Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up playing soccer. I also really enjoyed other sports including volleyball, dance and running, but ultimately it was soccer that I chose to play in university. Once I joined the Varsity Blues at University of Toronto, I found a lot of purpose. I met friends and found hobbies adjacent to playing for university. It was how I found my career in sport. I enjoyed working alongside sport from a partnership and community development perspective and ended up going to school in California to pursue a degree in Sport Management. I enjoyed my time in California, but I really missed home. When I moved back to Toronto, I spent quite a few years in different sport or wellness roles, but recently I made it back to University of Toronto where I work as the Sponsorship Manager. It’s a dream job because I get to work alongside university sport to build partnerships. I have a passion for community development through sport and this job allows me to see that passion come to life.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
I’m always passionate about community development and recently that has manifested itself into passion for the work-life balance. I think we all want to strive for more in our careers, especially as millennials living in the footsteps of our hard-working parents, but I realize that family and hobbies are just as important as my career. I think when we think about work-life balance, we also think about people’s cultures and where they might be coming from. Developing empathy and an understanding of others is one of the best ways to build community. To effect change, I have started doing more volunteering outside of work to find things I like doing outside of my career. I recently volunteered with a non-profit organization that supports Black women in marketing and that was a great opportunity for me to meet people and build community.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
I think the only way to improve diversity in sport is for everyone to embrace new cultures and build community. This might be through food, dance, music and especially sport. For example, everyone around the world plays soccer (football), we need to embrace that and look for opportunities to invite everyone to be a part of the game. Not just on the field, but also from the administrative side. It’s actually more difficult to NOT invite everyone for a seat at the table than it is to just be open to everyone joining. Having empathy and thinking about where others are coming from is a good way to start.
If you had 25 words worth of advice to share, what would you say?
Find your happiness in whatever way that might look.
My favourite novel is The Humans – it’s a book all about society and it’s really interesting to see how community can be viewed from a base-level.