WEEK #1: ALERO E.

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Hello! My name is Alero Eribo, I am 16 years old and I am from Nigeria and currently living in Quebec. I have been playing ice hockey for just over 10 months. Prior to playing hockey, I didn’t participate in any other sports, because frankly, sports didn’t interest me, but hockey has changed that for me. Now, I can’t do anything else! The only other activity that I love as much as hockey, is debate and politics. I am really into the news, history and current affairs and I love debating with my dad on world issues.

 

What is something you have done outside of a sport you’re passionate about?

 

Something that I would say drives me is the desire to do things that people believe are impossible. This shows people who have similar desires, that with dedication and perseverance, it can be done.

 

It is for this reason that I ran for and successfully became the youngest elected student council president in the history of my high school (age 14) beating opponents who were very much my seniors, and founded the HockeyGirlz organization, one aimed at providing resources, and empowerment to female hockey players. With this organization, I am in the works of also creating programs to get female hockey players (especially immigrants) into hockey.

 

I have done these things to show that there’s really nothing that is impossible, as long as one puts their mind to it.

 

What does leadership mean to you? How do you apply it?

 

From my point of view, leadership means servitude. What I learned from my time as student council president and founder of HockeyGirlz, is that leadership is not about telling people what to do, or being perpetually on a high horse, but rather, listening to the people who you are working for, and doing all you can, at all times to make things better and easier for them.

 

What advice do you have for parents, coaches or sport administrators to improve inclusion in sport?

 

The advice I have for them is to treat everyone equally. This is because, in less diverse sports like ice hockey, people of colour and girls, are usually treated very differently. Sometimes it’s the weird stares, other times it’s the odd questions like “are you here to play?”. These sometimes unconscious reactions make us very uncomfortable and encourage the sentiment that we are not really included, but rather, outsiders. If parents, coaches, sport administrators and even the general public wish to improve inclusion in sports, they should strive to make everyone feel welcome in the sport they are playing.  What people don’t know is that the athlete merely “feeling welcome” in their sport, goes a very, very long way.

 

5 words that would describe me are:

 

DETERMINED | KIND | ADVENTUROUS | AMBITIOUS | COMPASSIONATE

 

Instagram: @hockeygirlz__ and @aleroo_e