Carissa Roy won't back down

By: Scott Haddow – Straight Up Sports

 | Jun 19, 2014 - 10:22 AM |
Carissa Roy put her stamp on Marymount Academy by helping athletic teams win championship banners. This year, Roy helped four teams win banners. Photo by Scott Haddow.

Carissa Roy put her stamp on Marymount Academy by helping athletic teams win championship banners. This year, Roy helped four teams win banners. Photo by Scott Haddow.

Sport taught Marymount student valuable lessons

Carissa Roy speaks with confidence and passion — her two main character traits. 

This young woman knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do.

“I am a strong person,” said the Grade 12 Marymount student-athlete. “When I set my mind to something … I don’t leave it incomplete. I put everything into it.”

Roy is an honour roll student at Marymount. She is a champion athlete with the Marymount Regals. She is engaged with the student population and has an outstanding rapport with teachers and coaches.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Coming into Marymount for Grade 7, Roy was struggling. Her parents were divorced. Her father was supporting four kids while trying to run his own business and money was tight as. She didn’t have great grades or a great attitude.

Her confidence — so evident now — was not there.

“In Grade 7, I didn’t care much about school,” she said. “I was shy and struggled academically. When I was younger, I didn’t think I would change and a become a better person. I have.”

The transition into a committed young adult wasn’t easy. Roy worked at it, but athletics was key to unlocking her potential to grow and mature.

“Sports built my character,” Roy said. “It gave me the drive to develop as a person. It taught me to push myself, not just in athletics, but academically.
“It is drastic how much I have improved (and) it has come from sports.”

During the 2013-14 school year, Roy was a key member on teams that won A-level city championships in cross-country, track and field and alpine skiing, as well as in flag football — the third in the row for Marymount.

“Her speed and willingness to learn stands out,” Marymount teacher and coach Dan Bartolucci said. “She was a force in sports for our school and instrumental in four city championships we won.”

With her boundless energy and gritty character, Roy brings plenty of spirit to her teams and teammates.

“Carissa brightens up a room when she walks in,” Bartolucci said. “She fires her teammates up and they all want to perform for her.”

Roy is undaunted by any challenge, but she wasn't always this way. Sport helped her learn the value of failure.

“I’m not afraid to fail to get through to what I want in life,” Roy said. “Before, I didn’t want to do things because I didn’t want to fail. In Grade 9, I didn’t try-out for flag football. I was intimidated … (but) you have to take the risk to see where it will lead you.

“Failures have helped build my character.”

She also takes pride in being a Regals student-athlete, even stopping during the interview to fix the wall mats in the gymnasium.

“I love showing off my Regal spirit,” she said. “The school has done a lot for me and my family.”

Roy graduates this year and will head to Laurentian University in the fall to study outdoor adventure leadership with concurrent education. She wants to be an adventure guide and teacher in the future.

And she will succeed. Because that's what she does.

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