Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A basketball player from Timberlea, Nova Scotia is how I am often introduced, but that is very surface level. First and foremost, my family and friends are who shaped me and are the reason I am in the position I am in today. When I have downtime, I am with them. As far as interests, I believe my career in sport has afforded me the opportunity to explore other passions like travel and photography!
In terms of what drives me, I know it’s different than what I would have said this time last year. There has been a major shift on a personal level to use my platform to create a positive change. Through both lived experiences coupled with education I am developing a greater understanding of the visible and invisible barriers that prevent people like me from advancing personally and professionally. Further to that, it’s thinking beyond only those to who like me and focusing on anyone from a marginalized community and what uniquely prevents them from moving forward. This doesn’t come without missteps, but if led with the heart and from a mindset of truly caring then change will inevitably follow.
Currently involved as a mentor for:
What lessons did you learn in sport that can be applied to your daily leadership?
Leading with your heart is ok.
Allow others to step into their light and be experts in their area is critical.
Amplify the individuals on your team and be their champion.
What is a challenge you have faced and has helped you be a stronger coach?
Unknowingly at the time, I believe there were structural barriers based on my gender and my race, and I’m confident they continue to exist. Knowing this, I understand coaching requires acknowledging athletes for who they are and how they got there and that as a coach we can open doors for them achieve their goals.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
Be willing to listen with an open mind, but more importantly with an open heart.
If we start with the basic principle that everyone deserves the chance to participate in sport regardless of demographic, then we can start broadening our thinking and work together to remove structural barriers that continuously prevent many populations from having that opportunity. This requires reflection in many levels – within oneself, within the organization, within our communities, and on a global scale.
5 words that best describe me are: