CAF Coaches in the spotlight across the country
By Ryan Melanson,
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Coaches Week takes place this year from September 19-27, and while the CAF Sports Program has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our dedicated coaches have still been taking their roles seriously over the last 18 months. Thanks to this, military teams have kept in touch, practiced when possible, and will be ready to hit the field/ice/court when the time is right.
S2 Adam Wadden: CFB Halifax Mariners Soccer
Sailor 2nd Class Adam Wadden only recently took over as head coach of the men’s and women’s soccer teams at CFB Halifax, but it’s a role he’s quite comfortable in. On the civilian side, he currently coaches with the Dartmouth United Soccer Club, as well as with the U15 AAA boys team for Soccer Nova Scotia. S2 Wadden said he’s looking forward to using that experience to help out his Canadian Armed Forces colleagues once sports is back in full swing.
After joining the Royal Canadian Navy in 2018, S2 Wadden linked up with the Mariners team the next year to play at the CAF Atlantic Regional Soccer Championships, and was quickly able to see the potential benefits of making sports a part of his military career.
“It’s been a great way to get to know people, and to interact with people from different ranks. It’s been pretty cool to see people come together and the camaraderie that goes with that,” S2 Wadden said.
He’s now an NCI Op posted to HMCS Margaret Brooke, and as some injuries have held him back from playing recently, stepping into the coaching position was a natural fit. For the time being, his role has been mainly administrative and managerial, with his civilian coaching duties taking priority on the field due to busy, ongoing seasons. The base teams have still been practicing together, however, and when the CAF sports program is able to safely resume its regular schedule, S2 Wadden said he’s excited to see what the team is capable of.
While coaching and passing on his knowledge to high-level youth players in civilian leagues has been rewarding, the military environment presents a different set of challenges to dig into.
“In the military it’s unique because we have players at all different levels. Some played in university, some people played in high school a little bit, and some of our players are just people who wanted to get active and participate.”
“I can’t wait to really get into the groove and start coaching them.”