I'm someone who says yes to things. I go back to this quote I came across
in high school: you get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
Whether it was lacing up my first pair of skates, moving to the Maritimes
or putting on a headset for the first time, I found the courage to say yes
to opportunities that scare me.
I grew up in a household of hockey fans. Every morning before school, I
would eat my bowl of Froot Loops and watch SportsCentre on TSN, amazed that
people could talk sports for a living. My father and my older brother both
played hockey, so it was natural for me to follow in their footsteps. I
initially played boys’ hockey, switching to girls’ hockey in U11. That
accelerated my passion for the game because I walked into a dressing room
and immediately met 23 girls that loved the same sport I did. To this day,
I’m still close with some of my minor hockey teammates.
In Grade 12, I was playing for the Ottawa Junior Senators. My teammates
were committing to colleges, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was
at a crossroad. I wanted more balance between hockey, school and life. My
student teacher at the time, Andrea Leacock, recommended I check out her
alma mater, Mount Allison University. From the moment I met the coach,
toured the town and met a few of the players, it felt right. I had never
been to the Maritimes before that trip, but I chose to call Sackville, New
Brunswick home for the next five years, playing hockey, studying business
and discovering television along the way.
I knew I wanted to turn my hobby into a career in my fifth year of
university when I saw first-hand the excitement an interview could bring to
a young athlete. I had a chance to volunteer at a local cable channel,
Eastlink Community TV. It was my first time filming a story, we were
covering a girls’ junior high school basketball championship. I went up to
the MVP and asked her the good old question, “How does it feel to have
won?” The look of sheer terror, happiness and anticipation all mixed into
one emotion, surrounded by her giggling teammates, was priceless. It was in
that moment I realized I was seeing myself, and what it would have been
like if someone came up to me and my teammates wanting to interview us
after a win, recognizing our accomplishment. I knew from that moment on, I
wanted to provide women athletes an opportunity to have their
accomplishments honoured and voices heard.
When I joined Eastlink Community TV full-time, it was my manager, Brett
Smith, who encouraged me to try play-by-play. For the first few weeks, I
got my feet wet—I didn’t know much about live broadcasting. I learned
quickly that in television, you learn by doing; it’s all about the reps. I
knew I would either sink or swim, and I swam. Within two months, I was
hosting the Halifax Mooseheads broadcasts, and within three months, I was
calling hockey. Five months later, I was calling soccer, basketball,
volleyball, even ringette. I began hosting a weekly community show, filling
in as a camera operator and producing stories. I tried it all and loved it.
I gained an appreciation for grassroots sports and began to feel a
responsibility every time I called a game. A responsibility to pronounce
names correctly, introduce viewers to the person behind the athlete and,
most importantly, give an athlete their moment.
The night before I called my first QMJHL game on television, I was nervous.
It was going to be the first time a woman provided play-by-play commentary
for the league on television. People often ask me what that was like. Well,
I felt as though if I did great, I did the job, but if I failed, I’d hinder
future opportunities for women. The night before the game between the
Halifax Mooseheads and Charlottetown Islanders, I got a phone call. It was
Leah Hextall, someone who knows first-hand, on a much larger scale, the
feeling of carrying the weight of your gender on your shoulders. She gave
me some great advice—trust yourself, because you’ve earned this, and be
present. Two tips I still remind myself.
It wasn’t too long after that, I got another phone call came from TSN for
the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Calgary. This was the first
time Group B games were going to be televised, so they were looking for a
second commentary team. I had a few weeks to prepare, get comfortable with
international women’s hockey and European names, and go into the Calgary
bubble to work with the network that inspired this Froot Loops-loving,
Since then, I have had the opportunity to be a part of some incredible
sporting events. Reporting on women’s hockey at the 2022 Olympic Winter
Games was very special. The event was so unique, I’ll never forget that
experience in Beijing and how it shaped me as the reporter I am today in
Montreal. The most recent World Juniors in Halifax was very memorable
because I returned to the rink where my television career started, in the
same role, as a rink-side reporter, on the same ice. The IIHF U18 Women’s
World Championship in Wisconsin stands out for me because for the first
time, the U18 women were receiving televised coverage and I was a part of
it in the booth. Exposure of the women’s game is vital for growth, and I am
proud to work with fellow team members that want to even the playing field.
And that’s why I love television—it’s a team sport. The crew and staff behind the scenes of a broadcast is where the magic is made. We all have to
rely on each other; a skill I developed in hockey. I learned how to trust
my teammates, who are now a colour commentator, a camera operator or the
producer, who is like a coach. I know what it’s like to be a rookie, to
value other people’s sacrifices and, most importantly, how to fight when
the odds are against you.