Role Model- Brooke Stewart

Role Model- Brooke Stewart

Brooke Stewart

Netball, Cricket, Ulster University

Brooke Stewart strikes me as incredibly busy. When asked what sports she played, she listed hockey, netball, cricket, and a bit of athletics. Brooke got involved in sports through her parents, but staying involved through university has given her a sense of discipline that affects all areas of her life. Sports have given her a community to learn, lean, and grow from. As a captain and coach, she has applied these skills to her placement and work as she trains to be a teacher.

Brooke loves everything that comes with sports, which is probably why she pursued a degree in it. While at Ulster, Brooke was part of the Irish Student Sport Women’s Coaching Academy for two years. This course covered various aspects of coaching and provided opportunities to work with others with similar passions. “Meeting people who are at a similar age and stage in life, interested in similar things, has been so eye-opening,” Brooke shared. The experience highlighted how sports can develop skills for working with anyone.

Brooke has been coaching since she was 13, whether it be a single sports or multi-sport camps. The program and mentorship have deepened her coaching toolbox. Between university and the academy, she has developed flexibility and transformational leadership skills—recognizing that everyone leads differently and responds to different leadership styles.

Brooke’s first two sports were hockey and netball, but she discovered cricket through friends. Initially, her team wasn’t very good. “We were awful but had the best fun!” she recalled. This year, however, they have improved significantly. “It’s been a nice journey exploring a new sport, but also daunting. I now understand how difficult it is for people who weren’t involved in sports from a young age,” Brooke said. This experience has shaped how she coaches athletes at all levels.

As Brooke prepares to graduate and move on to her PGCE degree, she reflects on her role models. Her PE teacher and netball coach, who helped her through tough times and witnessed her growth, have been significant influences. One thing Brooke wants to take with her from her netball coach is the idea that everyone deserves a chance to play and that there is more to the life then winning. She always knew when something was wrong and was great about checking in. “She always made you feel seen when you walked into a session and that is something I really want to take with me” Brooke stated. One guest speaker, Erin Bracken from Basketball Ireland, also inspired Brooke with her approach to coaching a boys’ team and overcoming adversity.

Meeting Brooke, you can see her passion for sports and teaching, and the growth she gained from the Academy in terms of leadership. She has become a strong advocate for teaching, sharing, and promoting women’s sports. We are excited to highlight both Brooke and the Student Sport Women’s Coaching Academy, as they exemplify how great programs and people can make a difference in the sports sector.