Dani Forester is a second-year student from Okotoks, Alta., who chose the University of Saskatchewan over other schools because of the tight-knit campus. After starting out in engineering, Forester then changed to the College of Arts and Science for her second year to pursue geology.
Another draw for Forester was the volleyball coach, Mark Dodds. Although she did not stay in her original program, Forester is happy at the U of S because of its geology program.
Forester began playing volleyball in grade nine — starting up after 10 years of figure skating. At that time, she had begun to envy the girls who took part in team sports and wanted to join them. While Forester admits she is very competitive, she prefers to celebrate wins with a team rather than individually for her achievements in figure skating.
Forester was offered her spot on the Huskies volleyball team as a middle blocker straight out of high school. For those of you who do not know what that is, the middle blocker is the centre position closest to the net. They strive to block the opponent’s hitters wherever they are on the court.
Being on the team has made a significant positive impact on her life. For instance, Forester was able to partake in experiences that she otherwise would not have if she were not on the team. Volleyball has allowed her to travel, work out more often and make a lot of close connections.
Considering that U of S athletes come from various colleges, Forester has been able to meet and befriend many people across campus from outside her program. She says being on the team allows her to feel more connected not only to the people but also the school. Coincidentally, Forester’s favourite colour is green and her favourite animal is the husky, so maybe, it was meant to be.
Volleyball has made her work harder and become a better leader through leadership opportunities. She has had more volunteer opportunities that have allowed her to give back to the community because of the team.
At many of the Huskies home games, club teams from high schools around the city will come in and ask questions about the team and their beloved sport. These question periods give the club teams a better look at what they could be looking at for their future. The women’s volleyball team also helps with Tim Hortons Camp Day by asking for donations or selling wristbands outside of different Tim Hortons locations.
The girls are also big advocates for Bell Let’s Talk, for which the Huskies held events on Jan. 25. Last year, the Huskies women’s team did a fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and Forester recounts meeting a lovely little girl named Jolene through that initiative. The fundraiser consisted of making custom jerseys and auctioning them off — the money was then donated to Children’s Wish.
Hope N.S. Jeffery
Photo: Tony Walker