Tackling the future

Lauren Sluss

As a young girl growing up in Redlands, California, Amanda McBride knew her life would always be filled with sports. From playing water polo and rugby, to majoring in exercise and sports science, McBride’s athletic life was never dull.  

Now, as a graduating senior from Oregon State University, McBride looks towards a future filled with her favorite things—sports, anatomy and best of all, teaching. 

“My dream is to teach high school anatomy,” McBride said. “If I’m working either with sports or anatomy, it’s not really work because I want to learn about it. It’s always been a passion of mine.”

During her time at OSU, McBride demonstrated her love of sports by joining the OSU Women’s Rugby Club. The club provided her with new friendships which helped her through her first year. 

“My freshmen year, I was going through a really hard time, and they rallied around me in a way I didn’t expect,” McBride said.  “They came and hung out with me in my dorm when I was feeling bad, and they became my family away from home.”

After three years of playing, McBride took on her leadership role this year by becoming the club’s president. Although it required a lot of work, McBride was able to keep the club running smoothly and help her teammates along the way, according to OSU Women’s Rugby Head Coach David Dickson. 

“Her positive attitude also generally percolated through the team,” Dickson said. “She was always able to pick herself up when things were challenging, and do the same for her teammates.”

Teammate Alexandra Fautanu admired McBride from the very first time they met, while Fautanu was watching McBride play in a rugby game. 

“She [McBride] got the ball and was stiff-arming people left and right, but then she got tackled and twisted her ankle. On the sidelines she continued to cheer on her team, yelling at them to do better,” said Fautanu, a sophomore in mechanical engineering. “From that instance I admired her, and throughout the year she kept demonstrating these skills.”

Fautanu was not the only teammate to respect McBride on the rugby team. For Constance Parker, freshman in electrical engineering, McBride’s leadership allowed the new players to grow and learn.

“She leads with humility and is always working with the players who are new,” Parker said. “What’s important to her is that we are working together as a team, and she is always helping us learn the basic skills to help us become better players.”

McBride’s ability to lead extends into other facets of life as well, including attending Grace City Church in Corvallis. Since joining the church her freshmen year, McBride discovered her new passion of volunteering. 

“People ask me why I volunteer so much, but I don’t see it as volunteering because I enjoy it and love the people,” McBride said. “The way God has changed my life and grown me is something that would have never happened if I didn’t go or if I didn’t come to OSU.”

 McBride’s passion for sports and volunteering will not stop after her time at OSU, however. This summer, McBride plans to travel around the country through Unchartered Waters Sports Ministry, hosting sports camps for local churches. 

“I’m going to be leading four and five year old groups, and will be focusing on gross movement and motor development,” McBride said. “It’s really cool because I’ve learned all of it through my major.”

After hosting two camps per week for the entire summer, the group plans to make one final stop—Belize. 

“At the end of the summer we will put on three camps in 11 days in Belize,” McBride said. “I’m so excited about it; I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

After her time in Belize, McBride plans to spend time with her family in California hiking Mt. Whitney, and then return to Corvallis. 

Although McBride has several plans for her future, she is currently looking towards graduation next week, a bittersweet moment for her. 

“I’ll probably cry a lot. I might cry now,” McBride said. “It didn’t matter what I was going through, I always felt like the university was supportive no matter what, through the services they offered and through my instructors.” 

Although McBride is about to leave OSU, those around her are confident of her ability to take what she learned at OSU and apply it to her life, according to Dickson. 

“I hope that she maintains and carries the confidence and leadership she found on the rugby pitch through the rest of her other efforts in life,” Dickson said. “If she does that, she will be successful in whatever she chooses to do, and that’s all I wish.”