It is with great sadness that Pearlgate announces the loss of Becky Sjare, a long-time coach with the Club. Becky passed away on Saturday, March 28, 2015 surrounded by her loved ones and in a hospital room overflowing with cards, memories and well-wishes from the hundreds of athletes and friends she has influenced over the years.
To say Becky will be dearly missed in the Newfoundland and Labrador Track and Field community is a significant understatement. Becky, originally from Alberta, arrived in St. John’s in 1993. Her own athletic history included medal performances in shot put and javelin, and Becky has traveled internationally to represent Canada in field events during the late 70s. Upon her arrival, Becky immediately began to influence the track and field scene in this province. She has played a major role as a coach, coordinator and official in numerous provincial Summer Games. For years she has been a member of the national Legion team coaching staff, as well as the Canada Games team coaching staff. Most recently, in 2013, Becky was the head coach for the provincial athletics team at Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She has also been on the provincial executive board for over a decade and Becky has been a coach with Pearlgate since 2006.
While impressive, the long list of athletic credentials is not what defined Becky. Instead, it was her enthusiasm, dedication and unwavering faith in her athletes that made her one of the most prolific coaches this province has ever seen. Becky has coached athletes of all ages, disciplines and potentials. It did not matter if you were 13 years old, trying to long jump for the first time; 20 years old heading to Canada Games as a top contender; or 49 years old trying to run your first Tely Ten. Becky gave equal amount of support and dedication to each athlete. As long as you were willing to accept her coaching, she was there to provide it- even if that meant her being at the track 7 days a week in rain, shine, snowstorms or hurricanes. Becky also made it a point to connect with her athletes off of the track. She was truly interested in the development and well-being of everyone she coached over the years and while perhaps no longer considered their coach, Becky became a mentor to many of her athletes.
Becky’s contribution to the sport of track and field will not be forgotten. In honour of the legacy Becky leaves behind, Pearlgate plans to host an annual meet known as the Becky Sjare Track Classic. Planning is currently in progress but an update will be posted on the website once details are confirmed.
Rest in peace, Becky. You are in our thoughts and your presence will forever be felt on the track.
– Pearlgate Track & Field Club