Pasha Ormerod is creating memories on the volleyball court at Durham College after moving here from British Columbia to play.
But her home province certainly hasn’t forgotten her.
Ormerod was honoured with a British Columbia Premier’s Award earlier this month. The award recognizes Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports and was given to eight other Indigenous athletes.
“I was excited they chose me for it, it’s tough to get,” said the native of Terrace, B.C. “It’s nice to see that [Indigenous] individuals who go out [get recognized].”
Ormerod is a first-year student in the health and fitness promotion program at DC.
“My program is only two years and I want to come back and take another program just to continue to play [volleyball].”
Ormerod started playing volleyball in Grade 8 and continued throughout high school. She was recruited by Durham head coach Tony Clarke when she played at a national tournament in Alberta.
“I spoke with her father and next thing you know, she decided she wanted to come to Durham,” Clarke said. “It’s a tough, full transition to go from B.C. and coming across four or five different provinces to be here and meet all new people. It’s a lot of new things for her. It was very exciting to hear she was going to receive that award.”
Ormerod said learning to adapt to the geography of the Oshawa area hasn’t been difficult.
“Where I’m from, I literally just live in the middle of the woods,” she said. “Coming here, it’s weird seeing a bunch of big cities, but it doesn’t really bother me.”
But adapting culturally to Oshawa is a bit different.
“Not many people know I’m Metis or First Nations,” said the Saskatchewan-born Ormerod.
“I used to make bannock (bread) with my grandma and build moccasins,” she added. “When I think of people back home and I come here, I see people back home in the people here. Personality-wise and through acceptance.”
Clarke said Ormerod is “somewhat quiet” but her teammates have “embraced her.”
The 5-foot-11 middle has transitioned smoothly to playing in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, starting five of the first six games to open the season.
“I asked my teammate the other day if she thought I was a good rookie, a new player,” Ormerod said. “She told me that she thinks I’m a good player to be brought on the team and that over the years, the development skill-wise and leadership-wise, will be big.”
Ormerod wants to further her education and following the fitness program, plans to enrol in the two-year athletic therapy program at DC, so she can extend her volleyball career.
“My initial thought was to be a sport psychologist,” Ormerod said. “I would like to be an athletic therapist and work with the teams here or somewhere back home in B.C.”