First Name: Suzanne
Last Name: Gerrior
Sport: Soccer
Inductee Type: Athlete
Year Inducted: 2023
Home Town: Halifax
County: Halifax

If you ever wondered how far serious talent and a fanatical work ethic might take you, look no further than Nova Scotia soccer legend Suzanne Gerrior.

When you hear people discuss Suzanne, you will inevitably hear the words “driven” and “passionate.” In her case, the context is actually irrelevant. Whether we are talking about soccer, family or education, Gerrior always had a drive and passion that was unparalleled. Those close to Suzanne always knew she would excel at whatever she set her mind to.

“Honestly, this may sound cliché, but it’s the truth – I happened to be in the right place at the right time and am a product of my environment,” recalls Gerrior. “I had a beyond supportive family, gifted athletes surrounding me (many of whom are already in the NSSHF) and brilliant, dedicated coaches leading the way.

“The only thing I may have brought to the table was an unquenchable desire to be the best version of myself; a gift I received from my father, who passed suddenly last year. We shared a like-mindedness—a passionate, unexplainable drive and focus that often bewildered others.”

Suzanne’s supportive family included her brother Steve, who from an early age did not leave her out of anything.

“Instead of shunning me as his younger sister, he always included me as the only girl in a neighbourhood of boys,” remembers Gerrior. “I was always the last one picked, the slowest, the smallest and the weakest. There were no punches pulled and no backing off. I remember one day in particular I was carried a half mile by eight Brookside Boys, over their heads, to the pharmacy, where I later discovered I had fractured my T3 vertebra – probably from them carrying me… not from the tackle itself! I didn’t realize how valuable this training was until around age 12, when they separated the boys from girls. I’d never played with girls so naturally I thought I was terrible. You can imagine the sheer joy discovering I was no longer the weakest link.”

From here, Suzanne would not be held back, and she would achieve greatness in a variety of endeavors. It started with her selection to the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team on April 2nd, 1990, at the age of 16! Later that spring, at age 17, she was the youngest player on the field when she made her national team debut in Bulgaria.

Suzanne’s drive and motivation continued to pay dividends as she represented Canada on the World stage from 1990 to 1995, culminating in her proudest moment in soccer—playing for Canada at the 1995 World Cup in Sweden.

Suzanne recognizes that no person is an island, and that it takes a village. She has always credited her family, specifically her father Bill, mother Audrey, and brother Steve, as her biggest sources of inspiration. Suzanne was/is a true team player and she is quick to give credit to the many individuals who have guided her on her journey. They include Steve Hart, who used weighted vests to help train Suzanne and NSSHF Hall of Famer Ante Jazic (this allowed each to compete at high levels despite relatively small statures). She frequently travelled to New Brunswick to train with Dwight Hornibrook at the only high-performance centre in Atlantic Canada at that time. And she also worked closely with John Kehoe, coach of the silver medal 1993 Canada Games team.

Teammate Cindy Tye remembers Gerrior with great fondness:

“I think one of the things that made her great was her love for the game. But she was always someone that was one of the fittest on the team—that was definitely something that I remember about her. She was a very technical player, she had a great mind for the game, and she always pushed her teammates to be better.”

“Suzanne just wasn’t a special soccer player, I think it’s really who Suzanne is as a person,” recalls her former teammate Suzanne Muir. “The things that made her a great person also made her great on the field—that sense of teamwork, of working with others, a work ethic that was unparalleled, and a commitment to make us a better team.”

Suzanne Gerrior was a soccer pioneer in many ways, from being selected to represent Canada at a young age, to being one of the first Nova Scotia soccer athletes to receive a full scholarship to a Division 1 school in the United States (North Carolina State). During her time at NC State, she earned a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in Education and French. She later went on to earn a Master’s degree in Sports Management/Administration and is currently working toward earning her doctorate in Education.

Suzanne Gerrior has had massive success on the soccer field and in education and has won many awards, like the 1991 “Soccer NS Gunn Balderson Award” for outstanding female player. Despite this, she is most proud of her five children—Caleb, Noah, Isaiah, Samaiya and Joy. They inspire her to work hard and never stop believing in what can be accomplished. Suzanne continues to strive to be the best version of herself, and all these years later, she’s still beating the odds.

*Article by Dana Holmes*


Represented Canada 10 times in international competition, including at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, 1995
Played for every Nova Scotia provincial team before age 16
Played for the Nova Scotia Canada Summer Games team, 1989
Started playing for the Canadian National Senior Women’s Soccer team at 16 years old (the youngest player at the time, and first Atlantic Canadian player to ever be named to the team)