Black Canadian Coach Named Program Manager, Canadian Women and Sport

Halifax, NS: Tasia McKenna is a professional sport administer and high performance sport coach. A native of Timberlea, Nova Scotia, Tasia was the first female African Nova Scotian Technical Director and Performance Coach for Basketball Nova Scotia, a position she held since 2016. Tasia also served as the first Sport and Recreation Inclusion Lead with the YWCA Halifax.

Tasia is a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) and has her International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Coaching License. Tasia served as an Assistant Coach of women’s basketball at St.Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 2013-2021, where where she was a part of the Championship Team in 2015 and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Bronze medalist team in 2016. Tasia has been passionate about giving back to the community through running her own business called Crossover Basketball, as she has held coaching positions with local club teams, Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation teams (2012-2016), Basketball Nova Scotia teams at the Canada Basketball National Championships (2015), Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Games (2013 & 2017).

As a former high performance standout athlete, Tasia was a key member of Basketball Nova Scotia’s U17 women’s basketball team that successfully won a bronze medal at the 2005 Canada Games. Tasia played five years of U Sports basketball for the Lakehead University Women’s basketball team from 2006-2011. During that time, she was a 3-Time Female Athlete of the Year, 4-Time MVP, and became the all-time leading scorer in Lakehead women’s basketball history. Tasia was also named an Ontario University Athletic (OUA) ‘Woman of Influence’, en route to graduating with two degrees; an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. 

Leadership and Advocacy Through Sport

Tasia has consistently utilized her platforms to advocate and speak on panels focused on gender and racial equity hosted by organizations including: Basketball Nova Scotia, Canada Basketball, Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, Valley Female Leadership Network, Mount Saint Vincent University and Saint Mary’s University Women’s Soccer teams, Sport Manitoba, and Athlete Transitions based out of British Columbia. These engagements fostered the growth of her network with social changemakers across the country and has led her to collaborating with the Black Canadian Coaching Association (BCCA), Sport Nova Scotia’s Women and Girls Task Force, and Canadian Women and Sport. Most recently, Tasia has been a mentor in the Black Female Coach Mentorship Program with the BCCA, Black and Indigenous Coach Mentorship Program with Sport Nova Scotia, and the Enhanced Female Mentorship Program with the Coaching Association of Canada.

Tasia is the inaugural Commissioner for the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association (MWBA), a recently founded amateur women’s basketball league in Canada for current and former high performance female athletes, slated to launch in Spring 2022. The MWBA has four pillars of social justice: Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ2S+, No More Stolen Sisters, and End Violence Against Women.

Canadian Women and Sport has been a champion for women and girls in sport, recreation, and physical activity for 40 years. To become a team member of this national organization is something I take pride in, not only because of the impactful work it has done in the past but also what it will continue to do into the future.I have always had a gender equity lens on sport, but as I moved through the sport sector my experiences as an athlete, coach, and administrator have made that lens clearer and more focused. In this high-impact role as a Program Manager there will be many courageous conversations, but those conversations can shift our perspectives and a shift in perspective can generate positive changes that benefit everyone from the national level right down to community programming. Although I am stepping away from a job in basketball, I will find time to volunteer in the community because this sport has given me so much.”

On what appointment to Canadian Women and Sport means?

Tasia begins her appointment as Program Manager at Canadian Women and Sport on May 25th, 2021.

Leadership Through Sport – We Are Stronger Together.

About Canadian Women and Sport

Formally launched in 1981, Canadian Women & Sport was founded to advocate for progressive change within Canada’s sport system. Its goal was to see the enhanced presence of girls and women at all levels and in all areas – as athletes, participants, leaders, officials, coaches and trainers.