CapU Blues fifth-year reflections

(L-R): Marsha Chesshire, Vikram Puri, Denver Sparks-Guest, Sherrie Errico, Hudson Nelles, Keith Jackson
(L-R): Marsha Chesshire, Vikram Puri, Denver Sparks-Guest, Sherrie Errico, Hudson Nelles, Keith Jackson

2018-19 marked the final season for six fifth-year CapU student-athletes, all of which had a standout careers with the Blues. They combined to win a total of 18 medals, along with earning several All-Star, All-Canadian, and academic accolades.

With the spring term coming to a close, the student-athletes reflected on their time at Capilano University and as a Blue.

Marsha Chesshire, Women’s Soccer, Tourism Management

I honestly don’t know where to start, so I’ll attempt to make it as short as humanly possible! When I first came to Capilano University I was a little anxious. I had previously played for Langara College and wasn’t sure if I wanted to play for one of the opposing teams. I was unsure of this decision because I was worried about being known as a traitor. I felt a little out of place at first, because I felt obligated to establish and restart friendships that I had previously made at my other university. Preseason was intense, but it gave me the chance to bond with all of my teammates. I got to know them beyond just the surface and more on a personal level. We spent almost every day together, whether it was soccer, running, hanging out, camping, or other random events. These activities were what formed the closest bonds between us all. By the end of the two months of preseason, I felt so close to these girls, they were like my family. If any of the girls were upset or frustrated, it really hurt me inside. I can confidently say I made some of my best friends here at Cap over the past three years.

Being a part of this team has taught me so many valuable things on and off the soccer field. I learnt how to be compassionate, empathetic, kind, and a better team player all round. Being a student while involved in a competitive sport also teaches you how to manage your time efficiently, which is something I struggled with at first. When I look back to when I first started at Cap to now, I think about how fortunate I am to have been surrounded by so many supportive people. I experienced every emotion possible – whether it was joy, sadness, anger, laughter, fear, we were all in it together no matter what the circumstances were. I’m so thankful to have established strong connections, memories, and relationships with people I will never forget. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it with no regrets. I considered ditching my final year, but I’m so glad I decided to keep playing! Being a university athlete is not something everyone gets to experience, and you’re only a university athlete once! (Trust me it goes by quick). It’s best to make the most of it. I strongly encourage any student considering it to get out there and play a university sport if given the opportunity! All of these experiences have shaped who I am and has made me a stronger person, student, athlete, and leader which will hopefully contribute to my future endeavours.

Hudson Nelles, Men’s Soccer, Business Administration

These past five years at Capilano have gone by so quickly. I came in expecting to play one year and move on, I ended up playing my full five years of eligibility here and I wouldn't change that for the world. I made so many great friendships, memories and experiences that will stay with me forever. There were a lot of ups and downs, from my first year in the program as one of the worst teams in the league, to being ranked in top five in the nation for the next four years to come. The biggest takeaway from my experience is all the life-long brothers I made along the way: Keith Jackson, Dan and Nic Morello, Thomas Arnott, Devan Woolley and many more. I would like to thank Milt, CJ, Chris, Rosa and the rest of the department for everything they have done for me these past five years and for helping shape the soccer program into what it is has become today.

Keith Jackson, Men’s Soccer, Communication Studies

Playing University sport has been an educational experience that has helped to create the student and person that I am today. Throughout my five years as a Capilano University Blues student-athlete I have developed valuable communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills that make me an ideal candidate for a variety of jobs. Through varsity athletics I have learnt that individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team successful. Applying this to the classroom setting, I have learnt that my individual commitment to my classrooms and community not only contributes to my own success and well-being, but also the greater good of those around me.

As a student-athlete, and a member of the Capilano Blues family, I have learnt the importance of teamwork, discipline and self-motivation. A teacher, similar to a coach, provides students with the knowledge to succeed in a given setting but it is up to the student to be motivated to apply the knowledge successfully. Self-motivation in sport requires a great deal of personal training and effective time management away from the team. Success at school requires similar skills and commitments away from the classroom, for example time in the library or studying at home.

In conclusion, I would say that my involvement in college sport not only contributed to my success at school but instead that it produced my success at school. As I complete my final year of eligibility I will be graduating with two degrees, as a CCAA Player of the Year, three-time CCAA All-Canadian and two time CCAA Academic All-Canadian athlete. My success in the classroom and on the soccer pitch is due to the skills and ability I have developed both by playing university sport and attending university.

Denver Sparks-Guest, Men’s Basketball, Communication Studies

It’s been a fun ride these last two years at Cap! I am happy that I got the chance to come and play for this program and meet all of the great people involved in it. I want to thank [coaches] Cassidy, Mike, Ivan, Kile and all of my teammates for providing me with so many life-long lessons and memories. I wish the best to the all the Blues of the future and I look forward to seeing someone beat my records.

Sherrie Errico, Women’s Basketball, Legal Studies

It has been an amazing experience playing basketball at Capilano University. Although there were some difficult times, the good definitely outweighed the bad and I am so grateful for all Cap has helped me accomplish. Thanks to my involvement in basketball, I have improved my time management skills, leadership skills and communication skills, and I have learned the value and importance of commitment.

One of my most memorable times at Cap was having the opportunity to play with my sister Michelle. We always played together for fun growing up but playing on the same team with her was such a fun and special experience.

Basketball became even more special to me when I was dealing with hard situations because no matter what I was going through I could use it as an outlet. I could just show up on the court and have fun with my teammates and focus on the sport I love. My fifth year at Cap was one of my best years because of my teammates. We had great team chemistry and they could always put a smile on my face which made for a great environment to be in every day.

I want to acknowledge and thank the coaches I had through my years at Cap, who were truly amazing, all of the hard working staff at the Sportsplex who made it a great place to be, the other teams and of course my own teammates. I have created some of the best friendships and memories throughout my time at Cap and it is truly an experience I was lucky to have and will never forget.