Walking a mile in the shoes of Udichi Tomar takes some skillfulness.
Squeaking sneakers with stop-and-go action on the basketball court, cleats jammed with grass from the soccer pitch, laces tied tightly for cross country, mastering the art of walking eloquently in high heels, and kicking off the shoes to shine in the world of academia.
Udichi Tomar continues to conquer the world of sport, beauty and brains.
Born in Thailand to parents from India, her family moved to Fort McMurray when she was just a toddler.
It was while attending Grade 7 at École McTavish Public High School, that Tomar was bitten by the sports bug.
“I definitely fell in love with basketball right off the bat,” recalls Tomar, who was a diminutive quicksilver guard at 5-foot-6. “I liked the whole idea of being involved with a team…in something that was high-paced. It was a great way for working out any stress.”
Cross-country, middle and long-distance running would also enter the fray.
She would additionally suit up for the Fort McMurray Fury rep soccer team from Grades 9 – 12.
A go-getter, it states in her bio that “she served as a Vice-President of her high school’s UNICEF club raising awareness of the struggles faced by mothers and children in rural parts of Africa.”
She was also “selected as one of Canada’s youth ambassadors in 2018 and made a trip to Ecuador where she participated in building a school for a rural community in the Amazon basin.”
Currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program in Economics and Financial Management at Lazaridis School of Business, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Tomar remains active in sports with house league basketball and volleyball along with visits to the gym and squash court.
Last year 2022, she shifted gears and explored the world of pageantry.
In a span of six months, she entered three pageants: Miss Universe Canada, Miss Ontario and Miss World Canada where she placed in the Top 25!
“It takes commitment to do (school, sports, pageantry) them together. Pageantry is an extension that pushes you. You have the same mindset. You have to be level-headed and committed.
“Going from sneakers to heels 24/7 you basically the same as you have to be aggressive in terms of mentality and the atmosphere is competitive in both.
“They’ve both improved my confidence in myself and my abilities which is a common thing I’ve heard others say as well.
“Honestly you need to know yourself. Growing up I was also a Tom Boy. Growing up you discover yourself. I love makeup and was interested in modeling. If you want to do both. You can do both.”
Tomar added that she would one day like to star in a Bollywood movie.
All we can say in conclusion is: if the shoe fits, wear it!
Congratulations to Josh Dow, Janet Hatfield, Graeme Killick and Compton Vigilance on their recent induction into the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
École McTavish grad Brianna Burke just completed her second season playing goal for the McKendree University Bearcats. Suited up for 11 games while allowing 3.40 goals against and a .850 save percentage.
Completing his third season of Western Hockey League play, Austin Zemlak beat the injury bug and stepped out onto the ice for 51 games for the Victoria Royals. It was a breakout season for the physical defenseman.
Also wrapping up year No. 3, but in NCAA hockey, is Nick Unruh at Dartmouth College. The 6-foot-3 defenseman skated in 11 games for the Big Green.
About the author
Curtis J. Phillips
Residing in Fort McMurray since 1982, Curtis J. Phillips is a productive sports journalist in print/electronic mediums. He enjoys researching local sports history and was Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Sports Writer from 2008-2019. Recognized as Canada’s Basketball Historian, he is an advocate for community volunteerism.