For more than a quarter of a century Marla MacNaull excelled in every sport in which she competed. She became a champion in cross-country running, hockey, softball, track, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, curling, badminton and road racing. Coaches praised her dedication to striving for improvement, her stamina, and her mental toughness.
When Marla was growing up in Haliburton, there were no girls’ hockey teams. Marla joined a boys’ team, enduring many challenges. She responded the best way she knew how—by scoring goals and winning games. Her perseverance helped pave the way for equity and inclusion in sport.
Haliburton Highlands Secondary School recognized Marla’s accomplishments in competitive sports with a long list of MVP and Athlete of the Year Awards. Her athletic schedule was grueling, as she juggled practice times and tournament dates for several different teams every season. Her sheer love of competition was fueled by an uncompromising work ethic that made her into an exceptional athlete.
At McMaster University, Marla narrowed her focus to three varsity sports. She advanced to the CIAU championships in Cross Country Running and Track. In hockey, she was the team’s MVP and leading scorer in 1987-88. During her year at Queens University where she earned her Bachelor of Education, she led the women’s hockey team to a silver medal at the OUA Championships.
Marla joined the Toronto Aeros hockey team after university. They won the Ontario Senior Women’s Provincial Championships in 1990 and captured the Bronze Medal at Nationals. She also played for the Surrey Flyers in British Columbia in 1992 which won the B.C. Championship.
With a full-time teaching career, Marla retired from competitive sports. She continued her commitment to athletics as a teacher and coach, instilling the love and passion for sport in the next generation.