Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


I am a 25 year-old small town soul living in the big city. I am from a small town of 1000 people and moved to Toronto seven years ago to attend U of T. Fast forward seven years and I’m still attending University of Toronto, as I’m in my second year of my master’s where I study gender relations of women in positions of power in sport. I work at MLSE LaunchPad as the program supervisor, where I spend majority of my time that’s not spent at school, and whatever time is left from there, I try to pet as many dogs as I can. I am passionate about life, pizza and dogs and forever grateful for the opportunities I have had and even more grateful the ones I haven’t had yet!


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


Several years ago I was in a bad accident. Before the accident I was super active and had ambitions to play different sports at a completive level. Following the accident, I lost that. I lost my motivation, my drive and passion for something that previously acted as my outlet. The barrier that I faced was having my life shift unexpectedly and have to find a new way to belong in the realm I once used as a part of my identity.


How did you overcome that barrier?


I was no longer able to compete as an athlete at that time and knew I wanted and needed to stay involved, so that’s when I made the shift into sport leadership. I became the manager of my hockey team, assistant coach of my soccer team and water girl for my basketball team. I invested time learning how to coach and how to lead from the sidelines, rather than an active player on the field, court or ice. I took my passion of sport and physical activity and used it to help teach others how to further develop. From there, I started my own ‘Little Hoops’ basketball league for youth in my community, which involved over 100 participants and 25 volunteer coaches. This league has continued to grow and still runs today by younger community members. Along with the basketball league, I took over my families non-for-profit soccer league, that had been running for 20 years. For eight years, I ran the league, promoting fun, safe and fair play through teaching the coaches who volunteered how to coach and teach the fundamentals of soccer to youth. This then lead to an undergraduate degree in Physical Education, where I planned on becoming a Physical Education teacher. I have been privileged in the sense that my barrier has allowed me to find my passion of sport leadership and ultimately looking at ways to enhance and advance women in positions of power and leadership. Which now has lead me down the road of graduate studies, where I study and research gender relations in sport, and work towards advancing the platform for women in sport and leadership. My barrier no longer exists. I let the accident define me for a year, and in that time I wasn’t happy and needed to make a change. I let my barrier act as starting ground to find a new passion which has lead me down this amazing path.


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


The skills that I developed in sport that helped me overcome my barrier was perseverance, grit and resilience. In sports I always had to work hard. I was never the natural or best athlete out there, so I had to work hard to become better. There would be teams I wouldn’t make, games I sat on the bench and shots I would miss. Through failure and mistakes, I learned perseverance. I wouldn’t let that define me.

If I didn’t make the team, I’d try out for another one. I would train all summer to come back in the fall ready to try again. I fell and crawled more times than I can count, but that only made me learn grit and how to be resilient. These experiences and learning these life skills really flourished when I was faced with my barrier- the accident. If I wouldn’t have persevered and found another way to stay involved in what was my passion, then I wouldn’t have found sport leadership. I would have likely sat around feeling sorry for myself and not tried something new. I was able to bounce back from my barrier and turn it into my life-long mission, which is kinda cool!


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




The one word that best describes my character, experiences and philosophy would be committed. I think this word describes me best and here’s why: I once won the ‘Most Improved Badminton Award’ five years in a row. If that doesn’t scream committed, then I don’t know what does! I stayed with something that I obviously wasn’t very good at, year after year and continued to learn and challenge myself to get better to finally winning a championship several years later. I am not a quitter. I work my butt off at something until it’s done to my standards. It may take me five years, but I’m staying with it! Commitment to me shows my value. I show up, work hard and try my best to complete the task. I think that anything you do in your life needs to be done with dedication. You need to be fully onboard and willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Dedication to me involves ambition, passion and drive, and that’s how I take on anything. Whether that’s school, friendships, badminton or anything in between, I try to be as committed and dedicated as I can be.


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


“Don’t be your biggest barrier. You are worth the risk. You are worth the investment.”


If I were to motivate a young female athlete to #BuildHerUp I would encourage her not to her biggest barrier. We, as women are going to face many barriers and have to hop threw many different hoops in our lifetime; we are going to have to work harder to continue to prove our being and that, unfortunately is reality. The barriers that we face may not be easily broken and the hoops may be ever changing, however, one of the biggest barriers that we face is one that we can break– ourselves. We need to allow ourselves to stride towards our dreams and not be the ones holding ourselves back. There will be so many other factors trying to hold us back, trust me; we do not need to be one of them. If, and let me say that again girl, IF and only IF you do not succeed, then at least you know you allowed yourselves the opportunity to try. If you don’t allow yourself that first step, that shot, then you may never know what you could have done. Don’t be your biggest barrier. You are worth the risk. You are worth the investment.


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