Long-serving Ipswich and Met West coach Calvin Hegvold is concerned some sports may drop the proverbial ball during the COVID-19 shutdown. Picture: Rob Williams
Long-serving Ipswich and Met West coach Calvin Hegvold is concerned some sports may drop the proverbial ball during the COVID-19 shutdown. Picture: Rob Williams

Danger for sports clubs: Don’t be complacent during COVID-19

QUEENSLAND recognised club and school sport coach Calvin Hegvold has a warning for Ipswich organisations during the coronavirus lockdown.

That is to look after players, coaches, officials and volunteers, especially if sport has been shut down completely.

“This is the time with this COVID-19 stuff, what you can’t be is complacent,’’ Hegvold said.

“It’s been another way of life and people have found other things that they might think ‘well I might just keep doing that’.

“That’s a danger coming back from all this.

“So I think all sports have got to be really proactive trying to get people back again and let people know about their product and what product they provide.

“It’s not just a matter of everyone is going to come back I don’t think.’’

Hegvold is one of the state’s leading coaches. He has life memberships with Ipswich Primary School Sport, Met West School Sport and the Queensland 10-12 years rugby league.

In his 30th year of coaching, the Silkstone State School PE teacher completed his Ipswich Force under-18 basketball commitments in January, helping his Division 1 girls side finish fifth at the state titles.

But then the coronavirus shutdown kicked in and he was denied involvement with his three other main 2020 focuses.

They were as assistant coach of the Ipswich Force women’s NBL1 North team, assistant coach of the Brothers under-18 girls rugby league side and trainer for the Met West 16-18 years girls rugby league team.

While that has given him more time to help his wife Nikey around the home, Hegvold is continually pondering the importance of preparing sport for the future.

“One of the things I’m really passionate about is girls sport and girls rugby league,’’ he said.

“I am proud to be one of the first advocates for women’s rugby league in Met West, and was the first ever Met West 10-12 years girls rugby league coach and the first ever Met West 14-15 years girls rugby league coach.’’

Ipswich and Australian rugby league player Ali Brigginshaw encourages Norths Tigers juniors during one of her regular sessions inspiring kids. Picture: Jason McCawley
Ipswich and Australian rugby league player Ali Brigginshaw encourages Norths Tigers juniors during one of her regular sessions inspiring kids. Picture: Jason McCawley

He has particularly enjoyed working at Brothers and in the school system with Australian World Cup-winning player Ali Brigginshaw, who is also fiercely loyal to Ipswich.

“She was basically my right-hand person when we started doing girls teams,’’ Hegvold said.

“Our thoughts on rugby league are very, very similar so it’s very seamless when we coach.’’

Other elite athletes Hegvold has been associated with include Matt Hodgson, Lauren O’Sullivan and Ryan Jeffries (basketball), Leah Neale (swimming), and Dylan Wenzel-Halls (soccer).

Silkstone State School PE teacher Calvin Hegvold with former student and premiership-winning footballer Wes Conlon.
Silkstone State School PE teacher Calvin Hegvold with former student and premiership-winning footballer Wes Conlon.

As a keen rugby league supporter, he has assisted Ipswich-based Wes Conlon, Jake and Luke O’Doherty, Jai Beutel, Matt McPhee, Adam Boettcher, Todd Riggs, Daniel Green, Kurtis Lingwoodock and countless others in Ipswich and Queensland competitions.

NRL footballers Kodi Nikorema, James Roberts, Francis Molo, Hymel Hunt, Lama Tasi, Jack Reed, Tautau Moga, Langi Setu and Billy Brittain are also on his list, along with Sean McMahon who went on to play for the Wallabies.

“We value what they have achieved because you know how hard it is,’’ Hegvold said, regularly inviting his former Silkstone students back to inspire the next generation.

At Ipswich level, Hegvold has coached club basketball for the same club, Swifts Comets, for 22 years.

“I was one of the teachers that initiated Interschool Basketball in Ipswich in 2000,’’ he said.

“It is now one of the biggest Interschool Sport competitions in Ipswich in terms of participants and teams.’’



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