Coaches Week Spotlight: Stephanie Chin

September 21, 2022


Coaches Week Spotlight: Stephanie Chin

September 21st, 2022

(Whitby, ON) - National Coaches Week is an annual campaign lead by the Coaching Association of Canada. Coaches Week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by taking the time to recognize and thank them for all their efforts. Join in on the week by recognizing your favourite coach on social media using the hashtag #ThanksCoach. Tag Rugby Ontario in the post so we can recognize them as well!

In celebration of National Coaches Week, Rugby Ontario is profiling volunteer coaches from across the Ontario rugby community. Next up in our Coaches Spotlight Series is Stephanie Chin. Stephanie is involved with the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union (EORU) High Performance Program and coaches at Elmwood School in Ottawa. She has also coached teams for multiple clubs such as the Bytown Blues and the Ottawa Irish. Read below to learn more about Stephaine!

How did you first get involved with rugby? 

I had recently been hired as a teacher in a boarding school where we were required to coach two sports. The school had a phenomenal rugby coach that I was able to be mentored by. 

What is your favourite rugby memory? 

I can’t say that I can pinpoint a specific one. There are a few comeback wins. Seeing a player score their first try or make their first tackle. Watching the Canada Women’s 7’s team win bronze in Rio. My most recent one is a brand new player who is super shy and nearly knocked me on my butt after several attempts at tackling. Seeing her develop a passion for the sport is a stand out moment right now. 

What do you love most about the sport? 

The inclusivity. So many sports, a certain body type is preferred or there are other barriers. Yes there are exceptions in every sport but for the most part, there is a “type”. If you are a basketball or volleyball player, height is preferred. If you play hockey or American football, these sports are costly.  

Rugby is one of the few sports where there is a position for every body type. Financially, to get started, you need cleats and a mouth guard. 

What made you want to become a coach? 

I don’t think it was something that I decided to do. It was something that felt natural with my teaching degree. It was a requirement to start but then I found that I didn’t want to stop and so I was looking for ways to actively coach in the community. 

What role have mentors and mentees played in your coach development? Anyone you want to give a shoutout to? 

They have everything to do with my coach development. I often find myself looking to those that have been coaching for ages so that I can borrow ideas, share philosophies or find new connections to other sports. With mentees, they bring new experiences and passion for coaching that you don’t always see after coaching for a long time.  

 Because I don’t think that my coaching development has only come from rugby, my shoutouts extend to other sports. Rugby - EORU coaches/staff, Eryn Hessian. Soccer/basketball - Graham Chandler, Erik Van Dyke. 

What challenges come with being a coach? 

Timing. Finding the balance between sport and home life. I find that so often the two tend to blend into each other and I would not be the coach I am, without the support of my family. 

What is your favourite part about coaching?
The relationships that are formed between the player and the coach, the coach and the families, the coach and the refs, or with other coaches to share ideas. Once those relationships are established, seeing the growth and change a player experiences is incredibly special. 

How have you changed as a coach over your career? 

I always hope that I am not the same person I was when I first started coaching; that somehow I have grown as both a coach and as a person. I hope that with time, I have become more patient, learned how to coax the best out of my players, bring more fun to the game but also allow players to develop a love of the sport that will result in them wanting to continue playing or giving back to the community. 

What have you learned during the pandemic that can help you grow as a coach? 

That coaching does not have to be limited to face to face interactions. There are so many different ways to be an effective coach and just physically sharing the same space as the athletes is not enough. I also learned how much I appreciate the time that I do get to be face to face with players. 

What would you say to someone who is considering getting into coaching? 

You have to start somewhere, anywhere. Just start. 

What are your goals as you move forward in your coaching career? 

To keep growing as a coach. There is always something new to learn, new athletes to help along their journey and new people to meet. 


Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.

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Dalton Finkbeiner

Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

    647-560-4790 x 1006


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