Foessel named to CAC’s ‘Women in Coaching’ Apprenticeship Program

Coaching Association of Canada announces 2023 Women in Coaching Canada Games Apprentice Coaches

The Ontario Para Network is proud to announce that wheelchair basketball coach Andrea Foessel (Shelburne, ON) has been selected to take part in the Coaching Association of Canada’s ‘Women in Coaching’ Canada Games Apprenticeship Program for 2023.

The program provides the opportunity for each province and territory to send two female coaches to the Canada Games in apprentice roles to further their development in coaching. Apprentice coaches receive valuable professional development opportunities that can lead them to achieving their NCCP ‘Competition Development’ certification, and also provides much-needed exposure to multi-sport games, support from a dedicate Mentor Coach, and access to high performance coaches from across Canada. The 2023 Canada Winter Games will be taking place in Prince Edward Island from February 18th to March 5th.

Apprentice Coach Andrea Foessel

Foessel got her start in wheelchair basketball around the age of 15 by joining her local club, Cruisers Sports, with her younger sister Renee. While Renee eventually found her love of para-athletics and went on to represent Canada at the Paralympics, Andrea continued her involvement in wheelchair basketball and competed at the club level and with Team Ontario in the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George, BC. After taking a step back from the sport to complete her post-secondary education and begin her career, she expressed an interest in returning in a coaching capacity and reached out to her long-time coach Kathy Ludwig and offered to volunteer with the Cruisers. She later got involved with the Junior provincial team and made the decision to commit to coaching throughout the 2019-2023 Canada Games cycle.

“When I made the decision to pursue coaching more seriously, it was a natural transition for me to move from a volunteer mentor to an Assistant Coach with the Ontario Junior program,” said Foessel. “Being an Assistant Coach with the Juniors has been such a rewarding and valuable experience so far. I have had the ability to work with almost every junior-age athlete across the province, assisting them individually on and off the court. Being accepted into the Women in Coaching Apprenticeship Program is an honour, and I know it will benefit me as a coach and help me strengthen my skills.”

a female wheelchair basketball coach standing and giving directions to her athletes
Head Coach Kathy Ludwig

Kathy Ludwig, Head Coach of the Ontario Junior provincial team and the first ever female Head Coach in the history of the program, will act as Andrea’s formal Mentor throughout her apprenticeship where she will undoubtedly be a tremendous resource. With over 20 years of experience coaching wheelchair basketball, Ludwig was also part of the CAC’s Women in Coaching Apprenticeship Program for the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax, NS. She then moved into an Assistant Coach role with Team Ontario from 2011-2015, became Head Coach in 2015-2019, and was once again selected as Head Coach for the 2019-2023 cycle.

“In 2011, I had the privilege of being one of the Apprentice Coaches in the Women in Coaching Program. That experience was very meaningful to me and connected me with amazing women who have had great success in coaching. It gave me confidence and empowered me to continue to pursue higher levels of coaching, and I look forward to supporting Andrea in her own development,” said Ludwig. “I know this opportunity will help her build her own confidence and give her the experience she needs to take her coaching to the next level,” she added. “I have known Andrea for over 15 years, ever since she started playing wheelchair basketball for Cruisers Sports, and I am grateful to have witnessed her growth and development. She is a gifted technical coach and Team Ontario is better by having her involved.”

The Team Ontario Junior program is currently preparing to attend the Junior National Championship from June 10-12 in Prince Edward Island. Afterwards, the coaches and athletes will turn their attention to training and preparing for the 2022-2023 season and competing in the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

About the Coaching Association of Canada 

The Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches. For more information, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

About the Ontario Junior Provincial Wheelchair Basketball Program
The Ontario Junior Provincial Wheelchair Basketball Program provides high performance training & competition opportunities for the province’s Junior-age athletes. The program operates on a four-year competition cycle leading up to the Canada Winter Games in the final year of the quadrennial. Wheelchair basketball provincial teams in Canada are open to athletes of all genders, with and without physical disabilities, making the sport one the most inclusive in the country. “Junior-age” wheelchair basketball players for the 2023 Canada Games cycle must be born in or after 1999 (24 years or younger the year of Canada Games).

About the Ontario Para Network

Formerly known as the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, our mission at the Ontario Para Network (ONPARA) is to grow opportunities for participation in adaptive sports across Ontario. As the governing body for wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis in the province, we strive to offer opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational, competitive, and high performance programs. We lead, develop, support and advocate for athletes, coaches and volunteers to build strong and inclusive sport communities. We also deliver extensive outreach and education programs targeting schools as well as individuals and clinicians at rehabilitation hospitals and the broader health care sector.