Bringing Italian volleyball flair to Canada
By Letizia Torri, international student from Italy studying at Riverside Secondary School
I tried almost every single sport during my childhood and I discovered volleyball when I was 11 years old. Since my first volleyball training session, I fell in love with it. Year after year, I realized that it was the best way to express myself and to vent on my worst days.
In Italy, school teams are rare so I played club volleyball all year round. In the past two years, I played as a middle blocker in 3 different teams for Arona, a town near mine. I was selected for the Under 16, Under 18 and 1st Division championships. I used to play 3 games per week, plus 3 trainings, so most of my social life was about that.
When I decided to come to BC, I didn’t want to give up my passion, so I decided to contact my new school coaches to join the team and bring a bit of Italian volleyball flair to Canada. As soon as I arrived, I had the chance to try out for Riverside’s senior team and I started training with them the following week. From the first moment, I felt accepted and welcomed by all my new team members, as well as the coach. After a couple of weeks, we played our first league match of the season and after six weeks we placed first in school district 43’s volleyball league.
On November 2, my school hosted the traditional Red Serge volleyball tournament. Ten of the best teams in the province attended (not bad , right?) Our first game was played in front of the whole school. We had 2600 eyes staring at us and we were all pretty nervous. Unfortunately, we lost the game (just…) but I was announced as the best player of the match! I was really proud of my achievement. In the end we placed 4th and I was able to join a fun game against the RCMP police officers. It was really fun!
I was also interviewed by one of the teachers and I appeared on the school newspaper. My (incorrectly spelled, I am getting used to this…) name and photo were also posted on the Tricity News!
Last week we took part in the Fraser Valley championship where we also placed 4th. Next week is going to be a huge one. We are off to Penticton, BC as we qualified for the 2018 AAAA Senior Girls Volleyball Provincials and we really want to show the best of ourselves: we worked really hard during these few months and we are ready to battle.
I am really looking forward to this event, because for the first time since I am here, I will be away from my home base in Canada and it’s going to be super fun. Joining the team was very useful to integrate me socially as well as in the school environment. Also, BC was the best choice I could make because most of the teams are very good and the competition is pretty high level.