BY JULIA BROWN
“The things that people do now in sports, you can’t even believe. These are complete total athletes. To see what human beings can do in the highest level is amazing.”
– Billie Joe Armstrong
For some, sports are just fun activities and a good way to get exercise. For others, sports are a lifestyle. With a burning passion athletes work themselves to the core to play their best and win.
When injury and obstacles occur, it is devastating to sit on the sidelines and watch the team play without them. What makes an athlete to keep going? Why step back on the court?
Second-year Kinesiology and Health Promotion student Amanda Manley is in her second year on the Sheridan Bruins women’s volleyball team. Sports are her passion. She grew up playing soccer and found her love when she started playing volleyball. She has been a part of many volleyball clubs and teams and continued her career playing for the Sheridan team.
Things have not always been easy for Manley. She has suffered multiple different injuries and has struggled with her ankles. She hit a bump in the road this season when she suffered a concussion after getting hit in the head in volleyball practice.
“It kills me to have to just sit and watch. I just want to be with my team and support them. It was hard missing the last few games of the season but my teammates and coaches were really supportive,” said Manley.
Having multiple head injuries can be dangerous and Manley knows this but she continues to push forward.
“What keeps me going is knowing that I am going back to something I love and something I have put so much time into. I have the drive to get back to my teammates and just get back to doing something I love and something that is a huge part of my life.”
With support from her parents, Manley makes sure she is prepared and well equipped to step back on the court and be safe.
“My parents do get worried, but what parent wouldn’t. They have been extremely supportive throughout different injuries and make sure I get the best care for recovery to keep me safe when I go back to playing,” she says.
“Every time she gets hurt I want her to stop playing,” says Lorie Manley, Amanda’s mother. “It’s a very fine balance for any parent, between supporting your child’s passion to play a sport they love and the desire for them to stop, to avoid any long term physical and/or mental effects from being injured.”
As a parent to an athlete who never gives up, her mother says it can be a big responsibility. “I would say the biggest responsibility both [dad] Paul and I have is to guide/support Amanda and to ensure she has all of the right information, for example, medical, to make an informed choice for herself about whether or not she continues to play. She is an adult and we share the responsibility of making good decisions with her,” she says.
If there’s one thing to learn from Manley’s story it is that when you love something and you are passionate about it, you will let nothing get in your way. That is the mentality of a true athlete.
She still has two years as a Bruin and she cannot wait to see what the coming seasons have in store.