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Black History Month

In honour of Black History Month, we asked a few Volleyball Canada national team athletes to tell us about their role models. They name-dropped a who’s who of sports icons, everyone from retired Olympic sprinters to living basketball legends (LeBron James made the list, of course). Seeing their role models perform at the highest level, these Canadian athletes were motivated to dream bigger, work harder. Now, as role models themselves, they are determined to give back, doing whatever it takes to inspire the next generation of Black athletes. Here’s what they had to say:

Andrew Tucker, Men’s sitting volleyball team

Who’s your role model? “Donovan Bailey, the Jamaican-Canadian sprinter who won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. When I was a kid, he’s the first person I heard my mom talk about. Both of my parents are Jamaican. I was born in New York, but moved to Etobicoke at the age of two. Watching the Olympics, it was my first time seeing all of the countries compete. It was cool seeing the interactions between the Jamaican and Canadian sprinters. The biggest thing was representation. When I watched it on TV, I thought, Do I fit into this picture? To see Bailey performing on the big stage like that, it let me know that I could make it to the Olympics.”

What does it mean for you to be a role model?

“It means a lot. Now that I’m in this position, I like to pass the knowledge along, whether it’s in sports or life. I do a lot of public speaking with Parasport Ontario. We also do sport demonstrations: sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, bocce, things like that. My brother, Nicholas, also has a disability. Seeing me play at the 2015 Parapan American Games inspired him to play ball sports, too. Now he plays at a club in Brampton.”

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Volleyball Canada is responsible for fostering the growth and development of volleyball throughout all of Canada. Their vision is to be a world leader in volleyball, and their values include excellence, integrity, and leadership. This contributor is part of our Fair Dealing Policy:

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