We had the chance to chat with soccer player Hailey Walsh who played Universty soccer for The Ottawa GeeGees at the University Of Ottawa in Canada. Hailey has recently signed with Electric City Football Club in League 1Ontario. Hailey goes into detail about being a student athlete, and signing with Electric City Football Club. Check out our conversation below.
When did you first fall in love with soccer?
Hailey Walsh (HW): When I was growing up, I always went to my brother’s soccer games and watching them inspired me to play soccer. I was first enrolled in soccer when I was 6 years old and fell more in love with the sport as soon as I started playing.
What can you tell us about your career as a student athlete?
HW: I have been a student-athlete for virtually my entire life, and it is no easy feat. Juggling studies and your sport is challenging yet is very rewarding as well. Being a student-athlete at the University of Ottawa has presented some of my best friends and most amazing experiences. I have been able to travel the world with my university soccer team and experience some incredible moments together as a team. Throughout my career as a student-athlete I have gained many important skills that have made me a better person. I understand the work ethic and determination it takes to succeed academically and athletically, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my experiences. Because of this, I will continue to be a student-athlete, I am applying to an online Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology graduate degree while I hope to play soccer professionally overseas later in the year.
What is the hardest thing about being a student athlete?
HW: Being a student-athlete means to balance academic, athletic, social, and job responsibilities on the daily basis, while attempting to achieve excellence in all at the same time. It can be physically and mentally draining to juggle everything which has been the most difficult part for me as a student-athlete.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a student athlete?
HW: There are a few most rewarding things about being a student athlete such as the friends and experiences I have had over the years. I have met some of my best friends through soccer and have been able to travel the world because of my sport. It’s very cool to meet people who are just as dedicated as you are in sport and academics and the bonds teammates form are unbreakable. Being able to attain my undergraduate degree with honours while playing soccer at one of the top-ranked universities in the country is also such a fulfilling and rewarding experience which has taught me so many important skills. All the stressors from school and life disappear during practices and game times, soccer has been such an outlet for me and has allowed me to achieve excellence in both athletics and academics.
Did you play more than one sport growing up?
HW: I was a multi-sport athlete growing up. I was first enrolled in gymnastics and then was inspired to play soccer and hockey from watching my brother’s games. In elementary school I participated in extracurricular sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, cross country, and track and field. In highschool I also played on the varsity soccer and volleyball teams. In highschool, soccer took up most of my free time, so I gave up playing hockey to focus on playing soccer at a more competitive level. I think being a multi sport athlete allowed me to increase many different skills such as speed, flexibility, and different muscle groups to succeed at soccer for the long-term.
How excited are you to sign with Electric City Football Club in League 1Ontario?
HW: I am unbelievably excited to sign with Electric City FC. This club has a professional atmosphere which is a unique experience, especially when the male and female teams are treated equally. This team has top quality players from all over the country and I know the training environment will challenge me to become a better player. It’s exciting to make our mark in league one and play in front of amazing fans who have bought into this clubfrom day one.
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