I originally had doubts I would be able to get a scholarship in Canada, assuming they wouldn’t take a libero when they could get a 195cm giant from anywhere in the world. I was lucky enough to receive a full scholarship and have just completed my 2nd year at Lakeland College. My first year I was starting Lib and played the full season. After another offseason of lifting and training at GMVA CoE I was given the opportunity to try playing Pass Hitter and grabbed it with both hands. My league is about the same standard as Prems at State League, so it was overwhelming at first, but I went on to be the leading scorer as captain of our team.
My volleyball achievements so far have been beyond what I could have hoped for, but personally I don’t have plans to play professionally in Europe or set my whole life up to have a volleyball career. This meant for me I took my College experience as an opportunity to use all my hard work to have the time of my life playing a sport I love, whilst also getting a free education and setting myself up for a successful life.
This past year I completed my Diploma in Accounting, which is halfway towards my Bachelor of Commerce. My education is entirely paid for thanks to International waivers and a scholarship from the Athletics department. I was able to get work as a Residence assistant which paid for my rent, and got work coaching the U18 Club team here in the town of Lloydminster. This meant my only expenses this year were my cost of living (food, travel and fun!) which worked out to be around $350 a month. Now obviously every College athlete has a different situation, and some are more fortunate than others with costs. I think it is very important for young athletes to know that a College Volleyball Scholarship can be an extremely great financial opportunity if you look for work opportunities and study hard.
I have decided to stay for the Summer here in Canada to work full time cleaning dorms with some of my best mates. I have also channelled my inner Luke Campbell and started a Beach Volleyball Program here in my town of 50 000 people (see the news story below at 9:30). In it’s first year I have 34 athletes who have never played Beach Volleyball before coming to learn from me and 2 other College athletes.
Apologies for the extensive bragging in this post about everything but I remember being so unaware of what my life would be like before coming to Canada so I hope athletes are reading these blogs and decide to pursue their College Volleyball dreams! It opens so many doors for travelling, friendships, education and work.
As always if anybody has any questions please feel free to shoot me a message!