Garnet Van Dyck

The rewards of perseverance

Sooke soccer star receives scholarship to attend University of Regina.

Soon to graduate from EMCS, Garnet Van Dyck is following her dreams.

Since as far back as she can remember, she has wanted to compete on Canada’s Soccer Women’s National Team.

“My biggest goal is to play in the national’s,” she said in conversation.

While she hasn’t arrived (yet), she is well on her way. A few months ago she got word that she received a scholarship from the University of Regina to play on their women’s soccer team.

“I’m exciting and nervous,” Van Dyck said, “It will be a new start with new friends.”

Van Dyck has always been attracted to soccer. “I remember playing in Sooke when I was younger. I was pretty good at it, and it came naturally.”

As she grew, the competition increased. And as the competition increased, her skills developed.

“Growing her skill in Sooke has meant signing her up to play with higher level teams outside of Sooke,” said her mother, Nadine Smith. Her daughter remains active in Sooke, coaching the Sandlot division for the past three years.

“She just keeps working harder and harder,” said Smith. “She didn’t always make the team, but she kept persevering. She went from sitting on the bench to being a starting player.” A starting player is a player who can start the game and continue throughout the entire game.

“I like the game. It’s fun, it makes you think. And there are a lot of opportunities,” she says. For instance, she has been to Belize (located on the northeast coast of Central America) for a soccer competition. There, she played for the Kansas showcase team.

She was selected for the showcase team when some good friends of hers, who were also trying out, recommended Van Dyck to the selection coach. He contacted Van Dyck, who went to Virginia for the tryout and where she made the final cut.

When asked what advise she would give to other young players interested in pursuing soccer (or any passion for that matter), Garnet speaks encouragingly: “Just keep at it, don’t let what other people say discourage you; and, if you don’t make the team, don’t give up.”