Please tell us a little bit about yourself.


Sport was always an important part of our family. I credit my parents for exposing me to every possible activity. I was on skis at 3 ½ years old! it didn’t hurt that I was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1962 and Banff was a short drive away. In the late 6o’s my father was transferred to Ontario where sports continued to be a part of our regular family activities, family hockey, tennis, community baseball. It was only natural that by the time high school came around I played basketball, volleyball, soccer, track & field and hockey. By the summer of 1978 I was excelling in basketball and by 1979 I was on our National team.


Andrea Blackwell select highlights and accomplishments:

  • 1979-1984 – Student and varsity athlete Bishop’s University
  • 1984 Nan Copp award (USport Player of the Year)
  • Member of Canadian National Basketball Team 1979-1996 Competed in two Olympics 1984 (LA- 4th place) and 1996 (Atlanta) and 4 world championships 1983 (Venezuela), 1986 (Moscow– Bronze Medal), 1990 (Malaysia), 1994 (Australia)
  • 1984-1990 Head Coach Bishop’s University Women’s Basketball
  • 1992-1996 Professional Basketball Player Italy, Belgium (2 years), Greece
  • 1998-2020 Teacher/Coach Limestone District School Board
  • 1998 Inducted to Bishop’s University Wall of Distinction
  • 2002 Inducted into Kingston & District Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2006 LDSB Outstanding Service Award
  • 2007-2011 St. Lawrence College Women’s Basketball coach
  • 2009 OCAA Coach of the year
  • 2010 Inducted into Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 2013 Inducted into Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 2014 – 2016 Cataraqui Women’s Club champion (Golf)
  • 2014 Member of Golf Ontario Senior provincial team
  • 2019 Member of Golf Ontario Senior provincial team
  • Minto US Pickleball Championships – Bronze medal 3.5 women’s doubles


What is a challenge you faced as an athlete that made you stronger?


The boycott of the 1980 Olympics by the western nations was an event of which athletes had no control. Fortunately, it was still early in my basketball career, so there wasn’t any question that I would commit to another 4 years.

What elements of leadership parallel your sport and life leadership? 


I learned early that success comes from within. When there are barriers it is about doing whatever you can to find a way around them. I was fortunate to have coaches that helped me realize this and presented me with the guidance to be the best that I could be.


What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport? 


For parents, sport is about working with a group of people towards a common goal. Everyone will have a role that will contribute to the success of the team. The challenge is to help everyone to meet the team’s expectations and to accept their role while continuing to grow, develop and improve.


Sport administrators need to trust that the coaches they have in place will support the vision of the team. Administrators should do everything that they can to support the developmental process. Opportunities must be available to all, not just those that can afford to play.


5 words that best describe me are: