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30 UNDER 30: Bea Francisco, field hockey
High School: Little Flower Academy
When Bea Francisco looks at her older brother she is inspired to reach for the stars. She tries to live every day to the fullest.
A goalkeeper on Canada’s national women’s field hockey team—earning her first international cap against Chile at home against Chile in 2010—the engaging Richmondite didn’t pick up her first hockey stick until Grade 8, initially as a show of school spirit more than anything.
“They asked who wanted to be a goalie and I thought it would be kind of cool,” she said.
But being an avid and natural athlete, Francisco quickly made up for any perceived lost time.
Since entering University of B.C. in 2011, majoring in human kinetics, Francisco’s presence has again been pronounced. Every season, since she’s been enrolled at UBC, the Thunderbirds have won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s field hockey championship—a record three years in a row.
When she’s not studying or playing hockey, Francisco is likely in the midst of another adventure—enjoying the great outdoors, travelling or playing the guitar. And were she to become stranded on a desert island, the one tool she says would be essential would be sunscreen—”so the depleting ozone layer and harmful UV rays don’t get in the way of my adventures.”
Inspiration? “My older brother, Raffy, has cerebral palsy and when he was born my parents were warned that he might not be able to walk. When I was eight or nine I watched my dad teach him how to ride a bike. For months I watched him fall countless times only to get up and try again. His persistence and positive attitude helped him accomplish something amazing despite his disability. Every day he inspires me to be the best I can be no matter what the circumstances are.”
Most proud of? “Backstopping the UBC Thunderbirds to three straight Canadian Inter-university gold medal championship wins (2011, 2012, 2013). We made history by being the first school to win three consecutive national titles.”
Advice for others? “It’s never too late to try something new. And dream big. Why not?”