Two Ladysmith Secondary School students have been awarded full-ride athletic scholarships.
LSS student athlete, Kamryn Grooms has received an athletic scholarship to Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.
Grooms is going to join the Nipissing Lakers hockey team while she pursues a degree in nursing.
“I’m so excited. I’ve been playing hockey my whole life, so I guess the hard work paid off,” she said. “My whole life has been sports, even in school sports. I play basketball, volleyball. I even did figure skating and soccer. Out of school I do hockey and softball.”
Other schools in the United States and one other Canadian school tried to recruit Grooms, but she chose Nipissing based on the strength of their nursing program. Grooms has always been interested in sciences, which got her interested in a future in nursing. She said that watching how nurses have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to join the frontline effort.
She’s looking forward to a new experience living outside of B.C., and she’s happy to be graduating as Canada’s vaccination program is setting students up for a return to in person classes in the fall.
Grooms is in a group chat with other rookies who will join the Lakers in the fall and she’s been in contact with some other teammates. She’ll be living off-campus with her teammates and she’s excited to already have a group of friends before she arrives in North Bay.
Training camp starts in the middle of August. Grooms hasn’t decided exactly how she’s going to get out to North Bay yet, but she’s ready for an adventure. Grooms has lived in Ladysmith for her whole life and much of her family lives in the Ladysmith area.
“I’m definitely going to miss how beautiful it is,” she said. “I send pictures of Ladysmith to the girls I’m going to be living with and they’re blown away.”
LSS student Dru Wright is headed to Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri on an athletic scholarship. Wright’s full tuition will be paid and he will play baseball for the Missouri Valley College Vikings.
Wright currently pitches and plays first base for the Vancouver Island University Mariner’s college prep baseball team in Nanaimo. He said that the Mariners were instrumental in helping him get his scholarship to MVC.
“I’ve never been that far into America before, so this is going to be something new for sure,” he said.
Wright feels that his experiences in Ladysmith have prepared him well for life in Marshall because it’s also a smaller town with a population of just over 13,000.
While playing ball, Wright will pursue a degree in exercise science. He then plans to go to graduate school and become a physiotherapist — unless he makes it to the major leagues.
“It’s a good feeling that I have all these opportunities open to me,” he said.
The pandemic has thrown a bit of a wrench into his baseball season. Wright has been training and keeping his skills up, but there’s no replacement for a full on season.
Wright is relieved to be going to the United States for fall 2021 now that America’s vaccination campaign has calmed the infection rates of COVID-19 down south.
“When I got the offer last year everything was pretty hectic down there and the vaccine wasn’t even a thing yet. I was kind of worried about that, but it’s good that we have one now. I wouldn’t want to go down there without it.”
Wright will start school on August 24 and he looks forward to enjoying his summer here on the Island before he heads down to Missouri.