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Kadeisha Buchanan: Finding her Path

In collaboration with Nike.

Kadeisha Buchanan is a world-class football defender who is a force of calm and confidence on the pitch. She continues to learn and grow by always giving one hundred percent.

Get to KNow Kadeisha Buchanan

Nandi Bushell teams up with Nike Kids and Rebel Girls to spark the joy of sport! Get to know how world-class defender in women’s soccer Kadeisha Buchanan found her own path, and what it’s like to be one of eleven siblings!

This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. It’s based on the book series Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. This story was produced by Joy Smith with sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact-checking by Joe Rhatigan. Narration by Joy Ofodu. Interview hosting by Nandi Bushell. Joy Smith was our executive producer. Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi. Thank you to the whole Rebel Girls team who make this podcast possible. Stay rebel!

Transcript

Once upon a time there was a girl named Kadeisha, who walked her own path. Sometimes it was rocky, or she felt like she was falling behind. Often it was crowded, and she didn’t know how to make space for herself. But as long as Kadeisha had a football at her feet, she was calm, confident, and full of possibilities.
I’m Joy Ofodu. And this is Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls.

A fairy tale podcast about the real-life rebel women who inspire us. 

On this episode, KADEISHA BUCHANAN, world-renowned footballer, pancake enthusiast, and leader. 

Kadeisha grew up in Brampton, Canada, surrounded by rivers, lakes, beaches and trails. There was always something to do or someone to play with, since Kadeisha has eleven siblings and was the youngest for a long time!

But Kadeisha didn’t always know where she fit in. Lots of her siblings were into sports. Her parents were athletic too. Kadeisha felt like she was the smallest and the slowest, chasing after her sisters and falling down a lot. 

Kadeisha had no plan to become a professional athlete. Sure, she woke up early every weekend to watch professional football on TV with her father. She loved following the players’ intricate movements and patterns, cheering from her living room. But she had no idea there even was a professional women’s football team. Or that she had that same strength and determination inside her too.

Kadeisha kept chasing after her sisters; kept practicing strikes with her parents on the pitch. By the time she was twelve, she actually felt pretty strong out there. She had come to really love the sport and knew which local team she wanted to play for. But sadly, she got turned away. Kadeisha was crushed. She felt like she was just as good as anyone else at tryouts! 

But, she also knew that with so many expenses at home, her family couldn’t afford this team’s fees. So, they probably rejected her because of that. 

It’s okay, her mum told her. You have to keep trying. You have to make your own path.

So, Kadeisha channeled her energy into learning new plays and techniques on her own. And soon enough, she found another team and coach who appreciated her talent and discipline. This time, Kadeisha was able to get community support to join in too, so she could afford things like uniforms and travel expenses.  

Kadeisha’s game got stronger and stronger. A few years later, she was selected for Canada’s national team, and soon after that, she went pro! She graduated college with a degree in criminology and a fierce defensive tackle. Her teammates really trusted and admired her too — for her strength, her positive attitude, and her calm resilience on the pitch.

To this day, Kadeisha continues to forge her own path with that same calm and courage. She loves the process of playing professionally — watching videos of her past performances and evaluating how she can do better next time. On training days, she has tea with her coach and sets out her intentions for honing techniques. And when there’s a big match, Kadeisha makes sure to get a lot of sleep, eat her favorite pancakes with fresh fruit, and listen to reggae music to psyche herself up.

“Football is my life,” she says. “It changed my life for the better.”

Whether it’s studying for a test or warming up for a worldwide football tournament, Kadeisha believes we all have to give one hundred percent. After all, she never dreamed she’d play professionally, and now she’s one of the best defenders in the world!

She just kept on getting out on the pitch; kept picking herself back up and trusting in those words from her mum: Find your own path. It’s there, waiting for you.