Always In Motion

OC Women’s Month Profile – Sam Warskett

Samantha Warskett is one of the fabulous women of the Ottawa Women’s Cycling Club. She is one of the foundational clinic leaders and coaches of the club and has helped many women to build their on (and off!) bike skills and confidence.

Samantha started coaching and directing Ottawa women’s teams after 10yrs of racing. She learned directing in Belgium with the women’s national team and guest directed with Conti-pro teams. She is also a sports acupuncturist at a clinic in Ottawa.

How long have you been cycling?

I have been cycling for over 50yrs!

What drew you to coaching?

From my own experience I found that women really benefited from female coaches as it’s important for women to learn bike handling skills from other women. We don’t have the explosive power that men do so there are slight tricks that work for women. If women learn really good skills, they can finesse a bad situation whereas men will often power through. So, if a woman is on a ride with men, she is more likely to crash if she tries to power through something sketchy but if she knows how to finesse through, she can be the leader with the amazing skills. 

What’s your favorite part about coaching?

I love when I help someone achieve something they never thought they were capable of doing.

What advice would you give to other women about getting into coaching?

Connect with other female coaches and learn from them. I found it was invaluable to connect with women who had been coaching longer than me.  It was valuable to learn under Denise Kelly in Belgium, I was able to watch how a female coach and director worked differently from male counterparts.

Coaches for female bike racers need to understand the menstrual cycle, how to train with it and take advantage of the changes in hormones. If not, women can easily fall into R.E.D.S, So I am trying to educate coaches on this through my work as an acupuncturist for athletes.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of cycling?

I love being an acupuncturist, I love running and riding horses. I love being in the forest and hanging with my family.

Sam posing on a pile of boulders