Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, My name is Kaitlyn. I am a grade 8 student from Kilworth, Ontario. My passion is sports. I have been involved with such sports as soccer, track, dance and gymnastic but my favourite sport is basketball. I am currently playing for the London Ramblers which is a competitive basketball team that is part of the Ontario Basketball Association. We are very fortunate to be a travel team. We get the opportunity to compete against the best teams in the province. I was awarded the Ramblers Barry Hall award for dedication and leadership when I was on the U12 team. During a summer Raptors basketball camp I was chosen for the All Star team that was mostly boys. I have also taken part in school sports such as X- country and Track and Field. I qualified for the Thames Valley District Regionals for the 4x100m Relay where my team placed 1st. I love sports because of how competitive they are but also for how they help with your confidence level and leadership skills. Playing sports at a young age teaches you how to be both a good loser and a good winner. Learning
how to be a team player and learning the value of hard work are all things that my sports have taught me.
What is an issue or topic you are passionate about or would like to see changed?
I am passionate about girls encouraging other girls in sport. That could be encouragement from female coaches, teachers or even peers. From my own experiences in camps or on teams, I always felt very encouraged and excited to see other females leading the team. Seeing female coaches and leaders makes you realize that there are other girls out there that share the same passion and have kept that passion as an interest as they grew up or even made it a career choice.
What specific strategies would you like to see parents, coaches, or sport administrators do to improve diversity in sport or progress your cause?
A way I think we could keep girls participating in sport is by focusing on peer mentoring. I think it is important for girls to help other girls get involved with and stay interested in sport. Too often girls sit out during gym class or feel uncomfortable playing sports during recess with the other kids. I think when girls encourage other girls to take part is is very impactful. I have experienced both sides of this with very good outcomes. Sometimes a friend has welcomed me to a sport and helped me along as I was learning and other times I have helped friends learn a sport so they would be more likely to play during gym. One way to do this is to make them feel comfortable and do some peer coaching even at a basic level so they feel more confident to take part. It may just spark their interest and want them to get more involved. Girls helping and teaching other girls is very empowering regardless of a difference in age or what sport they play.
What is your favourite leadership quote?
“You can’t always control the competition but you can always control your effort.”
This is a very helpful book when it comes to growth mindset and learning how you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it: