Some of life's earliest lessons are learned through sport.
FIT Development Program Director Audra Sherman knows this better than most. From academic struggles as a youth, to six knee surgeries throughout her playing career, the CSA National ‘A’ License trained coach has learned her share of lessons.
In the late 1990s, Audra came up through the Quebec provincial program and eventually landed at the Canadian National Team Training Centre (CNHP).
She earned a student athlete scholarship at Clemson University in 1998 and transferred to Hofstra University in 2000, where she earned All Conference Academic Team honours twice.
Upon graduation, Audra joined the USL's W-League where she played four seasons of professional soccer before suffering her final knee injury. With a strong passion for the game still burning, Audra decided to continue her academics and strived to become a coach.
She enrolled at the University of Ottawa and completed a Bachelor's Degree in Education in 2010.
Sherman then crossed city lines and joined the Carleton Ravens Women's Soccer program as an assistant coach from 2011-2016. During that time, she became a staff coach and LTPD learning facilitator with the Ontario Soccer Association's U14 and U15 Girls programs.
As a CSA National ‘A’ License trained coach, many of the players she's developed have earned scholarships with prominent NCAA programs. Two players, Ariel Young (U17 and CanWNT) and Alexis Martel-Lamothe (U20), even joined the Canada Soccer Women's EXCEL Program.
Now with Ottawa Fury FC, Audra's success imparting her elite experience and expertise continues with the FIT Development Program.
"Everything I went through as a player, has made me the coach I am today. I care about my players and want them to find success, not only as athletes, but as well-rounded people," states Sherman.
"I want to empower players, provide them with the tools to go as far as they can and open up new experiences and opportunities through hard work, dedication, the ability to overcome adversity."
Alongside Coach Sherman are Canada Soccer's Men's National Team member Jamar Dixon and other USL athletes. Together they lead sessions within the FIT Development Program.
These programs provide boys and girls aged 9-17 with supplemental skills training designed and delivered by Fury FC players and professional coaching staff.
They feature a holistic approach to developing and enhancing physical literacy, soccer-specific skills, and leadership competencies in individual athletes. A low coach-to-player ratio offers a more personalized environment, enhancing each individual’s learning experience.
Each participant is assessed and assigned to a small training group based on their age, abilities, and specific development needs. All players will be invited to play at TD Place prior to a Fury FC match in 2018 as well.
Two development centres will commence in the new year. Both helmed by Jamar Dixon and Audra Sherman, as well as other Fury FC professional players.
The RA Centre Dome will host the first on Wednesdays and Fridays, running from January 10 - April 13.
Participants can choose to train on a specific day or time period depending on preference. For more information or to register today, please click here.
The Russell Sports Dome will host the second development centre on Tuesdays from January 9 to February 13. Sessions are broken into ages 9-12 and 13-17.
To register now, please click here.