Maria Samson grew up about an hour outside of Montreal on a farm and spent her high school years playing boys football, basketball and rugby. After going back and forth between basketball and rugby throughout college and university, Maria settled on rugby after moving to Calgary in 2008.

Maria earned her first senior international appearance against South Africa during the 2011 Nations Cup in Oakville, Ontario. Since joining the National Team, she has been a member of every National Senior Women’s Tour, earning a total of 21 caps. At the regional level, Maria has played for ten different clubs across Canada, including spearheading the creation of a women’s team for the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club. She has been a member of Team Alberta since 2008, captaining the team since 2013. She was also captain of the inaugural Senior Women’s Prairies Wolfpack team last year.

Maria was named the 2012 Rugby Canada Female Player of the Year and was also the recipient of the Colette McAuley Award in 2013. She was a key member of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup Silver Medal winning team in Paris, France.

In 2015, Maria was recognized as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 for her role in sport advocacy and community leadership. She continues to give back to sport as an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Fast & Female and KidSport and is actively involved with rugby as a Board Member with Rugby Canada and as the Head Coach for the Mount Royal University Men’s Rugby Team.

Sport has been such a huge part of my life, teaching me to work as a team, deal with conflict, lose with grace, and win with humility. The experiences i've had in sport continually impact my life as a coach, sport administrator, and parent.