#BCSportMakesMe: Sport makes me confident and connected

Feb 23, 2023

The following #BCSportMakesMe story captures the unique sport-related experiences of one of our viaSport staff members. Read on to learn more about Andrea Wooles, the Safe Sport Manager at viaSport BC. 

I started ballet when I was three, and danced until I was 18. I took up rowing in university, although I was too small to row competitively. I ended up rowing for fun in the summer and being a coxswain for the university team during the school year.

Dance was my safe space as a kid. My teacher and friends there were supportive and I enjoyed being able to push myself to learn and try everything I could because I wasn’t worried about failing in front of them. It was also how I processed my emotions. In university, the rowing community was my entire social life and a big part of my identity. Being involved made me feel connected to others.

The first time I was in charge of taking a rowing shell (boat) out on the water with a team was life-changing for me. I had always been shy and quiet, and here I had to project confidence and literally shout. It was terrifying! What if I said the wrong things and everyone dropped this expensive boat? What if we got out on the water and I did something wrong and we hit something? I had to rely on my coach and what he’d taught me, and just kept thinking, “What’s next?”.

That day went fine, and as I got more comfortable taking a leadership role with my crew, I found that my confidence leading outside of sport grew as well. If I hadn’t been a coxswain, I would never have approached the professor who ended up being my Master’s degree Supervisor. I wouldn’t have found my voice. It was tough learning to cox, and a lot of responsibility, but I had great support from our coach and from my crew and I got lots of feedback to help me learn and improve.

If you’re interested in a new sport, take a friend and go try it out! Find someone you can be silly with, and enjoy doing something badly. It’s fun!


Want to learn more about sport in B.C. and get involved? Explore our BCSportMakesMe campaign page or browse through our 70+ provincial sport organization partners!


About viaSport

viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization created with the support of the provincial government as a legacy of the 2010 Games. viaSport leads the province’s sport sector to build a stronger, more effective system that brings more families to the field of play and more fans into the stands. viaSport’s work supports amateur sport organizations in delivering safe, inclusive and welcoming sport experiences for all British Columbians while working closely with the Province of B.C. to administer sport funding and grants. Learn more at www.viasport.ca