By Sara Baxter - Acadia is not the first university that Shalyn Field has attended, but it has quickly become home. After completing a Kinesiology degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Field decided she wanted to complete her education degree. She is currently in her first year of the two year education degree at Acadia University.
Having chosen Dalhousie for her undergraduate degree, she is happy to find herself in Wolfville for Education. "Acadia was actually one of my first choices going into my undergrad, but I chose Dal to stay close to home" explained Field.
Of her five years at Dalhousie, Field spent four of them playing varsity basketball. She chose not to play during her fifth year, and this gave her a year of eligibility to use while at Acadia.
While saving eligibility for Acadia was not her original plan, she spent her fifth year at Dalhousie trying to decide what to do next, which was when education and Acadia became options. "I spent the fifth year trying to decide what to do after Dal, and realized education was something I was interested in," said Shalyn.
Shalyn knew Chanel Smith and Allie Berry (Axewomen basketball players) from playing basketball together before university, so she reached out to them to ask about the Acadia program. Smith and Berry convinced her that the Acadia program was worth pursuing, motivating Field to contact coach Len Harvey.
Life in Wolfville
In April 2018, she packed up her stuff and moved to Wolfville before classes started in May.
Wolfville has been a big change for Shalyn coming from Halifax, but she has embraced the quirks of this small town. "The Wolfville community is so great in comparison to being in a big city" she said.
When asked what makes Wolfville so special she said "You can't explain Wolfville, you just have you come to Wolfville. Once you're here you get it".
"I love it so far, both academically and on the court" said Field of her experience thus far at Acadia and in Wolfville.
Basketball at Acadia
Field explained how Acadia basketball has been such a positive experience, "Before meeting with Len, I really thought I was done with basketball for good. I was at a point where I hated basketball and it was not what I wanted to do. But that was up until I met Len".
Shalyn said what many of the Axewomen basketball players say of their experience with their coach. "Not only is he an amazing coach but he's an amazing person. I think that's why everyone respects him so much" she explained.
Not only are her teammates a highlight, but Shalyn has also learned what it is like to be a varsity athlete in a small town. "The crowds are awesome. People will come up to me in stores to congratulate me on the game from the weekend. I even signed one kid's shirt in gym class" said Field.
Life after Basketball
This is her last year of USport eligibility, and Field is making the most of every minute. "It sucks being almost done basketball. Every loss is a little bit harder. It's another game that I'll never get back" explained Shalyn.
Her experience at Acadia has been nothing but positive. "It's fun, my teammates are great and supportive. The coaches want to see you get better. They do everything they can to see you get better. Not just on the court, but off the court as well. Whether it's academics, or mental health, they just care" said Field.
"Education is awesome, I'm in my placement now and I'm doing Phys Ed for the elementary level and its awesome" Field said of her studies.
When asked about basketball after Acadia, Field said "I'll probably get into coaching basketball. Maybe playing some pick-up basketball." She would like to try and get into coaching at the school where she ends up working, and she already has experience from coaching the Basketball NS U14 girls team a couple summers ago.
Regardless of where she ends up teaching after she graduates, we know the school will be lucky to have Shalyn Field.