Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


At this stage in my life I would describe myself as an energetic mother of three children who works hard to be a good person, parent, teacher, coach and friend.  I enjoy my life as I stay busy with my children, within my community and with my own personal health.


From a young age, there were few opportunities in my community for girls to participate in sport.  My parents whom were providing the best possible opportunities for four young children encouraged us to be active and play recreationally.  As my siblings and I grew up we gained more experience and were provided increased opportunities playing on teams such as; softball, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cycling, swimming and always playground activities!  As a teenager I began to realize that my favourite sports involved teammates and my greatest memories and experiences happened throughout high school where my character was developing and solid friendships were formed.  I was so thankful to have dedicated coaches, supportive family and friends that encouraged me to develop my skills in volleyball and basketball and eventually I played university basketball while pursuing my academics. I was one lucky girl.


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


When I write my response about barriers I have overcome, I really think of how enormous these setbacks felt for me at the time, but in reflection, realize how lucky I was that my barriers have ‘only’ been injury.  Presently, as a mother, coach and teacher I work closely with my own children, athletes and students and am so aware of the many internal barriers our youth experience within their lives including social-emotional struggles, socio-economic barriers and mental health challenges. My own barrier of injury was a challenge for me to overcome both mentally and physically.  I learned through my own journey and I am motivated to stay involved and make a difference in the lives of others.


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


I have had two large sports injuries throughout my life and these have been my barriers.  As a varsity athlete, I tore my ACL during a basketball game and as an adult approaching my 40s was diagnosed with a labrum tear in my hip.  Both required surgery, support, rehabilitation and resiliency. My ACL tear, was devastating at the time and I was in lots of denial. Days felt dark, my outlook dreary and I had difficulty seeing the many positives in my life because I felt my identity was defined as a successful athlete. Brene Brown writes that “only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light”.  It was during these dark periods that I leaned on my social supports, found inspiration and worked hard to reshape my mental mindset by setting goals

and dreaming of future plans. I returned to the game because I found this light and preserved. Even in my adult life with my hip injury, I recognized that I had to find my light once again. I had to rise above the self-doubt and meet the challenge of rehab and recovery and even chose to set a large long-term goal to complete Ironman triathlons because I was motivated to seek out new adventures and challenges. I am proud of the goals I set as an adult such as; learning to swim, road cycling and running marathons.  It’s within my own experience of setbacks and accomplishments of these goals that I have learned it’s important to have a growth mindset to be fearless and to challenge my comfort level and I often share this in my teaching and coaching with my own children and athletes.


Through my experience in sport, I understand the value of using physical exercise to maintain positive mental health.  I use exercise to clear my head, release energy, and to stay healthy in mind, body and my spirit. I choose to model this for my own children, my students and my athletes.

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




I get an idea, a desire, a dream and I become determined and focused on achieving it.  I challenge my children, athletes and students to find their fearlessness, to embrace vulnerability and to learn from their experiences to set goals and make their dreams a reality.


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


I am fortunate to work with so many young females. I find many moments to challenge them to be fearless females.  With every decision, relationship and goal, our young females should ask themselves:


“If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”- Malcolm X


I believe we should never look back and say “I wish I would have or I wish I could have”.


Instagram: @collinssarah1