March 21, 2023
Anchored in the efforts to spotlight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) student-athletes, the initiative See How She Got Started showcases and tells the story of how some of the conference’s talented student-athletes first got involved in sport and have made their way to the varsity stage on which they currently shine. It is also hoped that their stories can inspire young athletes to aspire to compete in varsity-level sports.
Year of Eligibility -
Program of Study -
How did you first get involved in your sport?
I played competitive ice hockey throughout my childhood so when I entered high school and saw that field hockey was a sport at our school, I decided to try it out. I enjoyed the combination of using stick skills, and playing a sport on the field. I also had a great high school coach who taught me how to play and introduced me to a training group and competitive club I could practice with and develop my skills.
What most interested you about your sport that made you want to pursue it at a high level?
I really enjoyed field hockey as I really like playing an outdoor field sport that required both skill and athleticism. There are so many cool skills you can pick up playing the game. And, field hockey is a great combination of discipline and creativity. Overall, I really wanted to compete at a university level.
Was there a specific moment/experience that led you to believe you could compete in your sport at a high level, and if so, what was it?
I think the specific moment happened when I was at a developmental practice session for field hockey and the coach approached me afterward to ask if I wanted to play on his competitive team. Before that point, I had not thought about playing competitively., So, it was really nice that he had that faith in me and had encouraged me to come out to practice and play. It's because of him that I began to play at a high level.
What is your fondest memory/experience of being involved in your sport thus far?
My fondest memory was our first game back from COVID last year. We played Guelph on home turf for our first OUA game and we played unreal as a team came away with a 1-1 tie. It was honestly such an amazing feeling because it was as if all of our hard work came together for this moment and I could share it with my teammates and coaches.
Is there someone who inspires you to continue to pursue your sport at this high level (i.e., coach, professional athlete, family member, etc.) and what makes them an inspiration to you?
My coaches are huge inspirations for me. Both of our coaches are Team Canada field hockey athletes who live and breathe the sport. It is such a privilege to be able to train under them and learn about their experiences. They are great resouces for becoming better hockey players and they are truly dedicated to making us the best athletes possible.
What excites you most about continuing your athletic journey at the varsity level within the OUA?
I love to compete at a high level and to be constantly encouraged to improve myself. I think that university sport gives you the opportunity to be the best athlete you can be. I love being able to compete for myself, my teammates and my coaches.
What is/are some of the more unique aspect(s) of your sport that others may not know about?
Although ice hockey is more popular than field hockey in Canada, field hockey is the third most popular sport in the world. It's also equally played by men and women. Another unique feature of the game is that players can only play field hockey with a right-handed stic.
If someone else was looking to start playing your sport, what one piece of advice would you give them to get them started?
I would tell someone to get out there and just have fun. I would also reccoment that they get some stick skill practice time, play some games and create an opportunity to get a taste for competitive sports. The biggest thing, however, is to find a great coach. Great coaches make all the difference in the world.
What is one critical thing that you do to try to continue to experience improvement within your sport (i.e., specific drill/exercise, training regimen, routine, etc.)?
I think the biggest thing I can do to improve my game is to continue to watch more field hockey. Watching other players execute skills and positioning only helps me improve my knowledge as I try to apply similar moves to my game. Even though field hockey is less popular in North America, there is a lot of high-quality play footage that can be found online.
What would you say to your 10-year-old self about playing and staying in sport?
I would tell my 10-year-old self to have fun and try your hardest. It's also important to surround yourself with those people who want you to have fun, try hard, and want to see you succeed. Importantly, don't let anyone tell you you cannot do anything and remember that you will only do your best when you want something.
Is there one strategy that you find works well for you in creating a positive student/athlete balance in your life?
For me as a player, it's all about managing your time so that you are able to do the things that you love. I prioritize important and enjoyable things equally.
Head to the SWSCD Athlete Advisor, your online athletic business directory. Find, rate and review programs, local community offerings and businesses that will help you do your thing.
Start a group around a physical activity in your neighbourhood. Explore events. Check out our SWSCD Hub.
Look for advice, stories, news and more on our Field Hockey activity page.
Have a sport, recreation or physical activity accomplishment you'd like to celebrate and shout out through SWSCD? Become a SWSCD member and share your story directly on SeeWhatSheCanDo. Or, simply add the hashtag #seewhatshecando to your public social media posts and SWSCD can help you inspire others around you.
Blog by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
Photos courtesy of Ontario University Athletics and SeeWhatSheCanDo unless otherwise indicated.
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