Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Sophia C. I am 11 years old. I was born in Toronto and raised in Vaughan. I have a 14 year older brother named Julian and a brand new puppy named Cannoli. I started dancing and performing on stage from the age of two. I have taken ballet, jazz, acro, hip hop and tap classes over the last seven years.
Growing up, I would always attend Julian’s rep soccer and rep basketball games. Pretty soon, I wanted to play those sports. I started playing soccer when I turned four and basketball when I turned six. I was lucky enough to have been offered a spot on two different rep soccer teams at the age of six, both of which I declined. Why? Because I loved basketball more. At the age of seven, I joined my first rep basketball team. I have been playing competitive basketball for four years now. Since 2019, I have been playing for VCB. Before COVID started, our team OBAs were in Niagara Falls, and we won silver in Division 1! It was such a fantastic experience, so much fun, and a great way to end the season. When I am not training, or at practice, or at games and tournaments, I love to sing and to dance and to hang out with my family and friends. I also love reading, and one of my favourite series is the Harry Potter books.
What is something you have done outside of a sport that you are passionate about?
Outside of sport, I want to be able to help people, especially those with cancer. Unfortunately, cancer affects everyone in some way. For me, my mom, both grandmothers and my aunt and my uncle from my dad’s side all had cancer.
One unique thing about me is that I have donated my hair to cancer patients three times already! When I was 6, I thought that it would be good to give back to the community by donating my hair. And so my journey began. My second hair donation happened when I was 8 years old. And my current hair donation happened at the age of 10 when I donated more than 13”. This time, I donated my hair to Angel Hair For Kids. This program provides wigs to financially disadvantaged families. I have been raising money to help sponsor a kid in need. So far, I have raised $1595 and my goal is to raise at least $2000 to pay for the cost of the wig. Kids with cancer, alopecia and medical problems will receive these wigs.
What does leadership mean to you? How do you apply it?
Leadership means many different things to me. A good leader is a helper, a person who can bring out the best in everyone. A good leader can lead, direct, encourage, guide, help and motivate others in a safe, respectful and supportive manner. A good leader also knows how to lead by example, with good actions and good words.
With my school friends, I work hard every day by giving support and encouragement. With my teammates, I motivate and help guide newer players to become the best version of themselves. With my family and friends, I am positive, helpful and empathetic.
What advice do you have for parents, coaches, or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?
I think sports should be available to everyone, girls and boys, tall and short, old and young, everyone! Sports should not be a barrier for children because of financial reasons, gender or accessibility. Sports provide many opportunities for athletes to experience new adventures and opportunities. Playing basketball has taught me important life lessons: being respectful,
humble, polite, organized and resilient. It has also taught me how to be a good winner and a good loser, how to support my teammates, how to problem solve and how to get along with different people.
Please provide us with 5 words that best describe you.