As a girl, Cloverdale’s Sedona Arabsky was a dancer, prefering pirouettes and kick-ball changes to dunks and slams.
But that all changed in Grade 8, her first year of high school, when a friend talked her into trying out for the school’s volleyball and basketball teams.
“The agreement with my parents was that I would try school sports for one year, then go back to dance, if that’s what I wanted,” says Sedona, now 16 and headed into Grade 11 this fall at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.
To her surprise and amazement, the dancer loved raw sports.
“I really didn’t think I would love sports that much,” she says.
Her basketball coach Liesa Hogan remembers Arabsky’s tryout that year.
“I was absolutely blown away. You just saw her pure athletic ability from the get-go.”
They were, she says, excited to have her.
That was three years ago.
Now that it’s 2016, it’s obvious Arabsky’s entry into sports has paid dividends, winning her school’s athlete of the year honours in Grade 8, 9 and 10, and the school’s best overall athlete in 2016.
“I was so surprised and shocked, I thought they announced the wrong name,” she recalls.
She made the provincial team for both volleyball and basketball, and also had success as an individual athlete.
Her leadership qualities serve her well, according to Jennifer Robinson, school leadership and volleyball coach.
“She just instills all those qualities of a leader – I know she’s done tons of service in our community, not just at Tweedsmuir and our athletic program, but within our community she has gone out there and made a difference.”
Last month, Arabsky played an instrumental role in team BC’s U16 volleyball victory at the nationals in Richmond. Team BC defeated Team Ontario in the final.
The selection process was daunting, beginning with regional finals and funnelling into provincial tryouts with 70 candidates – a process mirrored across the country.
“Best experience of my life,” she said.
Arabsky will now return to the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers to compete in volleyball, basketball and track and field this fall.
With two more years of high school to go before she graduates, she is already being recruited for an athletic scholarships in both volleyball and basketball. Soon she will have to decide.
“I love both sports, how will I ever decide on something I love equally?” she says.
“One thing we know for sure is it won’t be dance.
She planned to tune into the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
“I love the Olympics! I will really be watching the mens volleyball team as I’ve met Freddie Winters and Rudy Verhoeff of Team Canada,” she said. “I will also be watching the women’s basketball team.”
– Cloverdale Reporter