Jade King: Overcoming hurdles and making history!
Jade King is clearly an athletic force to be reckoned with, displaying her versatility and breaking the mold in sports at John Abbott College. From the early beginnings, she’s been no stranger to athletic endeavors, with a history in swimming, dancing, and a significant stint in basketball where she honed her skills as a point guard for Lindsay Place High School. In 2019, she pivoted embracing her true passion for football.
Her background in a variety of sports contributed to her agility, coordination, and strategic thinking on the football field. Her transition from sports like swimming and dancing —which require individual prowess and discipline— to basketball and football, where teamwork and on-the-spot tactical decisions are paramount.
“I was inspired to get into sports because of my big sister who played soccer at the time. Realizing how competitive both of us were in sports, the more I saw sports, the more I wanted to play, as early as gym class days, the YMCA, coupled with the fact that both my parents played competitive basketball growing up it was bound to happen.”
King had an old friend who played tackle football, which led her to join, and ever since she continued and made the switch to Flag football. An interesting fact about King is that she is one of the first females to make the roster for the North Shore Lions Football Club 3 years ago in 2020, making her a part of its history.
When asked about what she liked about her sports career, she eagerly mentioned the fact that she likes competitiveness, “It’s the thrill & excitement of intercepting the ball or knocking it down on the defensive end”. Furthermore, she went on by adding that she really enjoys the training, learning the skills related to, team bonding and teamwork involved when making new friends with common interests, which leads to strengthening the chemistry between teammates.
“It’s cool to see more girls joining Flag Football over the years while it has developed into a bigger and more intense sport for girls overall.”
The big question was what direction to go after school regarding continuing her sport and King was quick to let us know her thoughts. ” I’m currently in the Paramedic Care program at John Abbott College, therefore it depends on my career path and unfortunately the career path does not lead to university sports however my plans may change. There are different house leagues as well as city teams outside of school, for example, Football Quebec has Flag.”
She opened up about the hurdles she’s encountered so far. ” People underestimate me for my small size but I’m really hard on myself as well.”
King also touched upon the subtle biases that shadow her strides on the field. “Indirect gender discrimination came into play when I played tackle football for the North Shore Lions; The boys on the team didn’t want to hurt me but some didn’t want girls on the team only because it was so uncommon at the time,” she recounted.
She admitted to feeling daunted during the Quebec tryouts, where the presence of other talented players at the Flight school made her question her own abilities. She lost her confidence because she felt she was not good enough.
Speaking to aspiring sportswomen, Jade King offers empowering advice: always push yourself to the limit to be seen and talked about because you never know who is watching. She adds that when feeling discouraged one should always keep your head up and if something goes wrong, just focus on your next move.
Women in football, a sport traditionally dominated by men, are indeed trailblazers, and Jade King seems to be leading the charge at a young age. Her athletic journey is not just about personal achievement but also about inspiring others and showing that dedication and talent can break through barriers.
Faith King ” Catch me if you can. “
Blink fast enough and she’s gone. Watching her play is like watching highlight reels on TSN each game. Faith King, is a true beauty who becomes a beast on the playing field. Her level of play is so intense it takes a lot to stop her, literally, if you can. John Abbott College has an exceptionally gifted athlete taking their Rugby dynasty to new levels playing wing.
The 19-year-old can dominate the game at any given time. Just pass her the ball and watch her go! 7 years into her passion of Rugby, King makes it look easy with her long strides and fierce gameplay.
Between splitting her playing time between Beaconsfield and Rugby Quebec for several tournaments outside of school such as “New York Sevens”. King is studying in the Paramedic Care program at John Abbott College.
Inspired from a young age, King started out in competitive sports such as soccer and track & field.
“I started playing with one of my best friends who introduced me to Rugby, which lead me to start playing for Beaconsfield with her in grade 7” says King.
Another turning point was in 2017 when King played in the rugby finals for John Rennie High School where she was literally approached by Jocelyn Barrieau who in turn was the head coach of Rugby Quebec 7s program as well as the Pathway coach for Rugby Canada. She was selected to the Canada Sevens Academy (CSA) Quebec training group. Most recently, King tried out for Canada games in a 2-year training process, where she made it all the way to the final round of selections. She’s always wanted to play for Team Canada.
When we spoke to Faith about things, she liked the most about playing she eagerly answered, “Tackling, running, meeting new people & making new friends that I will eventually play with in the future. Just getting the ball is exciting but learning new rules and how to play differently gets me going”.
When the conversation shifted to the prospect of continuing her sports career beyond her school years, King’s hesitation was tinged with a hint of disappointment as she contemplated the necessity of pursuing her passion for rugby through trials for provincial teams or by joining city leagues.
King faced notable hurdles such as taking down opponents who had a size advantage, due to her relatively smaller stature. Additionally, the trials for elite provincial teams presented another layer of challenge, as did acclimating to the various coaching styles and the specific tactical demands placed upon her. “Understanding your adversary is key,” King acknowledges.
To young women venturing into sports, particularly rugby, her counsel is straightforward yet profound: “Give it your all and if it doesn’t work out the first time, be persistent and try again. Just go for it and prioritize practice, because honing your abilities is what’s truly crucial.”