Guest Speaker - Shannon Youden

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Shannon was born and raised in Cornwall Ontario. Shannon was a multi-sport athlete.  She played competitively in the local minor basketball association and was a member of Basketball Ontario’s teams during the summer months. When she was in grade 11, she started commuting an hour to and from Ottawa 3-5 times per week to play with the Ottawa Guards. The Guards were coached by Andy Sparks and the winningest coach in Canadian men’s university history, Dave Smart. Shannon owes a tremendous amount of my development and success as an athlete to Andy and Dave. They instilled strong work ethic, discipline, and determination in their players.

After high school, Shannon played for four years at Saint Mary’s University. She was a 4 time Academic All Canadian, a Rhodes Scholar nominee and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a GPA of 4.1. Shannon is a mental health survivor and through her diverse life experiences both positive and challenging, she has become dedicated to helping others push through adversity and realize their true, unique potential.

As of 2022, Shannon is an energetic wife to Mat and mom to 4 beautiful children. Shannon has committed herself to empowering, validating, and uplifting women in her own life and through social media platforms. She is currently on education leave this year completing her Master’s in Counselling, but she is typically an entrepreneur, a volunteer, as well as a teacher at Bessborough School in Moncton, NB.
            For over 11 years now, Shannon has coached CrossFit and a variety of sports in the community. While coaching has always been rewarding, last spring Shannon decided to head back to the court to play for the Moncton Mystics. At 37 years young, likely one of the oldest players in the leagues, Shannon accepted the challenge head on and was the captain of the Moncton Mystics, as they debuted in the Maritime Women’s Basketball Associations inaugural season. Shannon brought leadership, compassion, experience, work ethic and of course, laughter to the team.

Shannon’s core values are deeply rooted in growth through resiliency, authenticity, work ethic and empathy. She believes that through embracing our imperfections, real growth and progress can occur.  Shannon is honoured and thrilled to be this year’s Guest Speaker for the 2022 DNA Swag’s Ladies Hoop Classic.