Gabriela (Gaby) Estrada knows a thing or two about moving.
A certified personal trainer and avid athlete, she has a passion for soccer, running obstacle course races, long distance running, and kayaking. Sweat and mud are her favourite combination.
She currently works full-time with the Department of Athletics & Recreation at University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), working to engage students in physical activity. She also coaches one of UTSC’s women’s soccer teams, is a volunteer physical activity ambassador in elementary schools, and runs a female youth physical literacy program in East Scarborough called KeepOnMovingT.O. (KOM).
Gaby’s goal is to redefine what it means to be a female athlete by engaging and inspiring as many female youth as possible to get moving and be active.
Get to know Gaby and welcome her to the #AfLfamily.
Q&A with Gaby Estrada
AfL: What is your biggest fear?
Gaby Estrada: Letting others down!
AfL: What is your proudest moment?
Gaby Estrada: It is definitely between finishing a half marathon on my birthday, having the women’s university soccer team I coach win the spirit award at our banquet, and/or taking a group of female youth through their first obstacle course and watching them complete obstacles they never thought they would!
AfL: What are your favourite ways to be active with the children in your life?
Gaby Estrada: Every way! From playing in the street to going for walks, going to the park, sports, dancing, fitness activities, and mud runs
AfL: What motivates you?
Gaby Estrada: The feeling of accomplishment – be it from learning a new sport, conquering a 5 km course, finishing an obstacle course race, or hearing from a friend or acquaintance their story of being physically active because of something you said or helped them do, that feeling of knowing something great was done through movement.
AfL: What is your best tip for parents struggling to make physical activity a priority?
Gaby Estrada: Don’t make it a chore or see it as a means of keeping your child busy – look at it as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your children, build their social skills, and work together to be healthier, both physically and mentally. Remember, that it can be as simple as going for a walk, kicking or throwing a ball, or going to the park.
AfL: Some other little known fact about you that you’d like to share?
Gaby Estrada: Although I was born in Canada, my first language was Spanish as my family comes from Guatemala – second fun fact related to that: my dad once played for the national Guatemalan baseball team, where he actually lied about his age to make the team!
AfL: Please tell us in a few words why you’re excited to be an AfL Role Model.
Gaby Estrada: I am SO EXCITED to be an Active for Life Role Model because of how much I admire all that Active for Life does. They are huge drivers behind the physical literacy movement, looking to educate parents on what physical literacy is, why it is important, and how to incorporate it into both theirs and their children’s lives. I believe that my goals are in line with Active for Life’s, which is to make my community a much more physically literate one. I hope that all that I do and all that I say inspires others to become more physically literate and incorporate more movement into their lives and the lives of others.