Calvin Hegvold has coached baskeball and rugby league sides in Ipswich for the past 30 years. He is a Met West life member.
Calvin Hegvold has coached baskeball and rugby league sides in Ipswich for the past 30 years. He is a Met West life member.

Trust the key to success for legendary local coach

AS a highly respected and successful coach of Ipswich athletes over the past 30 years, Calvin Hegvold knows better than most what it takes to lift young competitors to the next level.

It is not x’s and o’s but rather forming a strong bond between coach and player.

“You’ve got to be passionate about it otherwise you’re not going to put in the time,” he said.

“I think most of it is about having a relationship with the people you’re coaching.

Calvin Hegvold has taught at Silkstone State School for 30 years.
Calvin Hegvold has taught at Silkstone State School for 30 years.

“That’s probably the biggest thing … rather than all the tactics. That trust between coach and player.”

Mr Hegvold arrived in Ipswich 30 years ago to teach at Silkstone State School, where he began coaching basketball and rugby league right from the off.

The PE teacher is still at the primary school and just as passionate about his work as the day he arrived.

It is the same for his coaching, where he has led school and club basketball sides and school rugby league teams for the past three decades.

“Everything from 11-year-olds to adults,” he smiled.

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He was awarded a Met West life membership for his mentorship of representative sides over that time, where he has guided teams to 39 state championships, securing seven wins and six second place finishes.

Mr Hegvold is the only Met West coach to have led state championship-winning sides in two team sports and has also coached Queensland sides in both rugby league and basketball.

The Rockhampton-born teacher has coached teams at five national club and school championships, winning one and coming second at another.

For his incredible contribution to local sport over the 30 years, Mr Hegvold was named as the 2021 Ipswich Sport and Recreation Award winner.

“Over the last five or six years I’ve been passionate about trying to give the girls the same opportunities that the boys have had,” he said.

Calvin Hegvold won the Sport and Recreation Award at the 2021 Ipswich Australia Day Awards.
Calvin Hegvold won the Sport and Recreation Award at the 2021 Ipswich Australia Day Awards.

“Boys can take that for granted at times.

“Every year girls are seeing that this is an opportunity to play and play something that they love and it’s just great.

“It’s going in leaps and bounds and it’s only going to get stronger.

“I think at grassroots level, people are accepting these days that there’s no such thing as girls’ sports and boys’ sports. There’s just sport.

“Ideally you’d like to see girls have the same pathways in every sport.

“We’re not there yet but there’s progress. It’s getting there all the time.”

There is still a measure of uncertainty surrounding sport after COVID-19 caused the cancellation of most competitions last year.

Mr Hegvold’s current posting is as coach of the Ipswich Force’s U21 second division men’s team.

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His first foray into club rugby league last year, as assistant coach of the Brothers U18 women’s side, didn’t go as planned as the season was called off.

“To me (sport is) like life,” he said.

“It’s getting out what you put in.

“Having to fight through adversity and having to work with other people to make something happen. It’s all life.

“That’s what I love about it.

“I love this place, I love this city.

“To have had the opportunity to have done it for so long and had the opportunity to coach so many athletes.

“It’s been my absolute pleasure to do it.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.