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Tigers take a trip to Naples

Four Dal athletes named to Team Canada

Representing your country is something most athletes dream of for their entire life. This July, that came true for four Dalhousie  University  Tigers athletes as they were selected to represent Team Canada at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Summer Universiade 2019 in Naples, Italy. The Summer Universiade is an Olympics-like event for university athletes that is held every two years in a different city.  

“It has always been a goal of mine, I mean to play for Canada and have that red and white jersey with Canada across your chest,” says  Alex  Carson, who has played basketball for the Tigers for three years. “I’m really  honoured  to have had this opportunity this summer.”  

During the Atlantic  University Sport  season,  Carson  shares the floor with fifth-year forward  Sascha  Kappos  and this  summer, they played together for Canada.   

In this image: Sascha Kappos goes to dunk the basketball.
Sascha Kappos (left) is one of the athletes who represented Team Canada. Photo by Mathieu Belanger

“It was unbelievable.  It was something that I’ll never forget in my lifetime,”  says  Kappos.   

Kappos  and Carson have known each other for a long  time, and playing together on an international stage  gave them an opportunity to experience the unforgettable  as Team Canada earned a  sixth place  finish in the tournament.  

Rosters were made with top athletes representing different universities across Canada  and they battled against teams from all over the world. More than 150 countries were represented at the tournament.   

Gaining leadership experience 

Experiencing that level of competition was valuable for the Tigers in learning leadership skills and understanding your role on the team,  says  Kappos.  

In Naples, “everyone had a role to play,” he  says. “Don’t play outside of the way that you can play and play to your strengths and the end result will speak for itself.”  

As a veteran on Dal’s basketball team for this upcoming season,  Kappos  says  that passing along the message of playing your own game with confidence is important for the younger stars on Dal’s team like  Keevan  Veinot, Jordan Brathwaite and Xavier  Ochu.  

“They are going to be all conference players one day there is no question; it’s just having that mindset that if you play to your strengths and play with confidence, it will always be a win,”  says  Kappos.   

Unfortunate injury 

Julie Moore and Courtney Baker from the Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball team were also named to Team Canada.  

Moore,  a third-year outside, suffered a badly sprained ankle before the tournament and wasn’t able to compete because of the injury.  Despite not being able to play, she remained positive and supported the team from the sidelines  as they faced tough competition and finished in eighth place.  

“It was bittersweet for sure, but it was amazing to watch and see the level of play and even just training with the girls was awesome,”  says  Moore.  

Continuing success 

For Baker, this was her second and final time playing at the Summer Universiade. She competed in 2017 in Taipei City, as well as at a Grand Prix international competition in 2017

The fifth-year setter says  that always pushing herself to be better has been crucial for her success so far.  

“[Have] really high expectations, train really hard every day and [make] every rep you get  count to get better every day so you can have an opportunity to play,” she  says.  

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