This past summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to train as a full-time beach volleyball athlete in Toronto. As a member of the U22 Provincial Team, I trained with coaches and other athletes five times a week. As well, this training program exposed me to many other important aspects of beach volleyball such as nutrition, strength and conditioning, and mental performance.
One of the biggest highlights of my summer was representing Canada at the U21 World Championships in Larnaca, Cyprus from July 23rd to July 27th. As Canada’s B Team, my partner and I were required to play in a qualification tournament in order to get into the main draw. In our first game, we faced a tough Australian team. Despite the extreme heat, we came out with the win in the closest match that I’ve ever played in! The scores were 21-17, 27-29, and 19-17. This win sent us to the final round of the qualification tournament where we faced a tough Russian duo. This time, unfortunately, we were on the losing side of a very close game that went to 15-13 in the third set.
Despite being eliminated from the tournament so early, I made the most of the situation and stuck around for the remainder of the tournament to watch international competition as well as to cheer on my Canadian teammates. Overall, this was a very valuable experience!
I then returned to Toronto to continue with full time training. At the beginning of August, my partner and I played in the U24 Provincial Championships where we took home the bronze medal. At the end of August, we played in the U22 National Championships and took home the gold medal.
After this very exciting summer I returned for another great term at the University of Waterloo. I’ve now declared a double major in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. As I write this blog post on the train ride home for the Christmas holidays, it is amazing to think back to how much has happened over the past eight months!
Merry Christmas to everyone at the Schulich Foundation. Your support is very much appreciated and I wish you all the best in the New Year!