Trinity Western freshman guard Shemaiah Abatayo was forced to hit the court running this season after six straight months of COVID lockdown in the Philippines kept her out of B.C. from March through August. (Photo by Mark Janzen property of Trinity Western athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Shemaiah Abatayo: As Trinity Western’s ‘rookie’ guard preps for a hopeful 2021-22 re-start, she dishes on six months of COVID-forced lockdown in the Philippines!

LANGLEY — Shemaiah Abatayo, like the rest of Canada’s hard-luck Class of 2020 university freshmen recruits, will get a second chance to make a rookie impression when U Sports basketball courts flash their figurative green lights this coming fall.Nothing could have beaten the on-court experience that a 2020-21 Canada West season would have provided Abatayo […]

Jayden White of the Yale Lions has overcome the odds to rebound from injury and find a place next season at the University of Alberta. In Edmonton, she will play hoops, major in education and continue her studies in American Sign Language. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of Varsity Letters 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Jayden White: Special signs along the way speak the truth of compassion, tenacity Yale Lions forward carries to Alberta Pandas!

ABBOTSFORD — Ask Jayden White what it means for her to have walked the walk through a star-crossed high school basketball career, and she’ll show you this photo of the inside of a Gatorade bottle cap containing the bone chips surgeons extricated from her knee back in 10th grade.“The biggest one is the size of […]

Connecting with players and a creating a connected culture between the program and its community was a founding principle of outgoing Hyacks head coach Farhan Lalji. (Photo by Alan Wardle property of New Westminster Hyacks football 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Farhan Lalji: As the New West Hyacks’ football founder bids adieu, his charter words from 2003 continue to speak an essential & universal truth!

“One of the parents of a player came up to me and said, ‘You’ve basically given my son his life back because this has helped motivate him in so many other areas.’ I don’t take myself seriously enough to think that it’s because of me, but it is because of this whole package that we’ve […]

The Tessa Beauchamp Foundation has been aided in its fundraising efforts by the WLA's Langley Thunder. Pictured at a fund-raising event are (left to right) Amy Beauchamp, Caitlin Nagel née McNaughton, Cecile Dadson née Ehman and Steve Beauchamp. McNaughton and Dadson each played basketball at Holy Cross with Tessa Beauchamp. (Photo by Garrett James property of Langley Evens Centre 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Adversity’s award: Why the Tessa Beauchamp Scholarships mean so much more to B.C. high school’s courageous Class of 2021!

SURREY — For almost a decade, it has distinguished itself as a memorial scholarship by asking its many Grade 12 student applicants to ponder a question so deeply understood by its namesake.And when you very fittingly digest that same question these days, over the final weeks of the most challenging of school years, it’s hard […]

Trinity Western Spartans prop Josh Halladay credits the program's shared coaching staff as a source of unity through the tough 2020-21 season. (Photo by Mark Janzen property of Trinity Western athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Trinity Western rugby: By sharing the same coaching staff, Spartans’ men’s & women’s teams strengthen team bonds!

LANGLEY — Its blueprint leads you to believe it has been designed specifically to guide its student-athletes through the unique emotional demands of the current global pandemic.Yet the coaching co-operative which was poured as part of the foundation of the Trinity Western Spartans men’s and women’s rugby teams back in 2019 is proving itself to […]

Since graduating from Vancouver's Prince of Wales Secondary in 2016, Sadie Wilson has travelled a long volleyball road, including a stop at Vancouver Island University (above) before finally arriving in Abbotsford with the Fraser Valley Cascades. (Photo by Northfield Photography provided courtesy VIU Athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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A Sunday Read: Sadie Wilson’s winding road to the front row signals spike in fortunes as UFV’s volleyball Cascades prep for 2021-22 Canada West debut!

ABBOTSFORD — After years of waiting, Sadie Wilson’s inner volleyball radar is picking up the pulses of positivity.Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, speaking in the language of her sport, that the 6-foot-1 right-side hitter is sensing a long-anticipated spike in her fortunes.To her, such peaks are welcome, especially when viewed against all of […]

Duchess Park's Caleb Lyons, pictured during the 2020 B.C. Triple-A Final Four Friday at the LEC in March of 2020, will continue his basketball career next season in Nanaimo with the CCAA powerhouse Vancouver Island Mariners. (Photo by Howard Tsumura property of VarsityLetters.ca 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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Varsity Letters’ 15th annual B.C. Recruits List: Please send us the names of our university-bound student-athletes from the Class of 2021!

NORTH DELTA — The B.C. Recruits List turns 15 this year, and based on the events of the past year-plus, I am sure you will agree with me when I say that at no time over that span has it been more important that we acknowledge, in any way possible, our province’s graduating student-athletes.When we […]

Simon Fraser volleyball will return just two seniors for a hopeful 2021-22 GNAC season, and setter Julia Tays (left) and libero Bianca Te have epitomized the character and leadership needed to endure what may well be a near two-year span of inactivity due to the global pandemic. (Photos by Paul Yates property of Simon Fraser athletics 2021. Photo graphic created by Gabriel Lynn. All Rights Reserved.)
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Senior Service: Over a season that never was, Simon Fraser’s duo of Tays and Te kept character at the fore for the sake of the future!

BURNABY MOUNTAIN — Bianca Te and Julia Tays never doubted they would finish what they started.Yet the two lone returning seniors with the Simon Fraser women’s volleyball team never figured that the toughest test of their NCAA careers atop Burnaby Mountain would be defined by their response to the day-in, day-out grind of not playing.In […]

Byrne Creek's Felix Chong (left) and Alex Flores (right) help steady videographer Sampson Fang as the trio captures images of multi-sport athlete Jas Sidhu for its Athlete of the Month feature. (Photo property Byrne Creek athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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At Burnaby’s Byrne Creek, Athletic Council class gives students an empowered ‘voice of community’ in a time of disconnect!

BURNABY — This past September, on what was the first day of a freshly-minted class in the curriculum at Byrne Creek Community School, the teacher posed a defining question to his students.“I had the kids write down what they thought the athletic climate was at Byrne Creek, and how they would perceive us if they […]

Terrell Jana of the Virginia Cavaliers brings a pair of sure hands to the CFL next season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. (Photo by Matt Riley property of University of Virginia media relations 2021. All Rights Reserved)
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CFL Draft 2021: A true purist’s receiver, STM grad Jana puts his hands to an ‘instrumental’ test as he prepares for rookie season with ‘Riders!

As a budding musician, Terrell Jana has discovered that striking a chord or two has not only helped relax his mind, but keep his hands dexterous and strong in his endless pursuit of catching the football.Taken on the whole, it’s just another example of the purist’s approach the Burnaby native and Virginia Cavaliers receiver will […]