2022 Intern Coach

Catharine Pendrel


  • Provide women intern coaches with ongoing mentorship from a qualified mentor coach, with a national or international coaching development opportunity, and enhanced professional development and learning opportunities
  • Connect all participating women intern and mentor coaches in an ongoing supportive network
  • Increase the number of high performance women coaches in Commonwealth sport in Canada

Intern Coach: Catharine Pendrel

“By pairing the intern coaches with incredible mentors, [Commonwealth Sport Canada] is giving us valuable experience and connections within the coaching world, enabling us to step into our coaching roles with confidence.”

Sport: Cycling

Occupation: Catharine recently retired after 15 years as a professional athlete to become a national team coach with Cycling Canada Cyclisme (CCC).

Mentor Coach: Dan Proulx

Athletic Background: During her illustrious career as a mountain bike cyclist, four-time Olympian Catharine produced numerous outstanding performances between 2007 and 2016: two-time world champion, three-time World Cup overall winner; 2016 Olympic bronze medallist; Pan American Games champion; Commonwealth Games champion; and six-time national champion.

Catharine’s Olympic career began in Beijing 2008 where she finished fourth. In London 2012, she was ninth. In Rio 2016, she “battled back from a crash very early in the race to win the bronze medal.” And at Tokyo 2020, only six months after giving birth to her baby daughter, she placed 18th.

Education: A native of Harvey Station, N.B., who now lives in Kamloops, B.C., Catharine graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology with distinction. She is Toastmasters Level 1 Public Speaking Certified and CCES certified ((Education | Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (cces.ca).

Coach Education: Catharine is Cycling Canada Competition Development trained, is a professional mountain bike instructor Level 1, and is Women Are Not Small Men Course certified, a course which delivers “science-based strategies to help active women perform with their physiology.” (Women Are Not Small Men (drstacysims.com).

Why a Coaching Career? Catharine did not initially see herself going into coaching after her competitive career; however, she began coaching while an athlete and then added a mentorship component with Pendrel Racing, a development mountain bike team she co-founded. Before long Catharine realized that she enjoyed the coaching aspect of sport and had a lot of experience to offer. She also co-founded KBRA Kids League, “a family friendly grassroots event geared to introducing kids aged seven to 13 to XC mountain biking and racing.”

Coaching Experience: As retirement neared, Catharine actively sought coach education courses and an opportunity with the CCC to continue growing its mountain bike program. “It is really exciting to be involved in helping other athletes to achieve their goals.”

While self-coached in 2014 and 2015, Catharine designed an annual training plan that covered the mental, physical, and technical aspects of training essential to winning a world championship and a Commonwealth Games. She has also designed similar plans in consultation with athletes selected for U-23 and elite world championship teams.

Catharine has coached Pendrel Racing athletes to Canada Cup medals and U-17 and U-23 national championship medals and mentored 2019 junior champion Emilly Johnston. From 2010 to 2012, she was the founder and organizer of the Interior Cross Race Series.

Catharine has served as president of the Kamloops Bike Riders’ Association, as director of the KBRA Kids League, as a rider/mentor of the Clif Pro team, Pendrel Racing, and the national team, and as vice-president of People in Motion, a non-profit that provides people with disabilities with fitness, recreational, educational, and social programs and services (Home - People In Motion).

Awards and Honours: Catherine was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Importance of the CSC WCIP: Catharine credits the CSC WCIP program for recognizing and valuing the need for more women in coaching. By pairing the intern coaches with incredible mentors, they gain valuable experience and connections within the coaching world, enabling the interns to step into coaching roles with confidence.

After the CSC WCIP: “I look forward to more diverse experience as a coach as I continue to build connections and knowledge.”

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