Current Location: Toronto, Canada
Occupation / Current Title & Organization you represent: Head Coach Women’s Basketball, Humber College (CCAA)
Why did you choose to have a career in the sports industry?
I am in my 7th season as the Head Coach of the Humber College Women’s Basketball Team also located in Toronto, Canada. We play in the Ontario College Athletic Association(OCAA) which is under the umbrella of the our Canadian College Athletic Association(CCAA). While my status with the college is as a part-time employee I dedicate many hours after my day job (Recreation Coordinator for the City of Vaughan) to coaching and developing myself as a coach. I choose to coach because I crave the competition and the rush you get watching your team improve everyday and then compete as hard as they can on game day. We wanted our team to be a contender both provincially and nationally and we wanted our athletes to become better as students and people.
How has being a South Asian impacted your career in sports?
I feel like my leadership style and coaching style are rooted very much in the upbringing and cultural expectations we all live with as South Asians. We are taught to live with a respect for our elders and providers while providing guidance, support and love(sometimes tough love) for our younger family members. It really shapes the way I think and try to guide our team through our seasons and our athletes through their careers with us. I can’t say that I’ve experienced anything in the way of a negative experience or situation due to me being South Asian.
What is it like being one of the few South Asian coaches at the college level?
It’s interesting….while I am proud of my heritage and also proud that our team had some success at the college, I don’t know that I look at it like I am a South Asian college coach. I just try to be the best coach I can be so my athletes can be their best. I’m sure(as your organization has noticed) there will be some people who will make the connection between my cultural background and my role as a coach and bring it to light. Yes there are few of us but I think there are more than we know and certainly more thinking about pursuing jobs in sports in the future.
What advice would you give to the next generation of South Asian sports industry professionals or those trying to break into the industry?
The advise that I would give to anyone South Asian that is looking to coach or get into the sports industry is simply to work and out work others, put yourself in a positions to become better at your craft, think big, and learn how to network and meet other like minded people like yourself. There are many of us(more successful than me and at a bigger stage that have helped me along the way also).