The one thing I have found while doing this blog is there is a plethora of topics to write about with regards to axe throwing. One of the most important though, in my opinion, is the people who make the magic happen, and that’s the fantastic staff who run our leagues, manage our locations, and inspire people to throw axes. So I will be making the Staff Spotlight a feature a few times a month to help you get to know some of the amazing people who keep our NATF locations going.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Jenna Gerhardt, one of the staff members at BATL Kitchener. A woman with a big heart and a wicked throw, Jenna is as beautiful inside as she is out. Jenna’s first introduction to BATL was in Toronto at the Yorkdale location, for her cousins surprise birthday three years ago. Little 19 year old Jenna walks in with her bright yellow knee brace (torn ACL from Rugby…see she’s a bad ass) and can’t throw an axe two handed to save her life. Her lovely coach, Alexis “Fab”, gave her the run down on one handed throwing and moments later, she hits a sweet bulls eye. After the event Alexis told Jenna BATL was expanding to a few new locations, one of which was Kitchener. After one event, and dipping her toes in the atmosphere and culture of BATL she knew she had to become part of it, and thus a Coach was born!
One of Jenna’s favourite parts of the job is seeing someone’s confidence go up when they stick their first axe, then hit their first bulls eye – that’s why she comes to work every day. Not to mention the added bonus of having a grandma give you the biggest hug after an event because she was surprised at how she was able to finally stick an axe and have fun with her family!
When I asked Jenna what her favorite story from her BATL experience was, she said she was going “rogue” with her answer. She couldn’t label one as her favourite, she considers the all the stories and memories created with the BATL and NATF family equally special to her. In Jenna’s own words:
“My coworkers are the best work family I’ve ever been part of. From teaching me my first trick shots between events, Saturday nights at a bar after a grueling 12 hour day, to now where I consider them to be close friends and a chosen family. On an even bigger scale, meeting staff from other BATL and NATF locations, and creating so many great friendships that span North America.”
So what are Jenna’s passions in life? Goals? Above I mentioned Jenna’s beautiful heart, and I specially mentioned that as it takes a special kind of person to be able to volunteer with the Lions Foundation of Canada in their Dog Guides Program. I personally think you have to have a generosity of spirit to take care of and train an animal you know won’t be yours. Jenna has been volunteering for over two years now. After fostering and now working in their breeding program (with lots of puppies!), she’s able to get a significant amount of hands on experience, and learn the early stages of a dogs life. Jenna is working towards becoming a certified dog trainer, and maybe one day working for an organization as a trainer. But for now, she’s happy just dog sitting. So if you need a good home for your pupster while you’re away, you know who to call. She has also found a passion in geometric art and watercolour and would love to do some commissioned pieces in the future.
Lastly, I asked Jenna what quote best describes her. To this she replied:
“Jenna Marbles has said on many occasions “life is too short not to have fun hair”, and in the same sense I believe life is too short to not have fun in everything you do. Whether its at work with coworkers, guests or running leagues nights, being surrounded by amazing people brightens any bad day or makes a good day better.”
Thanks for sharing with us Jenna and being the first in my Staff Spotlight series! Does your location have some staff members you think should be featured? Let me know! I’d love to interview more of the great people that help build our NATF community.