Born and raised in Edmonton, Jessica Shmigelsky is a local entrepreneur and athlete, representing Canada as a member of the 2022 Women’s National Dodgeball Team. Over the past six years, Jessica has participated in over 30 competitive tournaments throughout Canada and the United States, as well as five consecutive National Dodgeball Championships with Edmonton Thunder, her home team. At the end of August, Edmonton will host the 2022 World Dodgeball Championships at the Saville Community Centre where 25 countries, 80 teams, 700 players and 6 divisions will compete for the world title. 

1. It’s Sunday morning, what are you most likely to be doing today?

Sunday is a day for rest! Coffee in bed, cat cuddles and binge watching any hopeless romantic comedies or documentaries. 

2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you love to do?

I think I was always meant to run a business and build community. I love connecting, growing and teaching whether that’s through my company or dodgeball. I can see myself starting more businesses in the future!

3. What music is on repeat on your playlist when at the gym or keeping active?

90’s music all day baby! Backstreet Boys, Whitney Houston, Spice Girls, New Kids On The Block are my go to! I’ll throw in a little bit of Lady Gaga, Pink and Bruno Mars in there too! 

4. What is it that drew you to dodgeball?

I grew up playing fastball and started competitively when I was about 12 years old, so when I was introduced to dodgeball, I already had an advantage with the ability to throw quite well. I started playing for fun and then as the competitive scene grew in Edmonton and throughout the country, I was hooked. Dodgeball is a high intensity, fast paced and extremely strategic game that requires agility, strength, speed and a strong mental game so it is definitely addicting!  

5. What’s your favourite thing about Edmonton?

I absolutely LOVE the diversity of the Edmonton community. Whether it’s the arts, festivals, sports or food scene, there is always something to do or see and we are always continuously growing as a city. Edmonton is very welcoming and open to new opportunities and experiences! 

6. Where is your dream vacation destination?

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling over the years – Southeast Asia, Mexico, Canada and the US – but I would love to go to the Mediterranean or the Maldives one day!  

7. What do you do to take care of your mental health?

Mental health is extremely important to me, so in addition to 3-4 classes/week at F45 Training Riverbend, 1-2 dodgeball dryland training sessions/week (throwing balls at people is VERY therapeutic) I also attend Yin Yoga once a week, journal and self reflect daily, and most importantly – cat cuddles. Cat cuddles ALWAYS make everything better! 

8. What is at the top of your bucket list?

Being selected to represent Team Canada for dodgeball was at the top of my bucket list for a very long time, so I guess that is crossed off now! I think the next dodgeball bucket list item would be coaching at a national level when I retire from playing. 

9. Who are you currently following on social media who inspires you?

When it comes to fitness, I’m always motivated by my fellow Team Canada teammate, Lisa Morra (@morrafit) from Toronto – she is super committed to her training and is so inspiring. For daily pick me ups, Stephanie Chinn (@stephaniechinnart) shares powerful art, promoting body positivity and confidence.

10. What is your favourite movie and why?

I’ve been obsessed with the story of Peter Pan for as long as I can remember. So any version of this in a movie is my absolute favourite! Why? Because really, who doesn’t want to fly to a magical place and never grow up?