It may sound like simple advice, but when those closest to Chris LeRoy told him to ‘never give up,’ it helped him through some of his toughest days involving the sport of volleyball.
This past autumn, LeRoy had been invited to Thompson Rivers University in B.C. to check out the school’s volleyball program and decide if he was interested in moving across the country to pursue the sport further at the varsity level.
LeRoy went and said he was subsequently told he would be offered a scholarship. When he arrived home, however, an email from the school indicated the team had chosen to fill other positions first and were unable to commit to the deal.
“That kind of put me down a bit — it disappointed me,” said the Level 3 student at Corner Brook Regional High. “But I just kept trying and things worked out in the end.”
What worked out, exactly, was a commitment to attend Trent University in Peterborough, Ont. in the fall to continue his volleyball journey there, while earning a business degree.
“A bit of both,” he says in response to whether it was the volleyball program or the school itself that served as the biggest attraction.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the university,” he said.
He’s also looking forward to competing on the court against some top-level competition, which he expects will develop his skills even further.
Adding to his excitement is his friend, and fellow Corner Brooker, Nick Taylor is already attending school there and playing on the team.
“It’s going to be nice to go up and play with him again,” said LeRoy, also noting another friend of his from Clarenville will be heading up to Trent as well.
He also has some extended family in the area, but of course, it won’t be easy leaving parents Gord and Mary Lou behind as he moves on to the next phase of his life.
He’s certainly not planning on becoming a stranger, put it that way.
“I’ll be home Christmas and any occasion I can, really,” he said.
Assuming all goes as well at Trent as they have in his days playing with the high school Titans and the Humber Volleyball Club, LeRoy isn’t ruling out following his dream further once his university days are done.
“If I can make it to a higher league or anything like that, I’ll definitely do it,” he said. “But I’ll play it year by year for now.”