Week 19: Katrina Farquhar
Please tell us about yourself.
This girl grew up in New Zealand, playing all sports, as Kiwis tend to do. I fell in love with basketball after seeing the Harlem Globetrotters perform in my hometown. Basketball became my true passion and LOVE. Being on the court as a player or coach is my ‘happy place’. I was fortunate enough to be part of many great teams, traveling internationally, playing and meeting amazing people along the way. I moved to Canada when I was 30 and produced 3 awesome Kiwi/Canadian daughters. It’s just natural that I wanted to pass to them my passion for basketball. Along with my partner Isaac King we created Live For Ball, a club teaching basketball and life skills for young girls. That was 8 years ago and LFB has blossomed into a wonderful club in South Scarborough. LFB now serves young boys and girls from aged 5 to women playing in our Spirit league in their 50’s. I personally had such an incredible basketball experience in New Zealand I wanted to give back to the sport by creating my own piece of home here in Toronto. Along the way within LFB, we have all become family with various ages and cultures involved. It’s quite magical and I am so fortunate to work in an environment that is so incredibly fulfilling.
How has sport helped you develop skills for your work today?
Basketball has given me so much in life. Friends, travel, memories, and most of all an incredible work ethic. I learned to set goals, how to lose, how to win. By playing basketball I learned to work alongside other people of all personalities. Having adversities to overcome individually and with a team is incredible for personal growth. I also gained my confidence on the basketball court and at a young age developed very strong leadership skills. Those early years carved out who I am today, an adult who is respectful, on time, driven, focused, positive who can make good decisions.
How has sport helped you be a better leader? How do you define leadership?
I am so fortunate to have been a Point Guard when I played. It allowed me to look after others on my team and gain valuable leadership skills. Most importantly, by playing basketball and specifically a point guard, I became an excellent decision maker. As a leader, I lead by example so making good decisions is pivotal to success. My positive attitude is my Super Power, and through compassion with a smile, I try to lead by inspiring others to be the best that they can be.
What has basketball given you as a player, coach, and club founder?
Basketball has given me so much in life. Great friends, travel, an incredible work ethic as I was very well coached in my early Nelson years. LFB is extremely rewarding. Watching the kids blossom, find their confidence, set goals, achieve their goals, lose, win, improve individually, become team players, make friends. The list goes on. There is so much to learn about yourself and others playing a team sport. I have three daughters in the LFB program and they often tell me, their LFB times are the best times they have ever had. What more could I ask for?
You have three talented daughters. What are the key basketball skills (physical or mental) that you want them to know or do?
All three of my daughters have successful sporting careers. I am hoping they may find their way over to play in New Zealand at some stage. I always encouraged them play many sports to cross train and simply enjoy various life experiences through sport. I have always taught my girls to be leaders and look out for others. Stay classy, positive, respectful and focused. I am very proud of them and they are excellent role models for the upcoming LFB’ers. I get to play with my daughters in the LFB Spirit league. You can’t beat that.
What advice do you have for young, female athletes today?
Every day I am coaching girls in gyms. I spend many hours making sure they know they can be the player and person they want to be. Thank your parents. Be a great teammate. Try new things on the court. Be respectful. Believe in yourself. Have a positive attitude. Trust each other. The list goes on. 2018 brought a new group of girls for me to coach and mentor. What has come up the most this season? Leadership. I try to encourage the girls to love and trust themselves but be aware of their surroundings. Know what’s going on with their teammates. Who’s struggling? Who needs some positivity? What can you do for your team? Give a high 5…a high 5 goes a long way. Even if you are struggling yourself, a good way to get through it…is to GIVE.