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#ThanksCoach: Provincial team coach Mike Charuk ignites passion for cycling

National Coaches Week is a week to celebrate the tremendous positive impact coaches have on athletes and communities across Canada. This week is an opportunity to recognize coaches for the integral role they play by simply saying #ThanksCoach.

Over the last few weeks, we asked you to submit profiles of your coaches, letting us know how they inspire you. We’re sharing those stories throughout the week.

Mike Charuk, a newly accredited Chartered Professional Coach this year, has been working with Cycling BC’s provincial mountain bike program for over three years now, and coaching for Team Squamish for many, many more! Through the past three years, under Charuk’s leadership, we have seen members from the BC provincial mountain bike team win national championships medals and jerseys, claim national team spots to represent Canada at world championships, and multiple top-ten finishes at world championships.

Julia Long, 2016 provincial team member out of Whistler, BC, claimed the silver medal in the XCE and bronze in the XC race at the Canadian Mountain Bike Championships this year. A training camp with Charuk sparked her passion to ride and train early on:

Mike Brings a lot of humour to our training, always ensuring that everyone feels a part of the team and group. It makes training fun and is constantly full of surprises.

Mike is a great coach who really is focused on the athlete. He’s always out filming sections, providing lots of video feedback for athletes. He’s engaged with the community – often being asked by other athletes “did you get any video of me?”  Emilly Johnston had this to say:

The first time I met Mike I was ten. I went to a Cycling BC camp and was by far the youngest one there. I was also the only person who wasn’t from Squamish. Mike really motivated me, taught me about cycling and what training was, and this got me super excited about the sport. After that camp I got excited to ride and to train, I started riding more and more and I watched world cup events. Mike is an awesome coach and definitely one of the main people who excited me and made me feel included in this great sport.

Nick Kleban is a two-time provincial team member, and made the top-ten at national championships in his first year as a junior. He credits Charuk with giving him important perspective on success and commitment:

Mike has helped me understand that success doesn’t happen overnight. It take commitment and effort over the long haul. Although setbacks may happen along the way, there’s always something to take away from every race and training session to make me a better and stronger racer.

Hunter Verner has been on the provincial mountain bike team for two years now, with several top-ten Canada Cup finishes under his belt. He had this to say about his club and provincial team coach:

Mike is a phenomenal coach with a great sense of humour, who every athlete wants to be around and be coached by. He has had a lot of success coaching at the municipal and provincial level.

Thank you Mike for all of your hard work and commitment to support and develop the athletes, community, and sport of cycling in BC. Happy coaches week!

With events held across the country to celebrate coaching, National Coaches Week provides coaches with the recognition they deserve for the time they devote to ensuring Canadians live an active, healthy lifestyle.

Stay up to date with everything happening during National Coaches Week by visiting the Coaching Association of Canada page, and by following along on Facebook and Twitter using #CoachesWeek and #ThanksCoach.

Young riders at a Cycling BC Future Champs Camp with provincial team coach Mike Charuk
BC provincial team coach Mike Charuk gives feedback to members of the cross-country mountain bike team.
Provincial team coach Mike Charuk review the anti-doping control process with provincial team members.