Moose Jaw wrestler Taylor Follensbee is one of a select handful who has been accepted into the inaugural USPORTS Female Apprenticeship Coaching Program.

Follensbee is one of a total of 18 former student-athletes who will be helped into the field of coaching through the program, and she’ll be helping out with her alma mater, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

“When I was in Winnipeg, I had a female coach,” said Follensbee. “It was the first time that I had a female coach, and I realized how great it was to have a female coach. Females and males just have totally different bodies and totally different everything. So it was nice to have another level of understanding when you’re battling through wanting to be a high-performance athlete, and someone understand the gender barriers that you face.”

She’s been helping out informally with the Huskies, where she wrestled between 2013-2018.

University of Saskatchewan Huskies wrestling head coach Daniel Olver helped Follensbee with getting involved in coaching.

She said it was a very short time frame between finding out about applying for the opportunity and then getting that application in. She had to write an application about why she wanted to be involved with the program and Olver needed approval from the U of S athletic director.

“It was a whirlwind of a short timeline of getting all my stuff in,” she said. “It was an opportunity that my coach came to me with and said here’s a good way for us to get you coaching, while still training because I can do this while training as well.”

Follensbee won three Canada West medals with the Huskies and two USPORTS bronze medals as well. now Follensbee will take part in practices at the conference and national levels and will attend one national coaching certification program development activity.

She’s not done on the mat yet. Currently a member of the Saskatoon Wrestling Club, Follensbee finished fifth last December in the Canadian Wrestling trials in some stiff competition in the women’s 76 kg, including a match with reigning Olympic gold medallist Erica Wiebe.