Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


My name is Sara-Emilie, and I am a second-year student at Western University studying Political Science & English Literature. Prior to university, I was a competitive swimmer for eight years. Now, I stay involved in the world of aquatics as a coach for Excel Swim School. Some big passions of mine are law – I am currently Vice President of the Western Pre-Law Society – as well as student advocacy. I am a Residence Soph and Orientation Leader in Essex Hall at Western (my soph name is Fuego), where I mentor first-year students living in residence and work to connect them with the resources necessary for academic and social success!



What is your routine to prepare for a competition?


When I swam, my routine was always the same. Since swim meets are typically held in the morning, I’d head to bed early. Breakfast was always a bagel and a Cliff Bar. Before races, I would listen to music (usually Queen) both to tackle nerves and help hype myself up.


Who is a female role model to you? Why?


A female role model to me is my older sister, Elizabeth. A former competitive swimmer herself, she has been swimming her whole life, and was team captain on the Western Varsity Swim Team. She’s highly accomplished, focused, and strives for success in all that she does. She’s a natural-born leader and, with a double degree in History and Business from Western and the Ivey School of Business, she’s also one of the smartest people I know. Beyond this, she’s a very genuine and lovely person, and a great person to turn to. I am so fortunate to have in her my life.


What advice do you have for parents, coaches, or sport administrators to encourage or improve sport for females? 


My biggest piece of advice is to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on athletes. Sport can sometimes

be, by virtue of perception and social structures, closed off to girls. It can be hard to get girls into sport, but often it can be harder to keep them within it. Steady encouragement goes a long way, and can be hugely beneficial in motivating girls to continue in sport. Excessive pressure can have the opposite effect, and drive girls away from pursuing a future in athletics.


What is a song that motivates you?


A song that motivates me is Little Trouble by Better Oblivion Community Centre & Phoebe Bridgers. I don’t have any particular reason aside from the fact that it makes me happy when I listen to it and puts me in a more positive mindset, which is key for both motivation and success.


Instagram: @_sara_emilie