How Team Sports Changed My Life and How I’m Going To Give Back

From Nintendo “Geek” to Athlete

As a kid, if you asked anyone to describe me in one word, it would be “Nintendo”. I was obsessed. I sat for hours upon hours in front of the TV screen playing Nintendo and Super Nintendo until my teens. I believe it was both a symptom and a cause of my being overweight, unconfident and relatively recluse. I sought and found comfort in video games where I parlee-beach-2012could “rack up experience” to become a level 99 paladin and annihilate everything! As a result, I was grossly underactive and overweight.

In Grade 10, I discovered team sports. I was lucky that I was in a small school and my class mates pushed me into playing Volleyball (without me, they wouldn’t have a team! I had to pitch in!). And so that was the starting point of a life-changing experience. I was lucky to have a great coach who pushed us hard. He knew how to motivate us as well as to get our blood running. I started running every morning. In the end, I was still very fat, slow, and sucked at sports, but I was improving. I loved the camaraderie of the sport, the stories, the adventures. I was hooked! From that point forward, I would never stop playing team sports.

Now fast forward 15 years, and when people ask about what defines me many would include the word “athlete”. I continued to play sports all my life and they include some of my most memorable experiences. I recently decided I wanted to give back by starting an initiative to help kids like me “find their sport”.

I believe that in order to find their “right sport” those who don’t play sports need a proper and welcoming introduction. I want to go into schools, share my story and introduce students to Ultimate Frisbee, a sport that has been recognized as “inclusive and welcoming”. I know that many are intimidated by Team Sports and the “jock” culture. I was one of those kids. I know that many in the Ultimate community were not from the “athlete” community, and they thrive in the sport.

In another post, I will give more details about this initiative and hope to get some of your feedback.

What is your relationship to team sports? How has it impacted your life? Comment below!

21inc: Leadership Program

I’m also doing this as part of great leadership development program called “21inc”. It aims to develop forward thinking young leaders for the Maritimes.  It’s an amazing program for leaders aged 21-40. The program has a “community project” aspect.

To find out more about 21inc Click here.

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