True Sport Champion: Laurissa Kenworthy
"True Sport is aligned with my personal values. Fair play, respect for others and having fun were held as minimum standards by my family and early coaches, and I have internalized them to be my own. I believe that True Sport is a strong voice to advocate for fair and ethical sport and I wanted to become a Champion to add to the strength of that voice."
Hometown: Newmarket, Ontario
Favourite Sport: Hockey
I grew up thriving on physical activity and continue to enjoy the pursuit of recreational and competitive sport. During elementary and high school, I was involved with as many different sports as possible. I was recruited to play university hockey for Wilfrid Laurier University. The team had outstanding results while I was there (winning four OUA Championships and a CIS Championship) and I was recognized individually with numerous awards and nominations. I was also in the U22 Hockey Canada Development Program during this time. I continue to be an active participant in sport. I aim to try one new sport per year. Currently, I am playing both soccer and dodgeball and have added snowshoeing as my new activity. In fact, my passion for sport led me to pursue a Masters degree at Brock University in Applied Health Sciences. My research focused on positive youth development through sport and coaching behaviour.
How did you first hear about True Sport and what made you decide to become a True Sport Champion?
I first heard about True Sport at a CIS Championship tournament. All of the participants received a True Sport skate towel (which I still have today!). I was intrigued by True Sport and wanted to learn more about the movement. True Sport is aligned with my personal values. Fair play, respect for others and having fun were held as minimum standards by my family and early coaches, and I have internalized them to be my own. I believe that True Sport is a strong voice to advocate for fair and ethical sport and I wanted to become a Champion to add to the strength of that voice.
True Sport Champions volunteer their time to teach others about the True Sport Principles, why is “good” sport important to you?
In our interactions with others, we have the responsibility to be good citizens. Sport provides an opportunity to learn and to practice such behaviours. If one is participating in “good” sport, they will be learning and practicing “good” behaviours. The behaviours practiced in the sport environment and the extension of these behaviours into other parts of our lives, have the potential to enhance our surroundings on a much larger scale.
Which of the True Sport Principles speaks to you the most and why?
The True Sport Principle that speaks to me the most is Respect Others. Individuals are required to work with others throughout their lives. It is important to be able to treat others with respect regardless of whether or not you see things in the same way (e.g. a referee’s decision). It is equally important to treat yourself with respect by making healthy choices. In fact, I think that respect is fundamental to each of the True Sport Principles.
What are the reactions of children, athletes, coaches, parents, etc., when you speak about True Sport?
When I speak about True Sport, the reactions are always positive. Individuals often respond by describing a True Sport experience of their own. And, there are many! Canadians voice their belief in True Sport again and again.
What is your most memorable True Sport moment?
My most memorable moment was when I helped with a True Sport assembly at Barrhaven Public School in Ottawa. It was exciting to be involved with a school that really believed in the True Sport Movement. Each class had discussed True Sport with their teacher and they had developed their own set of principles that they had committed to. These moments remind me of how universal True Sport is; what good sport can do; and how inspiring it is to be involved with such a positive movement.
What advice would you give to someone considering joining the True Sport Champion’s program?
If you are passionate about good sport, I strongly advocate becoming a True Sport Champion. True Sport is a vehicle to promote good experiences in the sport environment and beyond. There is a huge need to increase the profile of True Sport and to establish the True Sport Principles as the standard of behaviour. As True Sport Champions, we can actively support and speak up for the sport that we believe in.