Sport in CANADA
Studying in a country where the accepted education methodology is much more at the individual’s liberty than it is in China, it is critical for one to engage in team settings. Being involved with the community can aid the development of a human network, and it can also optimize your experience studying in Canada. Partaking in sports teams would be an ideal way to accomplish said goals. However, it is often difficult for international students to interconnect upon arrival. It is something that I witness frequently, and it is something I have undergone as well. To whom it may concern, my name is Jay Lu. I will be entering grade 12 in September 2021. I moved to China when I was one year old, and resettled in Canada just before turning nine. In other words, I have resided long enough on both sides of the world to be able to provide credible rationales.
After giving you an insight on a minuscule fraction of student life in Canada, let us revert to the topic of this blog, sports, specifically volleyball. Everybody knows what volleyball is. It is a sport heavily dependent on teamwork. Nowadays, the word teamwork gets thrown around by society as if it was superficial knowledge. But the reality is that a majority of people are yet to perceive its true definition, as they have yet to encounter it. Teamwork is not simply working with others to achieve a common goal. In volleyball, teamwork is a skill in which you can anticipate your teammates’ every single action as if you could foresee the future. Theoretically, the finest level of teamwork can be accomplished by anybody under the conditions of utter selflessness, but that is merely unachievable due to human nature.
My lust for volleyball was ignited by my grandfather, an outside hitter who stands at only 5’7, yet his unmatched physical capabilities lead him to be one of the greatest players in Shanghai back in his era. Despite the rotund build I had when I was younger, I believed that I could be just like my grandfather. Grade 6 marked my first attempt to pursue my dream. I tried out for the school volleyball team, but I was set up for failure because I was unfit and illiterate towards the rules.
Fortunately, I never viewed my personal difficulties as a reason to surrender. My perseverance paid off in grade 8. Something you must understand is that I was much taller than other children my age, and because of that, I was given a chance to join the middle school volleyball team. However, adversity did not cease to appear. While I possessed the height advantage, I still lacked agility and the necessary intellect. Therefore, I was mostly benched throughout the season. What most people would’ve regarded as sorrow and disappointment, I was rather content to take my first leap at becoming a volleyball player.
In the first year of high school, my progress accelerated at an exponential rate. It was a new start, and I was determined to continue my volleyball career. My height was no longer an advantage. I was surrounded by students that towered over me. Instead of feeling intimidated, I did what I do best, which was to persevere through the challenges. Long story short, I made it on the team, and we had a successful season until the semi-finals.
Lastly, grade 10 is the year where everything finally comes together. During the summer before the school year, I urged myself to train and work out every day. As a result, I lost a tremendous amount of weight and also ameliorated my rudimentary skills. That year, I became one of the key players on the team in terms of both attacking and defending. I took on the leadership role to guide my teammates who were not as competent. The bonds I built through the process also contributed to our team’s unity and teamship. We played as one every single game. Chills still creep up my spine every time I envisage and reminisce. Poetry in motion is what some might call it. Cliché but accurate. Every drop of sweat counted towards the team’s progress towards the championship. Regrettably, we just fell short at the very last game and were unable to claim the title. But on the contrary, the bonds I constructed that year were irreplaceable, and I’d be selfish to have asked for more.
If the experiences I shared did not convince you to partake in a team or club, I’m not sure anything else will. Teamwork has brought me not only joy but also a better version of myself. In my own humble opinion, one must toil with others to discover one’s own faults. I am sure this is a common ideology shared amongst others as well. So get out there and be a part of something bigger than yourself.
My grade 8 volleyball team
My grade 9 volleyball team
My grade 10 volleyball team
Me in grade 6
Swimming, a water recreation and sport that requires the coordinated movement of the full body, especially the limbs. As a popular recreational activity, swimming gives the pleasure of diving through the water freely by enabling us to experience unique forces different than on land. As a competitive sport, swimming’s intensity helps us strengthen our bodies while boosting us to overcome the limit to reach our full potential. I am Thomas, and I’m going to introduce you to the sport of swimming in Canada along with my own experience with this sport.
My first swimming class started in China when I was in grade five. Just like what you’ve watched in the Olympics, there are four common swimming strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. As a beginner, I learned the easiest two — freestyle and breaststroke but struggled to swim even 25 meters with either of these strokes. It was not until later when I came to Canada that I started treating swimming like a real sport rather than a recreation and improved substantially in my skills.
In Canada, swimming is popular both as a recreation and a sport. I went to a local swimming center with my friends every week in the summer of grade six, and I always saw a lot of people in the swimming pool. With only limited skills in swimming, I mainly played with my friends in the water just for entertaining purposes. Not long after, my parents heard that there were swimming classes and a swimming degree system in this swimming center, and they decided to send me there to continue learning swimming, as it was left off since my relocation to Canada. The class was not difficult at all, and I received a “level 6 community swimming degree” within months.
Just before I made the decision of challenging myself to reach higher levels, I heard about a private national-level coach Xiaoshan hosting a more challenging swimming class. Although it didn’t offer a community-certificated swimming degree, it had a good and intensive training program. The first couple of weeks were painful because I was asked to swim for long distances I have never done before. But through the tough class, the flaws in my first two strokes were corrected by Xiaoshan, who in the meantime, also taught me the other two strokes: backstroke and butterfly. In his class, I had to challenge myself to persist and never give up even if my energy was seemingly not sufficient for me to complete the tasks.
After I entered grade eight, I joined the Clarington Swim Club (ROC), a competitive swimming team with several weekly trainings. The team was composed of many experienced and professional coaches and had 5 levels. The training was very tough since it contained more challenging tasks than Xiaoshan’s class, such as 4 x 250m freestyle and 4 x 100m butterfly. I was exhausted so much like my soul was taken away from me after every training! Notwithstanding, I persisted through almost a year of training and really felt the largest improvement since the start of my swimming journey. During that year, I perfected all of the four strokes, learned flip turn and diving, and most importantly, broke my own record frequently. Additionally, I participated in two large regional swimming competitions, representing my team ROC. These professional competitions followed the rules and procedures of official international swimming and were composed of excellent teams from all over the province. Although I was not talented enough to come top in the competitions, I fully experienced the competitiveness and the atmosphere of these high-level competitions. Due to my school’s location, I was forced to quit the team. However, in high school, I joined my school’s varsity swim team, which I write about in the “High School” blog of the Canada section.