Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Richmond Hill Ontario, and am currently in my third year at Nipissing University in the Criminal Justice program. I am a co-captain and member of the Women’s Soccer team!
I played many sports throughout elementary and secondary school. In elementary school, I did my best to play every sport offered including cross-country, volleyball, basketball, soccer, hockey, badminton, and track and field. In high school I continued with almost all my elementary teams, as well as new sports, and enjoyed trying flag football and ultimate frisbee. In my grade 12 year, I received the Graham Hobbs award at my school for Excellence in Sports through Leadership. That being said, soccer has been a huge part of my life since I was 3 years old. In addition to soccer, I also started to play ringette when I was 8 and have been playing them simultaneously for every year of my life up until COVID hit. You could call them my winter and summer sports, but the level of play that I have been involved in has meant that I have participated in them during all four seasons!
As a ringette player, I played at the provincial AA level and represented Ontario at the Canadian Eastern Championships, coming home with a Bronze Medal. I have also played at the AAA level, going to the Ontario Winter Games twice, and earning a Bronze and Silver Medal representing United Ontario in 2017 and Southern Ontario in 2019. I was also able to play ringette for my University in my first year after my soccer season, during the University Challenge Cup, where we advanced for the first time in our team’s history to the top bracket. In my first year of soccer, I was named Rookie of the Year and am a USports Academic All-Canadian.
I love to be active and be outside with my family, and I love music and my dog. In every aspect of my life, my family is and forever will be the most important part and foundation of who I am. I am so grateful for all the opportunities my parents have given me and always supported me through.
What is a passion you have outside of sport? How do you share it with others?
Music is also a very big part of my life, not only listening but playing and performing as well. I have played the clarinet since I was in grade 5 and have been a member of the school band right up to grade 12. In addition to playing instruments, I have performed in choir competitions as a member of my school choir and won the Bronze Medal in the Show Choir Canada Competition. I have a wide passion for different genres of music and enjoy making and sharing playlists for friends and family.
I have always had an equal passion for being involved in my greater student community, whether it has been as a member of the school council, athletic council or other committees. I have most recently become the Administrative Director and am one of six executive members of the newly created NUBASE (Nipissing University Black Association for Student Expression). Our goal is to create initiatives that will promote diversity and inclusion. We have offered a creative space for students to express themselves and help impact change in the North Bay community.
What is a challenge you faced as an athlete that made you stronger?
As I have been a dual athlete for my whole life, one of the biggest challenges I have faced was being able to balance the two sports that I love, with school, work, family, and all of the
other extracurricular events that I have participated in. Each year, as I became more competitive in my level of play, people would suggest that I might have to drop one sport to focus on the other. My parents always supported the dialogue between coaches and myself to make sure I didn’t feel pressured and that if I was able to handle it, that they would all be there to support me. I have been fortunate to have coaches who celebrated my contributions to the teams I played on and who valued the diverse athletic opportunities that I engaged in. I am proud of the hard work that I put in, in order for me to stick with both sports throughout the years.
More recently, I have torn my ACL. This injury has not allowed me to play soccer in my junior year. I have been very fortunate that I have had my MRI, consultation and surgery within 8 weeks of my injury happening. Not only has this been my most severe injury physically to date, but it has also been one of my greatest challenges mentally. Although I still have a long road ahead of me, I am learning a lot about myself and my body. I am learning that my mental state is just as important as my physical one in this recovery journey. I remind myself to take it day by day as some days are better than others, and continue to become even more resilient to come out of this stronger. With the endless support of my family, my team, and most importantly my coaching staff, I have been able to still be an active member of my soccer team by managing and supporting many activities off the field this season.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches, or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
In 2019, I was invited by Ringette Ontario to be a part of their marketing campaign that focused on Unity and Inclusion and I was featured as part of Black History Month. Growing up in ringette, a sport that has very few racialized players, I was able to reflect on the importance of providing opportunities for all players to feel they can be involved in any sport. Sports administrators, associations, and coaches need to find ways to reach out to marginalized communities to engage in active campaigns that will provide opportunities for players of all abilities and backgrounds. Once the younger generation finds a passion and love for a sport, it allows them to build so many positive character traits, as well as relationships. I think that most importantly, parents should support their child by always remembering the reason that they entered the sport in the first place, to have fun!
5 words that best describe me are:
DETERMINED | STRONG | CARING | PASSIONATE | DEDICATED