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Apprentice coach Juliana Penner

Photo courtesy of the Douglas Royals
Photo courtesy of the Douglas Royals

Story courtesy of the CCAA

The Douglas Royals Women’s Volleyball team will welcome back a familiar face this fall. Former captain Juliana Penner will return to the program as an apprentice coach.

Penner, who spent three seasons with the Royals, will be mentored by Jeff Ross at the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) institution.
Penner knows the important role a coach has and feels strongly about how her collegiate experience changed her life for the better.

“Having knowledgeable coaches and mentors who cared about my development as an athlete and person throughout my career in the CCAA helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Penner. “They assisted in building my confidence, leadership and volleyball abilities while equipping me with skills that would help me later in life.”

Among those individuals are several female coaches who have acted as role models and mentors in Penner’s life. It’s been through their leadership that

Penner has realized coaching at a high level is something she could see herself doing one day as well.

Penner has gained experience through several coaching roles during her time at Douglas College. She coached an U17 club team in 2015 and traveled to Haiti on four separate occasions with other collegiate student-athletes to coach sport development camps in the city of Les Cayes.

At the completion of her collegiate career in 2017, Penner continued her academic studies and involvement with the Royals Athletics department and the Women’s Volleyball program in an administrative capacity.

“Within this role, she has gained an exploratory insight into the governance, administration and policy delivery which has contributed to her decision to pursue a coaching career,” said Brian McLennon, Manager of Athletics at Douglas College.

With the Royals, Penner hopes to help build confidence in the student-athletes and guide them on a journey of self-discovery while teaching the necessary skills to be the highest-level athletes they can be.

“I want them to believe in their potential, gain life skills, confidence and discover that their personal identity is based on so much more than their athletic achievements,” she said.

Penner is a former recipient of the CCAA National Scholar Award and in her final season at Douglas, she was named a conference all-star and led the Royals to a silver medal at the PACWEST Championships.

“Her lead-by-example leadership style, hard work ethic, dedication and loyalty were the cornerstones for our success,” said Ross, who is entering his third season as head coach of the Royals. “Always willing to mentor and help new student-athletes, it was no surprise when she expressed interest in the CCAA FACP initiative.”