Laurier Grads Soar: Sadie Anderson
Former women's soccer player has traded in her cleats for a career as a firefighter, following in her family's footsteps
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Posted by Jamie Howieson
Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that has returned for the 2017-18 year. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.
Sadie Anderson: Firefighter
Picking a career, the right career, can be a difficult thing.
Sadie Anderson knows the feeling.
But, when the right opportunity came her way, Anderson didn’t hesitate to follow in the footsteps of family members.
She’s a firefighter – just like her father, a former District Chief in Toronto. Her uncle was a Fire Captain in Toronto, too. Yet, the fire that Anderson is fighting, in many cases, can be more challenging as she is called upon to handle severe forest fires.
Graduating with a Bachelor’s (Honors) Degree in Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, followed by a Firefighting Education and Training program at Conestoga College, Anderson has had some huge challenges.
“I remember being deployed to the Northwest Territories to battle what turned out to be the fifth largest forest fire in Canada,” she recalled, while now working out of the Canadian Forces Base Garrison Petawawa in the Ottawa Valley.
“That was something intense - two weeks of burning trees and bush. Even in the winter months, it was fiercely hot. But you do what has to be done and I put a great deal of faith in my superiors and colleagues to be there when I needed them.”
Anderson also knows how to create some scorching times of her own – but as an athlete on the soccer field.
At Laurier, Anderson always seemed to fire up her teammates with some nifty plays, and solid defense. And the moment she’ll remember the rest of her life - the goal of her career. It was the last shot, in a series of penalty kicks in overtime, that would decide the Ontario University Athletics championship.
Anderson didn’t miss.
“Oh, that was awesome - that goal was so special,” she recalled. “It was in Ottawa, and we’re playing Ottawa, and after the ball went in the net – it was celebration time.”
That winning goal, claimed Anderson, was right up with a host of other memorable moments during her years at Laurier. They include being selected team MVP in her rookie year, twice chosen to the OUA league all-star squad and being on a pair of league gold medals teams.
“My days at Laurier may have been the best time of my life,” she said. “I learned so much – and from so many people. It was fun, but there was also lots of hard work.”
Having played soccer since she was four years old, Anderson chose to try something else and joined the lacrosse squad while at Holy Name of Mary Secondary in Mississauga. Much of her other free time, as a teen, went to the more competitive community-based Erin Mills Soccer Club.
As for choosing Laurier, Anderson said it was at a Greater Toronto Area all-star soccer showcase, when university and college coaches came out to check out the talent, that she became interested in Laurier.
“There was lots of interest and Laurier just seemed like the right fit,” said Anderson, who tinkered with interest from several schools in the United States. “At Laurier, everything was so close – the classes, the soccer field and my friends – and I was also an hour from home.”
After graduation, Anderson left Laurier with more than academic and athletic excellence.
“I look back and know how fortunate I was to have been (at Laurier) and also gain a family of friends for life,” she said. “There were plenty of great times and, in soccer, being one of 10 rookies starting in my first year and then going on to build an incredible team with some special people.”
David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.
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