Game On Magazine November 2015 - Page 89

and that’s why I love this place.” “I want to give back to the kids the experience I had,” she says with a wide smile. “I want to share with them the opportunity I got by coming to BH.” Zacharias is a product of the Winnipeg minor hockey system and until she got to Grade 12, her hockey life was pretty standard. Like so many young women who have excelled at the game, she started playing with the boys and played boys hockey until she was 13. However, she also played girls hockey and while she didn’t know it at the time, it had a profound affect on her future. In fact, it essentially led to her current job as Wilson’s assistant with the Blazers. “Gerry (Balmoral Hall head coach Wilson) coached me when I was a kid,” Zacharias said. “I was eight or nine years old and his daughters played hockey. I ended up playing with them and when I came to BH for my Grade 12 year, I played with his second eldest daughter Katie and his eldest daughter Christine. Christine was my age and she was in my class and she was my teammate. “Then I went away for my four years in university and upon returning home I went to work for Kevin Chief at WASAC (Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre). My mom is the Aboriginal Academic Affairs consultant for the province and I really liked Kevin so it was a good fit for me. “It just so happened that at the time, the BH assistant coach went off for maternity leave. They needed a coach to replace Anne (Hedley), but I wasn’t thinking about applying for the job. I was happy at WASAC. I was program director there, working with Kevin and the kids, I was really happy, but it just so happens that Darlene Sveinson, the BH strength and conditioning coach, who has been there for all 10 years of the program, well, I’m best friends with her son. I was over at their house for a family dinner and she said, ‘Zach, you have to apply for this job. You’re the perfect person for it.’ “The deadline for applications had passed and I didn’t know if they’d even take my application, but Gerry was coaching, my best COACHES WILSON AND ZACHARIAS NOVEMBER 2015 GAME ON 89