Week 16: Nella Brodett
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Nella Brodett and I am a Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Advisor within the Ontario Government as well as a food enthusiast (mostly eating it, not cooking it). Growing up I played many sports and really took on hockey where I played with the boys my first 5 years then switched over to girls’ hockey and finished off playing varsity both in the US and in Canada with 2014 being my last season. My first year of post-secondary I attended Lindenwood University in St Louis where I was fortunate to win a national championship as well as being named a rookie all-star. Back in Canada I was able to start and Captain the varsity women’s hockey team at Ryerson University, where most of my most meaningful personal skills and passions were found. I am a philanthropist at heart and founded the #RamsTalk Mental Health campaign which has raised over $20,000 for youth mental health organizations and is now an athletic scholarship for Ryerson student-athletes. Currently you can find me in the mountains snowboarding in the winter, on the tennis court in the summer and strapping on the skates occasionally here and there.
How has sport helped you develop skills for your work today?
I would not be where I am professionally and most importantly – personally in my life without sport. It has taught me so much not only through the physical and mental challenges of competing, but also through the experiences with teammates and coaches and parents. You truly learn what adversity really is and this teaches you perseverance. Sport has shown me that no matter what comes your way whether good or bad, you have some control to fight through it and go for what you are truly passionate about. It has been key to my social and relationship-building skills that lead me to my career today. While playing hockey I met many extraordinary people that I would take as an opportunity to learn and grow from. This I bring with me every day and will for the rest of my life.
How has sport helped you be a better leader? How do you define leadership?
Leadership is usually looked at as a quality or skill only held by certain individuals. Sport taught me that leadership is in everyone. Positivity shown in action is what I define as leadership. Sports helped me become a better leader by exercising compassion and empathy for my teammates and myself. It is important to not only be engaged in the physicality and competitive demands of sport, but to also be in tune with what is happening outside of your sport. Understanding what my teammates were going through beyond the rink was important to my leadership development and success. Once you are able to do this and gain trust of the group around you, it is easier to navigate challenges and makes celebrations that more sweet.
What is one piece of advice would you have for young female athletes today?
Keep your head up, stay vocal and don’t be afraid to fail.