Ruby Peckford

Bachelor of Physical Education, 1967
MA Communications, Wheaton College, 1972
Retired from broadcasting in 2006
Currently a media consultant and speaker coach

From Botwood to Memorial University; from a degree in Physical Education to teaching and coaching on 4 continents; from very few sports opportunities in high school to becoming a lifelong athlete; from telling the Dean of Phys. Ed. during my interview that ‘I can learn’ to embracing life with a ‘can do’ attitude, my life’s journey has been filled with adventures.

When I applied for the Phys. Ed. degree program I didn’t know how to swim, nor do gymnastics, nor play basketball nor any other organized sport. I was accepted in the program, on probation, because when Dr. Eaton looked at me across his desk after I answered “no” to all the sports related questions, he then asked “So what Can you do?” I spontaneously replied: “I can learn.” And so I did, mainly because of my professors and the other Phys. Ed majors in my classes. At Memorial I learned how to be an athlete and how to teach, both strong attributes that have taken me around the world.

I’ve taught physical education and coached sports in Canada, the US, the Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania and Liberia and worked in television as a producer/writer/director in 20 countries on 4 continents. As an athlete, I’ve competed and won a few medals in marathons and 10K races, including placing 2nd in a 10K race in China; canoed the Nahani and Mountain rivers in the Northwest Territories; hiked numerous mountains around the world including Mt. Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu and the Grand Canyon; skied the slopes of 9 countries on 3 continents; sailed the British Virgin Islands, the Aegean Sea and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, just to name a few athletic adventures. As a TV director, my greatest career opportunity was directing the late great Jimmy Stewart.

Many lessons have been learned along the way that have kept me healthy, fit, a sports enthusiast and a life-long learner. Some are:

• humble beginnings can be great beginnings
• a positive attitude can make you leapfrog over obstacles
• a childhood dream can become a reality
• risk taking is fun and makes a person brave
• choice, not chance, is the path to great opportunities
• a ‘can do’ attitude is very liberating
• the architect of my personal life is me - no excuses
• no matter what twists and turns come along, never give up
• maintain a joyful spirit - it’s contagious

A quote that has kept me inspired throughout my life is from Mark Twain: “Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Thanks to mentors, counselors, teachers and friends at MUN for the jumpstart to an extraordinary and wonderful life.

I currently live in Tucson, Arizona and the San Francisco Bay Area.
I have a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law and a one year old grandson.

Contact

School of Human Kinetics and Recreation

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000