m u18  cheverie  feature

Cheverie makes history

The first woman to serve as a coach with one of Canada’s national men’s teams, Kori Cheverie doesn’t just break glass ceilings – she knocks the whole roof off

Lee Boyadjian
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April 25, 2022
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It’s a role Kori Cheverie would prefer not to play in 2022, but someone has to go first, so why not her?

“There’s always a little bit of pressure being the first to do something,” Cheverie explains. “But there are people who have come before me who have paved the path in other ways so I just kind of see myself as someone who is helping out the future of women and female coaches.”

Last week, Hockey Canada announced Cheverie as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the IIHF U18 World Championship, the first woman to serve in a coaching role for a national men’s team. But it isn’t the first time Cheverie has broken the gender-divide behind a men’s hockey bench.

In 2016, the New Glasgow, N.S., native was hired as an assistant coach by the Ryerson Rams, becoming the first woman to work full-time with n U SPORTS men’s hockey team. She held that role for five years, until joining Hockey Canada at the start of the 2021-22 season to work with Canada’s National Women’s Team as it prepared for the Olympics.

“I think it can probably be a little bit of an intimidation factor being on the men’s side, but the fact that I have that experience definitely prepares me a little bit more for what to expect,” Cheverie says. “I just see it as another coaching experience for myself and for these athletes.

“I’m sure not many of them have ever been coached by a female.”

In addition to U SPORTS and her time with the women’s team, Cheverie has years of experience working with high-calibre athletes, specifically at the under-18 level. She was an assistant coach at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, earning a gold medal. In the same year, she won another gold as head coach of Team Ontario Red at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship.

“We had our first meeting in-person, and she had great reads on all the players,” says Nolan Baumgartner, who is making his own debut as a head coach at the national level. “She’s going to be a huge asset for our team.”

Cheverie will be the eye-in-the-sky for Team Canada, pre-scouting opponents and putting together a plan for each game. It’s a role she’s never had before and is she relishing a new way to see the game. A perfect perch to position herself for future prospects.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities come my way and I think it’s because I take the approach of just trying to learn and educate myself,” Cheverie says of learning a new coaching role. “Anytime you get the opportunity to work with new athletes and a new coaching staff … it’s always going to be valuable no matter what level it is – under-13 or the NHL.”

At the U18 level, the world championship is a whirlwind event. This year, with no opportunity for a selection camp because of the adjusted Canadian Hockey League schedule, Team Canada will be coming together in Germany just a few days before the first game. Cheverie is revelling in the added pressure of a condensed timeline.

“I really love short-term events as I feel you’re forced to really pull out your character and be the person to form those relationships really fast,” the 34-year-old says. “It’s a really exciting time for these athletes as they’re pushing the threshold of becoming a pro hockey player.”

But first, the players and staff will put their focus on bringing home a gold medal for Canada.

“I got to play in the [IIHF World Junior Championship] and just pulling on the jersey, there is so much pride,” Baumgartner recalls. “And it’s no different being a coach, getting on that bench to lead a group of men to a gold medal and you feel that same pride.

“It’s very exhilarating to know that you’ve got a whole country behind you.”

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
dsaillant@hockeycanada.ca

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

 

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