Elaine came to love curling honestly, albeit slowly. She was eight years old when her father, Lyall, skipped his Vancouver team to victory in the 1964 Brier. In the Dagg’s Kelowna household in those days, there was a “down” side to curling in that dad was often away from home on weekends. Sadly, Lyall died in 1975 of a rare auto-immune disorder at the age of 45. Happily, he was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2000.
As a teenager, Elaine wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about curling. She was more interested in tennis, baseball, cheerleading and hanging out with her friends. She began curling in her final years in the Okanagan and her love of the sport was sparked to the next level when they moved to Victoria in 1986. She met Pat Sanders and that started Elaine thinking about serious competition.
Elaine joined Pat, Georgina Hawkes, Louise Herlinveaux and Deb Massullo as the fifth player, and the BC representatives won the Scott Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women’s curling championship) in Lethbridge and the world title in Chicago.
In the summer of 1990, Julie Sutton’s team, which included Jodi Sutton, Melissa Soligo and Karri Williams asked Elaine if she would be their coach. She accepted and the next two years, the Sutton team (with Elaine as the fifth player), won the Scotties, was the silver medalist in the 1991 world championship, and captured a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France.
During her time with the Sutton team, Elaine, in consultation with her husband, Glen Jackson, decided on a career switch and left Copeland Communications to become a full-time curling coach. She went back to school and obtained her Level 3 coaching certificate. Her Level 4 qualification, equivalent to 12 university courses took 5 more years. Today, Elaine has attained her Level 5 standing, the highest possible, and is a Chartered Professional Coach.
Elaine has been a national-level coach since 2004 and has been hired by the Japanese (1994-2000) and (South) Korean (2001-2004) national women’s teams. Besides Albertville, Elaine coached Olympic curling teams in Nagano, Turin, Vancouver and Sochi.
In 2009, Elaine won the Coaching Association of BC’s International Coach of the Year Award and in 2012 the Joan Mead Builders Award. Since 1982, Elaine, Glen, daughter Stephanie and son Cal spend a huge portion of their time running summer curling camps in Kelowna and Parksville. It’s their way of paying back and investing in the sport they love. For Elaine, it’s also a way to share her good fortune that a lifetime commitment to curling has provided.
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