Basketball Manitoba would like to acknowledge the accomplishments of female basketball players, recognize the influence of women leaders, and advocate on equity for women and girls in sports. Women in sport should be celebrated year-round for the legacy and impact they have left and continue to create for young girls. 

Basketball Manitoba is excited to introduce a new weekly social media initiative called "Women in Basketball Wednesdays." This feature will showcase various coaches, officials, board members, league coordinators, and volunteers that make up our basketball community. 

Starting on Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 and every Wednesday after that, Basketball Manitoba will be posting one individual to feature on our social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).

If you would like to nominate an influential female coach, official, league coordinator, or volunteer, for this type of recognition, please contact Tiffany at

Women in Basketball Wednesday - Sara Gillis

Sara (Conlin) Gillis has been involved in basketball for over 40 years. Her basketball experiences began in Brandon where she played Earl Oxford Junior High School basketball, then high school basketball at Crocus Plains, followed by 5 years with the Brandon University Bobcats. Sara also played 4 seasons on the Manitoba Provincial Team which included the 1985 Canada Games Silver Medal team.

Throughout a 29-year teaching career as a physical educator, Sara coached and officiated several high school sports including track & field, soccer, volleyball and basketball. Sara’s background, knowledge and passion for the game of basketball lead her to develop a successful girl’s high school basketball program at R.D. Parker Collegiate, growing interest in the game in the community of Thompson. In her final 4 years of coaching high school basketball, Sara coached R.D. Parker Collegiate Varsity Girl’s Basketball Team to 4 consecutive MHSAA ‘AAA’ Championship finals, claiming championship titles in 2015 and 2016.  

Twenty-six of her 29 years of teaching were spent at R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson where Sara also coached several basketball regional and club teams, officiated basketball, ran basketball clinics, camps, and club leagues for children and youth, organized basketball tournaments and events, as well as mentored officials and coaches; helping to grow basketball in Thompson and northern Manitoba.

Since retirement from teaching in 2016, Sara has been a basketball volunteer at the 2016 Canada Basketball Men’s National Championships and the 2017 Canada Summer Games, was an assistant coach for the 17U female provincial basketball team, has joined the Basketball Manitoba Targeted Athlete Program (TAP) coaching staff, coached junior high basketball in her local community school, officiated basketball and has been a player participating in the Winnipeg Women’s Basketball League and in several international Masters and Senior basketball competitions.

In 2021, Sara joined the Basketball Manitoba Board of Directors and is looking forward to driving important initiatives such as increasing numbers of women in coaching and supporting rural basketball initiatives in the province.

As a high-performance coach, Sara has a passion and interest in Long Term Athlete Development including coach and athlete education, implementing safe and effective training methods for young athletes, and coaching athletes for resilience, longevity and injury prevention.

Sara has a life-long commitment to healthy living and helping others live an active and healthy lifestyle and is currently providing personal online fitness coaching and programming for older adults and older athletes through Alliance Athletics.

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