Student Athlete Spotlight: Philippa Reid

Courtesy Philippa Reid

Philippa Reid, a second-year biomedical engineering student, committed to the University of Waterloo women’s rugby team in May 2020, just as she was finishing high school. Reid began playing “rugby sevens” tournaments in Grade 9, the exact version of the sport played during the summer Olympics, in which each team is comprised of seven players, rather than fifteen.

Reid’s introduction to sports began at age four when she began figure skating. In elementary and junior high school, Reid played club soccer. She ran track through junior high and high school. Reid has also taken part in “out of the box” sports, such as synchronized swimming and gymnastics. Reid also played soccer in grade 12.

“Rugby is my favorite just in terms of how much I’ve played it. I don’t think I could do anything else as much as I play rugby; I’d just get tired of it but I don’t get tired of rugby,” Reid said.

Originally from Halifax, Reid says playing rugby led her to make big decisions about where she would pursue her post-secondary education. “If I wasn’t playing rugby, I could be somewhere completely different,” Reid said. Playing rugby has allowed Reid to have more travel opportunities and helped her build her confidence. “I think that’s reflected in my personality, which I’m grateful for,” Reid said.

Reid said playing a team sport like rugby helped her improve her people skills, which comes in handy when working in groups. Time management is another skill Reid has been able to work on through balancing her academics as an engineering student and athlete. “Keeping your schedule busy is sometimes the best way to get things done,” Reid said. 

Aside from playing sports herself, Reid has also been involved in coaching. Figure skating has been a large part of her life and she has coached skating in the past. Reid took a coaching course two years ago and has coached soccer, skating and rugby. “I definitely want to keep coaching in my future,” Reid explained, specifically on the weekends and during her free time.

While her first year of university was online, Reid said she acknowledges the struggles of virtual learning, and it can be challenging to connect with others. “There are other people that are struggling and you’re not alone in that. You’re doing the best you can, which is all you can do. So, you’ve got it,” Reid said.