Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am currently in my third year at McMaster University doing a double major in Biology and Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. I grew up always being around sports, since I have three older brothers who played on all sorts of teams and I would end up being brought along to various rinks, fields, and gyms, so naturally I also grew to love the sport community. I have been playing ringette for about 14 years, moving from house league, to representing Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships, to university ringette, and now just to playing for fun. I also played competitive basketball for a few years and played high school rugby as well.
More recreationally, I love to rollerblade, I’ve joined an intramural ultimate frisbee team at school, I’ve been playing touch rugby with some old teammates here and there and am also an avid skier in the wintertime. Outside of sports, I love to spend time with friends and family, and I also love to travel.
Beyond sports and hobbies, my academic life is something that holds great importance to me. I am very passionate about the biological aspect of psychology and neuroscience and am currently looking to pursue a career in Speech Language Pathology, ideally working with individuals with Autism.
What is something you’re proud of that is outside of sport?
My academic success thus far is something that I am extremely proud of. Although most of my childhood growing up revolved around sport, I always had a clear idea on the academic path I wanted to take once I got to university and working hard for my marks to be able to achieve those goals always came first.
Despite COVID having a large impact on my social life at school and my ability to integrate myself into my academic community, I have made a much bigger effort this year to make the best of the situation. I’ve just started my very first research assistant position working alongside a group of very intelligent and driven individuals, I have recently accepted a position on McMasters Bio Psych Society, where I will get to help plan and run a Neuroscience research conference, and I am also a peer mentor for younger students in my program to help them navigate through their undergraduate years. I think that taking steps outside your comfort zone to integrate yourself into a new and unknown community can be very daunting, but I am very proud of myself for taking those steps and for making light of the current situation.
What sparked your passion for sport? How can it be shared with others?
My parents and my three brothers definitely had a big influence on my passion for sport. Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by sport, and I was quickly able to see how much there was to gain from joining the community… all the amazing friends and memories that were made, all the life skills that were developed, and most importantly, sports provided an open space for people to express themselves and learn who they really are.
One way that I like to share my passion for sport with others is to give back to the communities that helped me grow as an athlete and as a person, in hopes to give advice and share my wisdom with the next generation of athletes. Pre-COVID, I would go and run special workouts with old coaches and coach younger athletes from my home association, and I hope to continue doing so when given the opportunity.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
The number one thing I would say to these individuals is to focus less on pushing these “ideal” body types onto their athletes. I think a lot of people, especially young girls, struggle with their body image and when all these athletes hear from their coaches is to change the way they look so that they can improve their athletic performance, this creates false realities and fosters negative mind-body relationships that can take years to move past. The reality is that with any one body type, comes advantages and disadvantages in any sport, but what coaches especially should be encouraging is to highlight individual advantages and work on developing skills not related to body image, such as work ethic, communication, mental toughness, and discipline. I truly believe that if the female sport community took the steps to stop pushing these stereotypical body types onto their athletes, there would be a much larger group of athletes who continued to play their sport past their teenage years.
5 words that best describe me are:
EMPATHETIC | THOUGHTFUL | TOUGH | HARD-WORKING | FUNNY