We’re continuing to celebrate the amazing coaches that make our provincial programs so successful. This week we caught up with Mackenzie Quigley, our Team AB wheelchair tennis coach to learn more about her!
Meet Mackenzie Quigley
I first started working as a ‘helper coach’ when I was 14 for my local tennis clubs junior program. They said if I helped all summer with the juniors, that my membership would be free. I thought my dad would be very impressed by me saving him some money. I found out later that my membership was only $20 as it was a summer club and I was just a child – not really worth an entire summer of work, but it’s what got me started coaching and I had a lot of fun!
I’ve been officially coaching since 2007 when I started working for the City of Calgary, instructing juniors and adults of various levels. After a few years of doing that I started running my own programs out of community centers which was a lot of fun! In the summer of 2016, I was asked to run a program for wheelchair athletes at the brand new Tennis facility in Calgary and I jumped at the opportunity! I have been working with Team Alberta since then!
I currently hold a Tennis Instructor certification from Tennis Canada, along with my NCCP and Tennis Professionals Association membership. I’m also a certified cardio tennis provider and in 2016 I took the wheelchair specific tennis training course.
What does coaching mean to you?
The most amazing thing about coaching for me is seeing an athlete (child or adult!) do something they couldn’t do before. For younger kids, it’s sometimes just getting the ball over the net for the first time, but seeing someone’s face light up as they master a new skill is everything. Tennis proves to me every day that it’s a sport you can play for life, from a baby playing with a tennis ball, my papa playing well into his nineties, to athletes with spinal cord injuries or degenerative diseases. Athletes of any age and ability are welcome in this sport and that’s what it’s all about!
What is your favourite Team AB moment?
It’s really hard to narrow down my favourite Team AB moment, I’ve had such a great time working with all the athletes over the years and there are so many memorable moments. If I had to choose, I think travelling to Montreal for Nationals in 2019 would have to be my favourite. The entire experience from travelling with the Athletes there, opening ceremonies, watching so many amazing matches and cheering as two of our Alberta athletes took out seeded players in the first round really made it an amazing weekend!
What is a Fun Fact you’d like to share with our athletes?
I love everything Disney related and I collect Tinkerbell Mugs. Also any other official Disney mugs. The cabinets are out of control. Send help!