Anika Nystrom

"Anika_Nystrom.JPGPeople can judge you all they want, but the second you step on the field, all those things don't matter anymore, you're a soccer player and that's it.

Being in the Glenfir Soccer Academy with Chris Bennett as my coach has taught me so much. I've learned about the technicality of soccer, I've learned about the passion that brings people together all around the world, and most importantly, I've learned that with passion and a little bit of effort, anything is possible.

I never thought that big differences could be made in a year. I look around at the people that I practice with every day, and I see how they've grown into soccer players that devote everything to the game. It's one thing to love the game, and it's another to live it. At Glenfir, we live the life of soccer!

With the Academy, I feel like I've improved on so many things. Soccer has become a major part of my life. Practicing every day definitely has its benefits, and for me, it showed in my shooting abilities, fitness and overall attitude towards life. I took the skills and knowledge that I learned from practices and theory sessions with Coach Bennett and applied it to every game I had. Recently, my team won the U17 Provincials in Vancouver. Putting time and effort into training has put me on the U21 Women's team who are going into the playoffs this weekend.

For all the successes I have had this year and this season, I'd like to thank my coach and my inspiration. Without Coach Bennett, I wouldn't be the player and the person I am today. In the classroom he teaches us much more than tactics for the game, he teaches us about life in general. He teaches us about passion, effort and as a result, success."

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"Success is no accident. It's hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing." -Pele