June 2, 2021
BFL CANADA Female Coach of the Year 2021
Congratulations to Hockey New Brunswick winners Janica Dugas (community) and Christine Bouchat-Bonin (high performance)!
Janica’s love for hockey runs deep with her U11 team in Baie Saine Anne, NB. Janica started playing hockey when she was 4 years old. Janica has had many great role models in her community who have given her the inspiration to give back to her local minor hockey association, help those who are not as privileged and share her talents and love for the game with those around her. Janica is always seeking a positive change in her community and found the rink as one of the biggest places to give back.
Janica had noticed the need for more female involvement in the game. The 8 young females hockey players on the U11 Mariners are really appreciating a female coach to look up to. Janica rose to the challenge and has volunteered her time over the past two seasons at the U 11 age level as a coach, mentor, and role model. Her presence has been summarized as “amazing source of inspiration for the young ladies on the Mariners”. Even though Janica has no relation to any of the players, she has shown amazing dedication, initiative, and leadership during a very different hockey season. Making practice fun went a long way for Mariners in the 2020-2021 season.
Some of the qualities that Janica wanted to share with her team were that of respect and having fun playing hockey. Whether you win of lose, it was essential to show good sportsmanship and keeping the game fun.
Janica teaches that playing sports regularly helps your emotional and physical health. Janica also stresses the importance of relaxing, having fun and putting the hockey bag away for a day or two. Janica is helping to emphasize good habits with her young team that will help them in the future.
Christine has been a valuable asset to the U18 AAA EDZA East Rockets for the last few seasons. Having a coach that has played the game at a high level in North America has been a blessing for the Rockets, utilizing her experiences in hockey to relate to their own. Christine’s involvement in hockey has taught her to have respect for all players, coaches, officials and opponents serving as only one of the values that Christine has instilled in the EDZA East squad. Christine has done a phenomenal job of coaching the players and helping them become better people in the process.
Christine’s ability to teach effectively goes back to her playing days- having great role models, on and off ice growth, staying fit and developing a healthy routine- which can be reflected with the Rockets. Christine has helped the girls develop healthy routines to stay focused, prioritize and stay on top of the task at hand.
Christine is willing to put the time in away from the ice as well. Video sessions, phone calls and chats at the rink have all been a part of creating a positive team dynamic and making sure each player is having fun, staying healthy and learning skills both on and off of the ice. Having a strong female coach in a place to mentor the girls is something that the Rockets coaching staff takes pride in. Christine is a firm coach- but fair; pushes the players to get better and knows when to have fun.
Christine is a facilitator for We Are Coaches clinics for Hockey New Brunswick, teaching Coach 1 or Coach 2 courses to female coaches and was slated to make her High-Performance Program coaching debut before COVID 19 changed the landscape of the hockey season. The time that Christine spends on her team and craft do not go unnoticed in her community. “We need more women like Christine in our sport to inspire and motivate young women to reach their goals both on and off of the ice… Passionate, energetic, competitive and enthusiastic are all words you can use to describe coach Christine Bouchat-Bonin”.
For more information on the program please go to: