Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Originally from Sarnia, Ontario, I grew up sampling a variety of different sports and activities. From house league soccer to theatre camps, my parents wanted to make sure I found something I enjoyed. After joining a grassroots basketball organization, I quickly fell in love and knew I wanted to become a basketball player. As I got older, I became more and more dedicated to the game. I got the opportunity to play for Team Ontario and was a starter for my high school’s senior team in grade 9. Due to my continued hard work and persistence, I was able to accomplish a dream of mine: to obtain a full-ride scholarship to an NCAA Division 1 school. I played all four years at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, where I received an all-conference selection my junior season and was named a team captain during my senior campaign. While my playing career was finished, my passion for sport and learning influenced me to continue my studies and research sport in more depth. I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to work under one of the leading researchers in the field of sport psychology, Dr. Jean Côté, and I successfully completed my Master of Science from Queen’s University in October. During my time in graduate school, I was awarded the Social Science and Humanities Research Council award and got the opportunity to be an assistant coach with the Queen’s women’s basketball program. Aside from sport, my general interests include reading, coaching, and having group FaceTime hangouts with my friends!
What is something you have done outside of a sport you’re passionate about?
Something I have done outside of sport that I am passionate about is become a volunteer with the Girls Empowerment Network. Girls Empowerment Network is an American organization that aims to teach young girls the skills to thrive and believe in their ability to be unstoppable. Part of my job as a volunteer is to write for the Relatable Role Models program. I handwrite letters discussing various personal experiences with the goal of inspiring and encouraging young girls throughout different communities. It is a very rewarding experience and allows me to use my personal stories to help others.
What lessons did you learn in sport that can be applied to your daily leadership?
Sport has taught me many valuable lessons that have contributed to my leadership abilities. However, one of the most important things that sport has taught me is the importance of relationship-building. A key aspect of being a leader is being able to get your followers to
“buy in” to your abilities. The age old saying rings true- “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink”. If you want to be a strong leader, you must have positive relationships with those who you want to lead. Positive relationships build trust and respect- two key components necessary to be effective. You can begin building these relationships at any age! For example, start with being a good teammate. Next, learn how to be coachable so that you build a great rapport with your coaches. You never know when and where these relationships may benefit you in the future. For instance, I am still in contact with one of my coaches from when I was younger and through this sustained connection, he has been a job reference for me to this day!
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
I think the best way to be inclusive in sport is to practice empathy. It can be easy to only view the world from our unique lens, but our experiences are not reflective of what everyone else’s’ experiences are. This is also known as “individualized consideration”, which is a large part of transformational leadership. By keeping an open mind, as well as practicing the art of active listening, we are putting ourselves in a position to better serve those around us. Especially as a coach, consistent “check-ins” with our athletes are key. With mental health being an important topic these days, it is worthwhile staying updated on what our athletes are experiencing outside of sport so that we can adapt our coaching to what they need in the present moment. Athletes are not just athletes- they are students, daughters, friends, etc. It is important to always keep this in mind.
5 words that best describe me are:
DRIVEN | CURIOUS | ACTIVE | INSPIRED | OUTGOING