Posted: Sep 24, 2018
This is part of an ongoing series of profiles to highlight the achievements of Sheridan's varsity student athletes academically and competitively. To view the rest of the Student Athlete Spotlight profiles, click here.
ON ANY SPORTS team there are many different types of leaders. There's the player who wants to set an example with their actions and have their teammates follow; there's the vocal player who tries to set the emotional tone; and there's the player for whom self sacrifice is a prerequisite, just to name a few. In fourth year midfielder Kendra Challis, the Sheridan women's soccer team has the personification of all three combined, and since her arrival in 2015, it's a role she has relished.
"I've developed many leadership skills through my years on the team," she says. "Not everyone has the same strengths, talents, or goals when coming together as a team, so its about supporting each other and working together through those differences - that's when a team will succeed."
An Oakville native, Challis began her post-secondary career in Atlantic Canada before returning to take the Bachelor of Kinesiology and Health Promotion program, and it was a move back home that benefitted her academically, as well as personally.
"I chose Sheridan because of the hands-on experience my program offers. It's also close to home, so I can spend time with my family," she says. "Having been an athlete all my life I've always had an interest in fitness and health. Now, I want to pass that onto other people, promote a healthy lifestyle, and help them reach their fitness goals and achieve the best version of themselves."
On the pitch, Challis has been one of the most consistent performers in recent years, displaying a combination of offensive creativity, strong tackling, and hard work. Last season, injuries along the Bruins' backline forced the team to tinker with their lineup and as a result, Challis was moved from a central midfielder to a central defender - principally the last line of defence before the goalkeeper. Her ability to transition to that role didn't go unnoticed, producing a high-calibre season that resulted in Challis being named an OCAA All-Star. This was not her first individual accolade either, having been named Sheridan's Female Athlete of the Year in 2016-17.
With graduation looming at the end of this year, Challis is looking to finish strong as her Sheridan career enters its twilight. The team is off to a 4-0 start this fall and is the fourth ranked team in Canada - their highest ranking in several years. For her, it's been validation of the work she's put in, but she understands there's still much more to accomplish.
"You wont be good at something overnight, it takes time and patience to succeed," she says. "In the end, all the effort and hard work will pay off whether in the classroom, on the field, or when entering the working world."