Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Live in Toronto. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t play sports. The first sport I played was soccer, I remember that as a little girl my goal was to play soccer as a professional. I played every sport that my elementary school had at the time, soccer, cross-country, track, high jump, basketball, volleyball and swimming. Outside of school I was interested in tea kwon do, Irish dancing, snowboarding, skiing, hockey and wheelchair basketball. I got my black belt when I was 9 years old.
When I was 11 years old I had an injury which got me interested in wheelchair basketball when I was about 12 years old. I made a local recreational team in Toronto out of Variety Village. From there I made the Ontario Junior team and the Ontario Women’s team as well as the U25 Canadian Women’s team and the Senior Canadian Women’s team. As part of being on these teams I have had the privilege of travelled across the world. Three of my favourite places that I travelled to with the Senior Women’s team are Cluses in France, Cali in Columbia and Tokyo in Japan. I have always loved team sports, to me being part of a team was special to me. Multiple people striving and working together for one common goal (usually to win), amazed me.
I got my Child & Youth Studies Honours undergrad degree from Brock University. While I was there and shortly after I graduated, I was a part of a research team that published a paper in Children & Society Journal on experiences of kids throughout the COVID- 19 pandemic.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
A topic that I am passionate about is inclusivity and accessibility in all aspects of life but especially in sport with children. For myself sport and para sport have been monumental in shaping my life, it gave me discipline, integrity, self- control and perseverance that I now carry with me into other aspects of my life. I have been volunteering with ONPara Network for many years now as an athlete mentor specifically with their G.E.A.R program (Girls Enabled And Ready To Play). It is a program that helps girls and women into wheelchair basketball and hopefully stay. This program allows girls and women with all different abilities to experience and try the sport because within Canada this sport can be played by anyone, from able bodied to paraplegic to amputees and everything in between.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
My advice to anyone is to bring awareness that para sport and sport are the same thing, both take practice and are fun.
What is your favourite leadership quote?
When I was a part of the Canadian wheelchair basketball team, one of our coaches said this and it has stuck with me. It doesn’t mean that you are looking for ways to fail, just the opposite, to me it means that if you’re not failing you’re not changing or improving or challenging yourself. In my life, I always think that there’s room for improvement.
If you had 25 words worth of advice to share, what would you say?