The eighth-annual Women's in Leadership Spotlight dinner is set for Tuesday, November 28, 2017. This year's guest speaker is former basketball player Dr. Jillian MacDonald.
2016 Event Recap
Mental-health and sport was the message at the seventh-annual Women in Leadership Spotlight Dinner on Wednesday night at Dalhousie University, held December 9, 2016.
The event saw close to 400 people gather in the McInnes Room of the Student Union Building, and was in partnership with TD Bank Group – the fourth year that the company has been a presenting sponsor.
The fundraiser spotlights the successes of current, former and future Dalhousie student-athletes, as well as celebrates the role and growth of women in leadership.
Women’s volleyball head coach Rick Scott, and women’s basketball head coach Anna Stammberger began the evening with presentations of their hard-working student-athletes.
Afterwards, fifth-year left side hitter Amy Appleby and first-year guard Ashley Jackson spoke on behalf of their teams, and shared their experiences of working within the community.
Appleby has been heavily involved with the high-performance Tigers Volleyball Club as an assistant coach for the U15 girl’s team. The club, with its roots in Halifax, was formed seven years ago with the intention of promoting the growth of volleyball in Nova Scotia and to give its athletes a positive and rewarding experience in sport.
“I help them with volleyball, but I really hope I help them develop real-life skills that many of my teammates and I have had the privilege to acquire in sport, like perseverance, confidence and leadership that they can use in their daily lives for years to come,” Appleby said of her experiences as a coach.
Jackson provided details of an initiative she took part in this summer, known as the African Library Project – a U.S. based initiative that creates libraries in Africa through the organization and shipment of gently-used books.
Jackson highlighted the capacity for generosity through teamwork and collaboration, saying “Once goals are established and plans of action are put in place, people are more than willing to help out.”
The event continued with the special guest of the evening, Kim Hilchey Clark, who shared some of her experiences as a member of the Dalhousie women’s volleyball team from 1991-94 and 1995-96, as well as advice on how to balance stress as a student-athlete.
Clark spoke about the importance of believing in yourself, saying, “I encourage you to be brave enough to follow your own path, and see where it will lead you.”
“Playing sport at such an elite level is a gift. It allowed me to believe in myself and to be successful and capable of something, even when school was always such a struggle. I hung onto those moments of success and the hope to play university volleyball when times were hard.”
Clark’s insight, as part of the Children’s Intensive Program at the IWK, was also particularly helpful in providing support and guidance as to how to meet the demands of everyday life, which includes athletics.
She gave practical advice for athletes who may be living with a mental illness and struggling with sport, noting “One of the things that I think helped me get through when things were hard, was that I had an idea of who I was and what I wanted to do when I was done at Dal.”
“Even though it was stressful when things weren’t going well, having an identity of who I could be and what I wanted to be was really helpful, so I encourage everybody to get out there and try things – volunteer at different places and see what makes you feel good about yourself.”
The evening was capped off by a question and answer period between Clark and the student-athletes, where she responded to topics such as why she chose the healthcare field, as well as the lessons she learned as a Tiger and how she has implemented these lessons into her daily life.
“I realized as I was getting older at Dal, that I really had become a mentor and I’d become a role model for some of the younger players,” Clark said about her time on the volleyball team.
“Today in my job, I use conflict resolution and problem-solving on a daily basis, not just with the children I work with but also with the adults I have to work with.”