"I was playing hockey at a local arena while I tried to find a better program to compete in. Then, when Shawnigan started their hockey program, my brother got the opportunity to go, and I knew that I would follow in my brother’s path.
The bond that my Shawnigan team has is much closer than any other team I have been on before. We live together and go to school together every day. We support each other through both the good days and the bad days in all areas of our life at Shawnigan. Being together almost 24/7 has definitely brought us much closer. Our chemistry on the ice is very strong, and that is because we know each other so well, and know what is going on in each other’s lives, and it’s allowed us to connect that much more. We are brothers, who are always here for each other, both on and off the ice.
My dad passed away seven years ago from ALS. When I came to Shawnigan, Coach Cooper became like a second father to me. Ever since we first met, he has always looked out for me and my family. I feel like I can talk to him about everything, not just hockey, and he has helped me through a lot of tough times. I am very grateful for our relationship.
Shawnigan Hockey has made me a better person and player. It has also provided me with opportunities that I never would have had elsewhere. I firmly believe that I never would have been accepted to Yale University if it hadn’t been for Shawnigan.
The Yale scouts first spotted my brother at a tournament when he was in grade 10. They were also at my BC Cup Top 160 hockey tryouts. The assistant coach liked how I played, and he talked to Coach Morris about me and Mr. Morris thankfully spoke well about me. Then last September he came and watched a game at Shawnigan, and saw something in my brother and myself and right then and there he offered us both spots on the team. It was pretty surreal as it just happened right after the game, in the rink with my mom there. I was pretty stunned, and I didn’t quite believe that this was actually happening. When he offered us the spots, I thought I must have misheard him. I just never would have expected this to happen, not to mention getting accepted alongside my brother. It was pretty special and I don’t think I will ever forget it.
Jojo and I will get to play two years at Yale together and I am very excited about that. When we were younger, we didn’t always get along. However, after Jojo went to Shawnigan, our bond got so much stronger and he is now my best friend. I feel like I never have to worry about anything when I am with him, and I feel so lucky to be able to call him my brother and to be able to experience all these amazing opportunities together.
My mom is one of the hardest working people I know. I can definitely say that all of my accomplishments are a direct result of her support. She knows what I am capable of and she pushes me to be better. If it weren’t for my mom, I wouldn’t be at Shawnigan. I would like to tell my mom thank you for everything she has done for me and all that extra work she puts in, I really appreciate all that she has done and will continue to do and I hope that I am making her proud.
Every year I try to score on the anniversary of my dad’s death, but I never seem to manage to score. I want to score to send a goal up to him. Even though my dad might not be here, he has definitely shaped who I am today, and I know that even though he is not here, he’s always looking down on me. I hope that my dad is proud of who I am today.
The thing I love most about Shawnigan is the people, starting with the teachers. I know that the teachers here really care and they are very understanding. They care more about how we feel about something than about marks. I really like that about our teachers. The school is a very open and comforting community. I never feel judged, and I feel like I can do what I want without people putting me down because of what I want to pursue. Shawnigan is home to me, and I am very grateful that I can call such an amazing place home. Sometimes I take it for granted because I have been here for so long, but I realize that only a small percentage of people in the world get this opportunity and that I am one of those people that get to experience this amazing place. I don’t ever want to take being here for granted because it’s changed my life."
Seiya T.C. ’ 21, Ripley's (Mill Bay, BC)