Christian Christie wanted to find a university that could support his love for volleyball, but still let him study what he loves. When he found St. Thomas University, he knew he would feel at home.
Henri Mallet, coach of the STU men’s volleyball team, reached out to him and showed him the school.
“It seemed like a really good fit because they had criminology here, and that’s what I’m majoring in. It had everything that I was looking for,” Christie said.
Christie grew up in small-town Truro, Nova Scotia and later moved to Langley, B.C., about a 45-minute drive from Vancouver.
Christie started playing volleyball in sixth grade. After trying out for the Truro Junior High volleyball team, he was hooked.
He also did track and played badminton and hockey before attending St. Thomas, but volleyball was always his first love.
Christie played volleyball for Truror Junior High, the town’s Cobequid Education Centre and Truro Tide Club.
After moving to B.C., Christie played for Langley Christian School and Fraser Valley Volleyball Club, where his team was successful.
Christie and his team won the 18+ boys provincial champions in 2017, beating a four-time defending champion team in the finals.
They were ranked number one in the country going into nationals.
Carrying the triumph with him to STU, Christie has high hopes his team has a chance to win nationals in the near future.
He said he knows his team will have to set a goal and work hard to reach it.
“It’s an experience to learn how to work with the team,” Christie said.
“When everyone is working towards a goal and then you see it pay off. I saw everyone grow throughout the season and it was really cool.”
For Christie, the balance of school, work and other activities on top of volleyball practices and games has been manageable. He said he makes sure he always starts his assignments early and doesn’t push them off.
He’s friends with many of his teammates and despite challenges, “being in the same boat as everyone else helps,” Christie said.
Some of his friends are familiar faces from high school as well, which makes him feel more at home.
“This year I became really close the the guys [on the team]. We are basically like brothers,” Christie said.
“I’ve always liked the sense of a family atmosphere.”