Sarah is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation with a concentration in the Cultural and Managerial Studies of Sport and Leisure. Sarah is heavily involved within the University of Alberta and serves on the Physical Education and Recreation Council of Students as the Intramural Rep and the Kinesiology Games 2018 Planning Committee as the Athletics Coordinator. Sarah started working in campus recreation in her first year of university and has worked in recreational ice skating, dance and martial arts programs, and currently works in intramurals as a recreation facilitator. In her role with intramurals, Sarah is responsible for interviewing and training staff, scheduling leagues, and serves as Deputy Chair of the Intramural Council.
Outside of the university, Sarah works in Game Day Operations for Edmonton Eskimos and as the Records and Championship Coordinator for Alberta Colleges Athletic Association (ACAC), and volunteers with the City of Edmonton Inner City Rec and Wellness program.
Sarah has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and works well under pressure and with others. She is passionate about sport and recreation and is hoping to pursue a career in community and sport development in the future.
Please provide a statement of your personal views on the role and contributions of collegiate recreation in higher education and the impact it has had on your personal development.
In my opinion, recreation programming provides an opportunity for a higher quality of life by directly improving individuals mental and physical health, creating social connections and a sense of community. For me, collegiate recreation gave me the opportunity to form strong social networks within my university that allowed me to develop as both a leader and professional. I’ve seen how recreation programs have gotten my peers through the week and added social interaction, physical activity, and stress relief into a relatively normal week. I have memories of my intramural teams still hanging out hours after a game talking about the future and all our big plans. Recreation programming creates the opportunity for those connection to emerge and the creation of positive memories during the “best time of your life.”
I think, for some, university can be an extremely stressful and lonely time and recreation reduces those feelings in the most significant and meaningful way. The Long Term Athlete Development model’s final stage outlines the idea of lifelong participation. Recreation programming allows individuals the opportunity to be active for life and continue to participate not only in activities they love but to discover what else might interest them—what moves them. I personally love working in collegiate recreation and find a strong sense of fulfillment from knowing my work might have directly contributed to someone having a better day, semester, or overall post-secondary experience.
In describing your contributions to the Member Network, NIRSA, and the students, identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to serve NIRSA in this role.
I’ve become heavily involved in my university, faculty, and community. Having sat on my faculty student council, worked for campus and community recreation, and been involved with the Kinesiology Games as both a participant and planning committee member, I have extensive experience acting as a student voice/representative, working with faculty members, planning events, running meetings, and working in a committee setting.
While I am a new NIRSA member, I feel my previous experience have set a solid groundwork for me to be successful in this position. Having recreation as my field of choice moving forward into a career, I am excited to learn all that I can from the other members of NIRSA and continue to challenge myself to grow.
My goal as the regional student leader would be to increase student involvement in NIRSA within my region. I’ve been lucky enough to build networks with students across Canada through the Kinesiology Games and feel confident in my ability to increase and promote student involvement.
As a Student Leader of NIRSA, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the field of collegiate recreation. What skills, talents, and perspectives would you bring to the Student Leadership Team?
The biggest asset I bring to the Student Leadership Team is my passion. I have a personally invested interest in recreation and hope to be lucky enough to continue to grow and work within this field for the duration of my professional life. I have dedicated a lot of my time to advocating for student engagement and helping students find a sense of belonging during their time at the university. I myself have grown strong networks spanning across all of these groups.
I believe that the best leaders empower others to become strong leaders as well. I have strong interpersonal skills and find connecting with other students and presenting them with new opportunities to be personally rewarding. I would love to be given the opportunity to live out my values of community, leadership, and healthy living within this position and promote those values to my peers at a national level.