Canadian Cyclist


October 11/11 17:22 pm - Eric Van den Eynde Named Coach of the Month

Posted by Editoress on 10/11/11

National para-cycling coach Éric Van den Eynde has been named coach of the month for September by National Institute of Coaching (NCI).  The Canadian team won six para-cycling medals at the Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark, at the beginning of September.

Among the Canadian medalists in Roskilde, were Quebec's Marie-Eve Croteau (T2, two gold), Lyne Bessette (tandem pilot, a gold medal) and Marie-Claude Molnar (C4, a medal money). By the conclusion of the Worlds, Canada finished sixth in the standings in the number of medals and third in terms of gold medals.

"To be successful as a coach, it takes good athletes and I was able to live up to their needs. We were able to recruit athletes who were ready to do the job and we were able to give them what they needed to boost their talent," said the winner for September.

Eric Van den Eynde

Aided by assistant coach Sebastien Travers, Eric Van den Eynde appreciates the teamwork and the versatility needed in the planning of training, given the diversity of disabilities and needs of athletes who are all different.

"What we have done in Denmark, is a successful team! The sport is in full progress and the level of competitiveness increases greatly, which resulted in qualification for the Paralympic Games. The results obtained by the Canadian team at the World Championships will enable the country to qualify more athletes for London. So it's a double reward for us."

A coach since 1984, Eric Van den Eynde is certified Level 4 National under the Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). In 1991, at the request of Louis Barbeau of the Quebec Cycling Federation, the coach included Para, taking under his wing Patrice Bonneau, a para-athlete partially amputated right leg. A year later, the athlete won a gold medal at the Barcelona Games.

The coach continued to work with paracyclists to the Atlanta Games (1996) before returning to the sport, ten years later as coach of the Quebec team and then the Canadian team.

"(After the Atlanta Games), I told them that if they returned to the Games in four years with the same form, they would all last. At the time, the participants were people who played sports and had a handicap. Today, they are athletes with a disability. It's very different."

In recognition, a collection of "Fruits and Passion" products and a scholarship of $200 for the NCI are given to coaches of the month. These funds can be used in activities and programs provided by the NCI in the next 12 months.

Translated from french, original version by Isabelle Lévesque-Beyrouti, Centre national multisport-Montréal


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