Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


I grew up in Dundas, Ontario and I am the youngest sibling of two older (pretty awesome) brothers. Growing up I played competitive soccer, track and field, and cross country. I completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Human Kinetics, and Master’s of Science in Biomechanics at the University of Guelph. During university, I played on the varsity soccer team, where I captained the team for three years. Currently, I am enrolled in the combined PhD/MPT program at The University of Western Ontario. I am in the fourth year of my PhD, and second year of physiotherapy school. My research focus is on sport-related concussion and repetitive head injury in female youth soccer. When I’m not in the lab or learning in physiotherapy class, you can find me running mountains, rock climbing or enjoying an awesome bike ride!


Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced.


An internal barrier I faced occurred after graduating from the University of Guelph. I was working as a kinesiologist at a clinic in Hamilton, and was struggling with what my future held. Each day I continued to ask myself the daunting question “what am I going to do with my life”? I went from being a part of an incredible community in Guelph and playing soccer every day to having to discover a new identity. Who was I going to be after my soccer career ended?


How did you overcome that barrier? What skills did you develop in sport to helped you overcome your barrier?


To overcome this barrier, I had to believe in myself and truly have the confidence to push myself further in my academic career. In sport, as athletes, we always push ourselves to be the best athlete for our team. We must set aside the self doubt, and put your best foot forward, not knowing whether you will succeed or fail. I had to apply this same mindset to academics.

If you had one word to describe your character, experiences or philosophy what would it be? Why?




When I have experienced changes or breakthroughs in life, honesty has been one aspect guiding me forward. Support your truth, and lead through honesty. If you have not found your passion in life yet, keep looking. Do not settle with being comfortable or complacent. You have the ability to move forward, and push through boundaries you may once thought were impossible. Like matters of the heart, you’ll know it when you find it.


If you wanted to motivate a young female athlete to #BuildHerUp, what quote would you use? Why?


“She believed she could, so she did.”


Whether I was running the Boston marathon, completing a study for my PhD, handing in a scholarship application or running up a mountain – I always would repeat this phrase. Believe in yourself.


Twitter: @alexharriss13

Instagram: @alexbharriss