As the Lady Flame field hockey squad concludes their season this Saturday against Appalachian State, LibertyFlames.com turns its focus to Serena Barr, this week's player spotlight.
Barr is a junior defender and twin sister of Bethany Barr and younger sister of Natalie Barr. Serena is responsible for 25 points this season which ranks second on the team. Barr is also accountable for nine assists, ranking first on the squad. Serena has added eight goals to her season total this year and now ranks fourth in program history for career goals with 21. Barr is currently two assists ahead of Natalie for the most assists in program history with 27.
Who introduced you to field hockey? Barr: Natalie, my older sister, introduced me to field hockey. She is two years older than me and growing up I always looked up to her and modelled myself on her. She brought me and my twin sister to hockey practice when we were in elementary school and we always played out in the front garden or if it was raining, in the kitchen.
Tell me about your family. What do your parents, or guardians, do? How many brothers or sisters do you have and what do they do? Barr: I am from a big crazy family, we are all very close and we are all very competitive. I am the youngest of six children, I have one older brother and four sisters. My dad is a doctor and my mom works for Charlene's Project, a charity set up by my older sister Charlene who passed away in October 2010. David, my older brother is a secondary school teacher back at home in Ireland; Rebecca is a nurse training to become a midwife at home and then Natalie and Bethany (my twin sister) both attend Liberty with me and are on the field hockey team. I also had another older sister, who was older than Natalie but she died in 2010 after a long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Before Charlene died she began Charlene's Project to help children in Uganda who couldn't get to school have the chance to get an education. As a family we have continued to run this charity in memory of Charlene, and Charlene's Project is now working in both Uganda and Guatemala through sports, education, and health promotion.
If you weren't playing field hockey which sport would you enjoy playing? Barr: I think I would enjoy playing soccer. Growing up I always played soccer out in the back garden with my brother and twin sister. My whole family are avid Liverpool supporters and we grew up watching all their games and going to a few games on occasion. So I miss out on getting to watch the games every weekend when I am here but my brother makes sure to regularly keep me up to date.
Tell us your recruiting story on how you got to Liberty. Barr: I was always a home bird and never foresaw myself leaving Ireland to go to college. However, when Nat left to go to Liberty I missed her and I missed playing with her. All we heard from Natalie was good reports and whenever Beth and I went out to visit Natalie we loved Liberty and loved the idea of playing with Natalie again so we decided to come and we haven't looked back since.
If you could get away from field hockey for a little bit, what would you enjoy doing? Barr: I would enjoy hiking and travelling. I love seeing new places, meeting new people and getting to enjoy the nature and beauty that God has created. If I had the time I would also love to learn how to properly cook and bake and learn new recipes.
What are you studying, and what do you enjoy about that? Barr: I am studying Health Promotion CHES with a minor in biomedical science. I chose this major because when I was in Uganda I saw the need for education in health to prevent manageable diseases and to bring communities forward in development. I love the major and I can't wait to see where it takes me and I look forward to gaining more and more experience in it. I love working with people and this is what this major requires.
Who were your heroes growing up, and who did you emulate in the backyard or playground? Barr: My hero was always Jamie Carragher on the Liverpool football team. He was never the best player on the team and he didn't ever get praise but he was always the hardest worker and he always fought every second of every game. He demanded a lot from himself and his teammates and he led by example. He is a defender so I always modelled myself on him. Growing up I also always modelled myself on Natalie, she would always bring Bethany and I out into the front garden and teach us all that she had learned at hockey practice and she always supported us when we were playing.
Since Saturday is Senior Day, what has it meant for you to be able to play alongside your sister Natalie, as well as the rest of the senior class? Barr: This senior class is very special and I will really miss playing alongside them when they leave. They will leave a huge gap in the team and they are all irreplaceable. It is hard to imagine playing this spring and next year without them. It has been so special playing alongside Natalie my last three years at Liberty. She encourages me to be a better player and encourages me to push and challenge myself both on and off the field to get better. She always has my best intentions in heart and I will really miss having her around next year…especially to shout at me on the field. We have played field hockey together since we were small and it is something that is special to each of us, especially being able to play here together at Liberty for something greater than simply sport.
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