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International Women's Day: Celebrating Jessie Niles - Olympic Athlete & Entrepreneur

International Women’s day is meant to celebrate innovative and progressive women in the world of economics, sports, politics, and culture. It is a day to honour those women who blazed the trail and made it possible for women everywhere to realize their dreams. Jessie Niles, easily carries their torch. She is an example of the next generation women who continue to empower and inspire young women across the world.

Jessie grew up in Calgary, Alberta where she began her volleyball career. Playing through the Dino’s Women’s Volleyball Program, and then to the University of Alberta Pandas for her 5 years as a student-athlete. During this time her team won 3 National silver medals and Jessie received awards for her academic achievement (University of Alberta Female Academic All-Canadian of the Year), athletic achievement (University of Alberta Female Athlete of the Year) and contribution to the community (Athletics Alumni Outstanding Contributor Scholarship Award).

In Jessie’s third year as a Panda, she began representing Canada as a member of the Junior National Team. She wore her country's flag proudly at the FISU Games in Korea, played on the National B Team following graduation, and eventually made her way to the Senior Team. Jessie became part of the Senior team at an integral time. The team had begun to pick up momentum and be recognized on the world stage. They competed most notably the Nations League Qualifier in 2019 and the Olympic Volley Qualification Tournament in 2020.

Still in her twenties, Jessie has founded two companies and shown her leadership qualities within her team. Team members at Ready in Five appreciate the community and culture that Jessie has fostered. She has created a safe and innovative environment where everyone, despite their role or duration with the company, feels empowered to take risks, share their ideas, and make a difference for the start-up, the clients, and for the team. The cohesive and fun culture at Ready in Five is very much a product of her leadership.

Jessie’s vision behind Ready in Five is to ensure athletes talents are being utilized while supporting them in their athletic journeys. As an Olympic caliber athlete herself, Jessie has seen the positive impact that athletes can have to uplift their communities. Her vision is to create a space where the inspiring presence of an athlete can leave a transformative legacy within the community. It's clear that her example makes us believe we can achieve so much more as a team.

Through this project, Jessie has been named one of 25 IOC Young Leaders around the world. Jessie is an inspiration, not only to women aspiring to be everything they dream to be, but to all athletes on their journeys too, by showing what can get done with a game-plan and a little elbow grease.

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