I have always had a deep passion for player safety and welfare. With a nursing and physical therapy background, along with the time I spent in the US Army Medical Corps, my adult rugby career has ultimately been driven towards player welfare. After the unexpected death of one of my dearest friends and mentors from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) related depression, I propelled myself into starting a campaign for better concussion resources and training. This turned into spearheading the transformation of an entire injury reporting system for small colleges in the northwest. Today I serve as an advocate for TBI (traumatic brain injury/illness), CTE, Post Concussive Syndromes and Brain Trauma related conditions, keeping up to date on the latest studies and information.
With 25 years in rugby and competing as a multisport athlete at Provincial and higher levels, I am thankful for the lessons my coaches have taught me, and the ones I continue to learn. I believe I have been afforded a unique perspective that I apply to coaching, one that continues to allow me the opportunity to use my background to be creative in the training process.
As a Mom of three, my children inspire and motivate me to look at their functional movements, and to see the world from different angles. I find myself wondering how I can incorporate their curiosity into designing diverse challenges for my players and fellow coaches.
I've often been asked WHY I coach. In simplest terms, it's knowing that I can be a safe place for someone, it's knowing that I can give someone the gift of always having friends no matter where they go. The fact that I'm giving someone the ability to have agency over themselves, and that giving someone a family, a home team can change so much. I can measure my achievements on the faces of my players when they come back from break and tell me they played over summer, or when they graduate with more confidence. When they leave a camp and say 'Coach when I came here I couldn't do this and you made me feel like I could'. When they come to me and say Coach, I got my coaching certification, I got my referee certification. The answer is in these moments I love.
Today my focus is on continuing to improve the athlete experience, continuing my education, and sharing my love for a sport that started so many years ago in a small coastal, border town in British Columbia. My rugby journey has brought me smiles and tears. It's been watching my classmates at the Olympics, watching my friends play in World Cups while sitting home injured. It's been Military Rugby, Elementary, and everything in between. It's taken me across continents, cultural boundaries, and brought me so many friendships around the world.
For me TORI is a community to work with friends, a way to instill fresh ideas, and create a place for people to come together as a collective resource to GROW the total mindset of the game.