As Alberta’s men’s team is mentally and physically preparing at training camp ahead of the Canada Games, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to one of the players on the squad – Vaughan Bianchi:

Like many of his peers, Vaughan began playing soccer when he was just four years old. Being involved in the sport throughout the better part of his life has, in Vaughan’s words, “without a doubt, shaped who I am today.”

“Soccer has impacted my life in many ways, mainly by what it has taught me about making sacrifices in order to achieve my goals. I have learned valuable lessons about myself and life in general, including how to mentor younger individuals, responsibly represent my team, club or province and manage my time effectively. It has also introduced me to a growing group of lifelong friends.”

Vaughan’s parents, Anita and Chris, echoed his sentiment:

“We watched him make many sacrifices as he pushed himself both physically and emotionally.  Even when he was young, his track record for attendance at tech training, practices and games was consistently very high.  When grades became an important factor for getting into an Engineering program, the pressure to perform in both school and soccer intensified. One thing that Vaughan has learned in the past few years is to communicate with us so that we can look at options to help him over the hurdles.”

These sacrifices and his hard work are certainly paying off for Vaughan. While competing at U18 Nationals in Ontario, he had the opportunity to play in front of York University, which eventually led to an athletic scholarship. Vaughan will begin at York this fall – marking the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

As Vaughan’s parents reflect on this new phase, they remember fondly how soccer has brought their family closer together, “Travelling to and from games and tournaments was still time spent together. Vaughan’s older brother was always very supportive through the challenging times and this has had a profound impact on their relationship and the mutual respect that they have for one another.”

“For Chris and I, the past year has been an emotional time as Vaughan and his U18 teammates move on in life to the next chapter. Watching Team Alberta at the Canada Summer Games will be “bitter sweet” as we know that this is Vaughan’s last chance for a National title as a youth player.  On the other hand, we are excited to see him have the opportunity to be a part of a fine group of young men who share the love for the game regardless of the outcome.”

We wish Vaughan all the best at the Games this week and throughout his student/player career at York.

Meet a couple of Vaughan’s other teammates, as well: Alex Pomfrett and Oscar Miranda

You can follow along with the Games at the official CSG website or on twitter  (#CGSoccer / #JCG2017 / #GoTeamAB)