Reported by Laura Brougham
The Langara Falcons have signed former student Rachael “Rae” Pelat as the head coach of the women’s soccer team.
The announcement was made on Jan. 27 after former coach Ryan Birt decided to step down after 16 years with the team. Pelat played for the Falcons from 2004-2007, which were successful years for her.
In the 2004-05 season Pelat was PacWest’s Rookie of the Year and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association and PacWest Player of the Year in 2006-07. The team won the national championships in 2005-06 and 2006-07, among other titles won.
Creating a team bond
Between now and the start of the season in September, Pelat is hoping to get the team together regularly, to get to know them better, and to bond as a team.
“Getting them together is a big priority right now,” Pelat said. “I don’t know who the leaders are, or what their personalities are like off the field, on the field. Those are all things that are important to me to know as a coach.”
Last season, the team lost the bronze medal game in the PacWest provincial game.
Pelat’s past experiences an example to student athletes
Jake McCallum, director of athletics and intramurals, believes that Pelat will be a good person for the team to look up to, and thinks her coaching past will be a good example.
“She’ll be a great role model,” said McCallum, mentioning her past coaching teams from under eight to under 18, as well as at the college level. “I think that’s great for [the team] to see, you start work at a certain level and kind of work your way up.”
Captain Sydney Bell said the team is looking forward to working with Pelat, and is excited about the opportunity to work with a female head coach.
“None of us have had a female head coach before, so it’s a good change,” Bell said. “Everyone is very excited to have [Pelat] as a coach, and can’t wait until the season starts.”