Fourth-year Martlet winger Tia Lore is at a pivotal point in her athletic career. With only one season of McGill soccer left, Lore is both reflecting on her time as a student athlete and looking ahead to her post-university future. But before her career in university athletics, the Richmond, British Columbia native grew up surrounded by sports.
“My parents were very pro-sport,” Lore said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “They just wanted me to be in everything, so I did quite a few sports growing up.”
It was the close, unique team dynamic, however, that compelled Lore to stick with soccer.
“I had great teams growing up, so I was lucky,” Lore said. “It’s a second family, and it really helps you get through things because it’s like you’re all living the same life.”
When it came to finding a school where she could continue her soccer career, at first, McGill wasn’t even on Lore’s radar. But, after her coach convinced her to visit the school, the team dynamic won her over.
“The team was just so welcoming and so caring,” Lore said. “They were interested in me and what I wanted to do [….] At the other schools, the teams seemed more competitive than cohesive, whereas, here, you could just tell it was a family.”
During her time at McGill, Lore’s role on the team has evolved. Although she doesn’t wear the captain’s armband, she still tries to be a team leader through her work ethic on and off the field.
“I’ve definitely taken on more over the years with leadership roles on the team,” Lore said. “My involvement on the team has grown because, in first year, you’re still transitioning a lot.”
Lore recalled some of the challenges of her own transition from high school to university and how her time at McGill has helped her develop as a leader.
“[At first], even just being at every practice was a lot,” Lore said. “I’m definitely more involved now that I’m better at managing my time, so I do more. You get to know how things run and how much time you need for things. I also started to figure out what I did and didn’t enjoy at school.”
A sociology major with a minor in communication studies, Lore has a wide variety of interests for her post-graduation plans.
“I think I want to do some kind of event planning,” Lore said. “This year, I’m president of varsity council, which is planning a lot of events for student athletes and creating opportunities for them, which I really enjoy.”
As much as she has enjoyed her time with the Martlets, enduring another Montreal winter after graduation is not part of Lore’s plan.
“I could see myself working in an athletics department at another university because I’m so closely tied to it right now, just not in this cold,” Lore said. “Maybe the University of Hawaii is hiring.”
Since starting to play soccer, Lore has also seen the women’s game grow in Canada.
“I [used to] just go to soccer, play soccer, and not really hear about it,” Lore said. “With the World Cup coming [up] and seeing all these other university teams, […] you realize how big [the sport] is and how much bigger it can be.”
McGill’s Women in Sport initiative has played a part in giving women’s sports at McGill the resources they need to raise the level of the game for female athletes.
“They’re really trying to emphasize women in sports, which I think is awesome,” Lore said. “Getting women to realize that they’re just as important [as male athletes] is huge.”
In the 2018 season, Lore scored the goal that secured McGill’s spot in the RSEQ playoffs, and, throughout her time with the Martlets, has made significant contributions to the team and the greater soccer community. To cap off this season, she was presented with the 2018 RSEQ Leadership and Citizenship Award for her efforts, including a program supporting the development of soccer in Paraguay for young girls that she worked on as the president of the McGill Varsity Council.
Lore has made her mark at McGill and will, undoubtedly, do the same wherever she chooses to go next.