WEEK #12: MELODY L.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Growing up I have been involved in several sports such as basketball, volleyball and track and field. However, as I got older basketball was the one sport that really stuck with me. Thus far I have played basketball competitively for 12 years at the rep team level all the way to collegiate level. I have played in AAU tournaments across the US and have had the opportunity to play basketball in different places. In elementary and high school, I was also heavily involved in track and field particularly shot put and discus. I managed to attend back-to-back OFSAA central track and field meets. Most recently I have gotten really involved in powerlifting. I competed in my first powerlifting meet in February 2020, as it has been my goal for the past 3 years to finally get the confidence to compete in one. Although I am really new to the sport it is quite different from basketball and it is something that I take a lot of pride in because the sport solely relies on you and the effort you put in, whereas basketball is more of a team sport which requires a collaborative effort.
What inspired you to participate in sport?
Initially, as a kid I saw sport as an opportunity to just play a lot of different games and I did not quite understand the competitive aspect of sport. However, I had an older cousin who was heavily involved in basketball and happened to be coaching. So, he took me to one of the group sessions. This happened to be a session that only contained boys and I was the only girl at the time. We did some drills and scrimmaged, I had a nose bleed and it was one of the most embarrassing days of my life. But for some reason I was amazed by the idea that if I continued to practice my craft I could get better, and so although it was one of the worst days of my life I decided to go back and have played for the past 12 years.
What is a barrier you have faced in sport? How did you overcome the barrier?
A barrier I have faced in sport are encountering people or coaches who have told me that I was not good enough. This was something I have encountered several times even now that I have experience in the collegiate level. I overcame this barrier by having faith in myself. This meant that I believed I was better than what coaches told me and I used this as motivation to spend an extra hour after every practice or training session to continue to fine tune my skills regardless of my circumstances. I have just used that to fuel myself to push harder. Sometimes when people tell me these things, I overcome them by simply showing them what I can do and prove them wrong. If I can’t prove them wrong then I use that as a new goal to reach next time.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to encourage or improve sport for females?