaster was a part of the Royals program for four years, the last three as captain. She led the Royals to their first ever PACWEST title and fourth-place finish at the 2015 CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship at Fleming College in Peterborough, ON. Laxton coached Acaster in her final two seasons at Douglas.
“Over the course of my career, I learned to appreciate the knowledge each of my different coaches possessed and how their diverse styles have been integral to my overall comprehension of the game,” said Acaster, a Douglas graduate who is now working toward her teaching degree at Simon Fraser University.
Acaster has already begun building a credible coaching resume, having coached the U12 girls team at the BC Summer Games in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. It was through these experiences that she recognized wanting to take part in the lives of children as a career.
“I look forward to being one of many people who will help develop Kelsey as an educator and help her develop her coaching style and philosophy,” said Laxton.
This past off-season, Douglas had the opportunity to see assistant coach Rachael Pelat accept the head coaching position at Langara College. Pelat, a former Falcon, was an assistant at Douglas since 2011 – the last three seasons with Laxton.
“We hope to continue developing people in these positions and see them grow within our leagues and in the game,” said Laxton. “It is also important to me, as a coach of female players and a father of a daughter, that we have more female role models in our community and elite coaching ranks.”
Meanwhile, the door has opened for Acaster, who will surely take advantage of another opportunity at Douglas, where she’s already learned so much.
“Putting on the Royals jersey in my rookie year, I quickly realized how fundamental my coaches were to my development as well as how those individuals impacted my life as a whole,” said Acaster. “It was this revelation that has inspired me to pursue coaching after my retirement as an athlete.