Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Taylor Nacevski. I am a 16-year-old from Aurora, Ontario. I started playing lacrosse when I was six. I spent two years playing House League Box Lacrosse with the boys and one season as a goalie in Rep Boys Field Lacrosse. I switched to Women’s Field Lacrosse in 2014. Our team started with losing every game. We learned that as a team, we could do anything we put our minds to. After focusing on playing as a team and leaving everything we had on the field, we won a silver medal at Provincials with only one substitute player on the bench. We shocked everyone! After seeing our potential, we started weekly conditioning, daily passing and catching, and gave it our all at every practice. Our hard work led us to win back-to-back Provincial gold medals.
Lacrosse provided me with opportunities, led me to meet great friends, helped me develop confidence, helped me find my passion, shaped me as a person, and has shown me that I can do anything. I want to be involved in giving girls all the opportunities that I’ve received through sport. Lacrosse has changed my life. I want to continue to stay involved in lacrosse so that I can change other girls’ lives too.
How has sport provided you with new or different opportunities you would not have expected?
After winning my first Provincial medal, I knew that lacrosse had many more opportunities in store for me. Our team attended the Mayor’s Breakfast of Champions where I presented awards to two of my coaches in front of the town, I coach house league and clinics, I officiate Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse and house league, I’ve won three Provincial medals, my high school team made it to OFSAA, my rep team hosted several teams from the United Kingdom, I played in The World’s Festival with some of my teammates, I was selected as one of my town’s “20 Female Leaders in 2020,” and I’ve had newspaper articles written about me.
Refereeing has allowed me to gain confidence, it has helped me build “thick skin”, and has helped me develop many soft skills. Most importantly, it has provided me with the opportunity to assist girls to play a safe and fair game.
Coaching, being a leader in my town, and sharing my love for lacrosse allows me to be a role model for younger girls with the opportunity to inspire young girls to play and to stay in sports. I want girls to be healthy, to gain confidence, to learn how to set goals, to learn problem solving, to be strong, to stay away from peer pressure, have a team that they can call “family”, and have the many other benefits of playing sports.
What elements of leadership parallel your sport and life leadership?
As a leader, I am very dedicated to volunteering, advocating for gender equality in sport, and to helping female athletes achieve their goals. My passion allows me to leave a positive impact on girls because I am able to teach them, inspire them to fall in love with the sport, and I’m able to be a positive role model. To be a positive role model and leader, I need to be kind, encouraging, optimistic, respectful, hard-working, responsible, healthy, and I must have good sportsmanship. Not only do I encourage female athletes to make healthy choices and to strive for their best, but I also encourage my friends and family as well.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
It is so important to work on building confidence with female athletes. Coaches need to make sure that female athletes know that they are good enough. At a young age, girls are told that they’re not as athletic as boys and that we are not good enough to play sports. We need to get this false information out of girls’ heads by inspiring and encouraging female athletes and building them up.
Oftentimes, male athletes have access to better facilities, get more resources, and are prioritized for field time. Female athletes need men as allies so that we can fight for equality. Volunteers are also crucial so girls can play, so girls can have role models and so we can grow sports programs.
5 Words that best describe me are:
PASSIONATE | RESILIENT | STRONG | OPTIMISTIC | HARD-WORKING