Sue started playing volleyball in Goose Bay during her grade 9 year and prior to her grade 10-year moved to Gander where she played volleyball at St. Paul’s. She attended a volleyball camp at the Torbay Rec. Centre in 1976 and was identified as an athlete with potential and was asked to attend the Canada Games identification camp.
She entered MUN in the fall of 1977-78 as a member of the Canada Games pool and competed with the Molson 79ers (Canada Games team). In 1978-79, the Canada Games team and coaching staff became the Memorial varsity team. Sue was the starting middle attacker on the team. The 1979 Canada Games were a breakthrough event for Sue and her teammates. The team finished a best ever sixth place in the event. The university team was ranked 10th in Canada, MUN won the Atlantic Universities volleyball championship for the first time. The team won the provincial senior and junior championships and claimed gold at the Atlantic senior championships. The team was St. John’s Molson Cup champions as well as provincial senior champions and finished 7th at the CVA senior championships in Toronto. MUN attended the National junior championships in Edmonton, finishing in fourth place.
Sue attended the junior National try-outs in spring 1979, was selected to the team and trained in Calgary for the summer. She played in the Pacific Rim tournament in Hawaii in August.
Sue returned to play with Memorial in 1979-80 and MUN won the Dalhousie-Acadia invitational tournament, the U. de Moncton invitational and finished second in the Atlantic Universities championship. MUN won the provincial senior crown and the second consecutive Atlantic Provinces senior championship beating Dal in a five-set match to avenge their five-set loss in the AUAA championship. MUN placed 6th at the CVA senior national championships in Halifax and 4th in the U18 National’s. A highlight of the year for the team was its silver medal performance at the national junior championships in Winnipeg, losing to Scarborough Titans 16-14 in the fifth game of the final match. Sue’s Memorial University team was selected the Provincial Team of the Year by Sport NL.
In the spring of 1980, Sue tried out for Canada’s National senior team and was selected as the second Newfoundlander on the team. MUN teammate Kathy Noseworthy was also on the team. Training was based out of Ottawa for the summer and the team travelled to Europe in June and July for matches against club and National teams from Holland, West Germany, Belgium, and the United States.
In 1980-81 Sue continued to play with MUN and won the Atlantic Universities championship for the second time. At the CIAU tournament MUN placed fifth. The team also repeated as Atlantic senior champions and represented the region at the CVA tournament in Montreal.
Sue trained with the National team early in the year (Christmas ’80) for matches against the Cuban National team and trained spring 1981 but retired from the team shortly after citing her education as being more important.
The 1981-82 season, was Sue’s final undergraduate year at MUN. The team was second in the Atlantic Universities championship. Sue was selected as a second team All Canadian, the first Memorial volleyballer and second overall Memorial athlete to receive this award. She was an AUAA all-star each year from 1980 to 1982.
Also, in 1982, she was selected to the Athletic Honour Society, the highest award MUN grants its student-athletes.
In 1983, Sue coached the Canada Games team to a sixth-place finish.
Later, Sue graduated with a Master’s degree, taught PE in Pasadena and Deer lake, worked in Community Recreation with provincial government and in the early 90’s developed and taught at the College of the NA Adventure Tourism program. In the summer of 1990 Sue started an AT business in Gros Morne with partner Bob Hicks. Sue and Bob were one of the pioneers in this industry in the province and they recently sold the business and retired after 28 years.
Sue and Bob are avid hikers, sea kayakers and backcountry skiers who were fortunate to have turned their passion into a career. They intend to do a lot more of these activities in retirement.
Outdoor sports were her passion as a result of growing up in Labrador, however when her family moved to Gander 1975, the same outdoor opportunities weren’t available so she switched her focus to volleyball. At the time Gander was a hotbed for the sport in the province.
She explains why she chose volleyball…. “It’s a non-contact sport; rough play could not make up for lack of skill. I can’t think of a better team sport; exciting to play and watch; fast paced; challenged your reflexes; camaraderie amongst the team/coaches; developed lifelong friendships; opportunity for travel; always being challenged to improve; loved the competition and there was nothing like winning a close match. My success was a lot to do with timing – Canada Games, great coaching, MUN option, and great mix of tall, athletic, dedicated players in the province at the time.”