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Background

Sport Experience

& Interests

I grew up with a very multisport background, constantly wishing for more hours in the day and days in the week so that I would be able to try all of the activities that wouldn't fit into my busy schedule. I competited in a little of everything but when I came across an activity I connected with, I knew I had to drop lower priority activities in exchange for the time necessary to succeed as the level of skill rises. I mainly focused on gymnastics, speed swimming, volleyball and badminton. Over the years, many other sports and activities have captured my attention as well, but a single sentence wouldn't do it justice! No matter the sport, I always found a connection and profound relevance to the role that mindset plays in athletic success and general wellbeing. 

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Gymnastics

I have been involved in gymnastics for over 20 years now, with 10 years of competitive team experience and 14 years of coaching recreational to high level competitive men and women. I have always been drawn to the challenging nature of gymnastics; overcoming fears, the opportunity to perform, being upside down and the sensation of human flight. During my time as an athlete, I competed All Around (Women's Artistic Gymnastics which consists of vault, bars, beam and floor events) but was particularly drawn to floor and beam. Over time, I began to choreograph my own floor routines and shortly after the first routine I choreographed, athletes were approaching me to create theirs as well. Now, I have been choreographing individual floor routines for 9 years and group routines for 7 years.

I began coaching as a CIT (coach in training) for the CirKids Summer Camp for Circus Arts in Vancouver. This was an amazing opportunity to actively learn about good quality coaching from the Summer Camp's head coach.  I was able to learn how to coach trapeze, trampoline, tumbling, unicycles, human pyramid building and juggling while also choreographing small group routines that needed to be performance ready for the end of week show. In artistic gymnastics, I have coached athletes from recreational levels to Junior Olympic competitive level 8. I was also very fortunate to spend a couple years mentoring with head coach Megan Conway's national level group of mens and women's artistic and trampoline & tumbling athletes. This was an outstanding experience, to see the progression of all the athletes throughout the season, the role that sport psychology played and to learn technical and fundamental coaching from Megan was so valuable. 

My passion for gymnastics has continued to grow through my most recent work in developing a Gymnaestrada program in my hometown of Nanaimo. When the program was first introduced it was relatively unknown to the community but grew to be an area of interest for many former competitive gymnasts, dancers and athletes who loved the sport but couldn't commit the time, had fears or desired more of a supportive team environment rather than the individual nature of gymnastics as a competitive sport. The program grew to the point where in 2018 we were able to try out for a position on Team Canada at the 2019 World Gymnaestrada. I organized 18 athletes, 3 coaches, 2 chaperones and a team manager to form the group which eventually did qualify for Team Canada. The following year, I acted as the head coach for a group of 11 athletes and a team manager who traveled to Dornbirn, Austria to perform in the 2019 World Gymnaestrada! For more information on our experience at Worlds, please check out my "World Gymnaestrada" page which can be found under the "Impactful Experiences" section. 

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Badminton

My badminton career started late when I wanted to be a part of a university sports team during my time at VIU. Since I was far too short for volleyball and I had some experience with badminton already, it was a natural fit. I learned a lot throughout my 5 years of varsity badminton, met many different types of athletes, personalities and cultures. Our team was able to compete in some tournaments in Hawaii and Florida, and I was able to qualify twice for CCAA Nationals (2017 at Seneca College & 2018 at NAIT College). Qualifying for Nationals was my biggest goal and deep desire while with the team, and it did not disappoint!

 

After graduation, I was invited to join the coaching staff as an assistant coach and mental performance consultant. This was a new transition, given I began coaching athletes who were my teammates shortly before but was such a positive experience. 

This experience and my time coaching and interning as a mental performance consultant with the Zone 6 Badminton team at the BC Winter Games eventually led to an offer to coach and provide mental performance consulting for Team BC at the Western Canadian Team Championships. For more on my experience working at the BC Winter Games and with Team BC, visit those pages under the section "Impactful Experiences".

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© photo.northfield.ca

Speed Swimming

I competed in BCSSA Speed Swimming for 13 years as a member of the White Rapids Swim Club. Although my participation began for social and safety reasons, I ended up continuing my career long after my original social group left the sport. The club provided me with many amazing coaches who inspire my interest in the sport, and teammates who were by my side through many fun filled summers of intense training, strange tan lines and travel.

There were many podium results at regionals and provincials in my older years, but the most memorable were during my final year with the club in 2013 when I finished 3rd in the province in the 100m Fly, 2nd in the 200m Medley relay and set a provincial record with a group of my best friends in the 200m Freestyle relay. The bond that I made with my teammates and coaches through swimming has been unlike any other, and the inspiration for my interest in the impact team dynamic can have on performance. My teammates taught me the most valuable lessons in building team dynamic by holding one another accountable to the team goals while remaining forgiving. Good teamwork is made by being considerate and understanding that mistakes are a part of performance. Knowing your teammates as people is also key in being able to understand the support they need and the attributes they value.   

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Acro yoga

Recently, I have fallen in love with Acro yoga. I love the challenging nature and the welcoming participants. At my first class, I was encouraged about my potential and immediately felt included in the group despite being a stranger. Acro yoga has benefitted my leadership by showing me how to slow down and ensure that all participants feel included and how to tailor lessons plans so that everyone can have a positive experience. I have also learned a tremendous amount about how to demonstrate and teach skills from both the flyer and base perspectives. I look forward to developing my skills and connecting with more people who share this unique interest. 

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