Off the Bench

Off The Bench: From East to West

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By Pasha Ormerod, Durham Lords Women’s Volleyball

My journey began in high school in British Columbia, in grade nine, playing school and club volleyball. This led to playing club volleyball for the Northwest Rage. Northwest Rage was a team of only six to eight girls. But even though we were a small team, we won provincials during club season, attended nationals every year, and played almost every weekend out of town, getting ready for the big city teams.

We practiced five times a week, on top of school, and most of our team was getting tired of volleyball, with the number of weekends spent away. We also had to drive a minimum of six hours to find a good team to play.

I thought my career with volleyball would be over after playing with the Rage, but at nationals in Edmonton I met Tony Clarke. He came up to my parents and I, and spoke to me about taking my volleyball to the next level with him and the Durham Lords. After a period of thinking I accepted the scholarship at Durham College and started my journey in Ontario that following September.

Being in Ontario, our volleyball season began against New York. We slowly began winning game by game, over time. We trained through practice and with Elite Training Systems, as often as we could, which lead us to provincials at the end of the season. We came in third overall, not losing a game during the regular season.

After provincials I headed home to British Columbia to collect the Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. I was also given a regional award in Ontario when I was named to the OCAA women’s volleyball all-rookie team.

I have played at the North American Indigenous Games in 2017 for the B.C. volleyball team and on the basketball team for the Junior All Native Tournament in 2018, as well as in tournaments every weekend with my school and club team. Looking back on my journey here, with these experiences I have learned to be a leader and a teammate, when both are needed to support my teammates during our games.

As a first-year player everything was different for me, academically and sports-wise. It was a great experience learning with a new team in a new part of the world, moving onward with my volleyball career and academics.

I am very happy that I changed my mind about playing sports at the next level, as it is an experience that not many people get to have. I would not change my decision on playing for anything and I am proud to be a Lord.

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