Multi-sport athlete had stellar five-year career at St. Marys DCVI
By Pat Payton
To say it was quite a week for Abbey Thorup is a bit of an understatement.
Volleyball Canada recently nominated the 18-year-old St. Marys native to attend a NORCECA beach volleyball event, June 6-10, in La Paz, Mexico. She competed with long-time playing partner Iris Fletcher, of London, and the pair finished sixth overall in the international event. They went into the competition ranked ninth.
After getting home last Tuesday morning at 2:30 a.m., Thorup attended the DCVI athletic awards social later that night and accepted the school’s prestigious Graduating Athlete Award.
Then, early Thursday morning, Thorup headed off to the other side of the world to compete for Canada in the FIVB U-21 World beach volleyball championships. Udonthani, Thailand is hosting the 17th edition of the event, June 18-23. She is again competing with Fletcher.
Coach makes presentation
At the DCVI athletic awards night last Tuesday, teacher/coach Stephen Chateauvert made the Graduating Athlete Award presentation to Thorup, whom he’s coached for several years.
“I don’t think it’s much of a surprise to anyone here tonight to learn that the recipient of this award is Abbey Thorup,” Chateauvert said in an emotional speech. “After all, she’s won more medals, plaques and banners competing on teams at this school than pretty well anyone else who has ever walked these halls. And it will be a long time before anyone wins this much after.
“She’s an exceptional athlete, who excels at every sport that she plays, and she’s very deserving of this award.”
In her five years at DCVI, Thorup played basketball, volleyball, badminton and ultimate frisbee. She was on teams that won OFSAA gold and Antique bronze in Senior volleyball, as well as an OFSAA consolation title in Senior basketball.
Coached Thorup five years
Chateauvert coached Thorup in volleyball all five years she attended DCVI.
“In those five years, we had more success than I ever could have imagined,” he said. “I’ll give you a little insight into what it’s like to coach Abbey. She doesn’t like to lose . . . never has and probably never will. However, it fuels her desire to get better and drives her to be a better athlete.
“Abbey is a team player and she knows she needs to have a strong team around her. She has had a strong supporting cast, like-minded athletes around her during her time here at DCVI. She took on a variety of roles during her athletic career at DCVI in order to do what’s best for the team. I know she’s very appreciative of the teammates that she’s had and the dedication of her teammates.
“It’s these qualities that have shaped Abbey into one very successful Saluki. It’s been a pleasure coaching Abbey over the past five years. I consider myself very lucky to play a small part in her development as an athlete and as a person,” he added.
Caps DCVI sports career
Thorup admitted that winning the Graduating Athlete Award was a “great way” to finish her high school career. She said she was hoping to win it.
“It feels good and a good way to leave,” the soft-spoken Thorup said. “Playing all the sports was definitely a highlight at DCVI. And going to OFSAA was always fun.”
This fall, Abbey Thorup begins a new chapter in her life when she begins a NCAA Division 1 beach volleyball scholarship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She will study Exercise Science. UAB is located in downtown Birmingham, pop. 210,700, and has an enrollment of about 22,000 students.
Athletic awards social notes:
–In his opening address, DCVI principal Scott Richardson thanked the coaches for donating all of their time.
–Lauren Cameron and Simon Duncan did a fine job as student master of ceremonies last Tuesday, announcing the MVPs and sportsmanship winners on all the school teams.
–Teacher Annette Wrigley does a great job of organizing the DCVI athletic awards social each June. She noted that of the 562 students who attended the school this year, 251 were involved in athletics. That’s “45 per cent” of the school population.
–At last Tuesday’s DCVI athletic event, head of Phys. Ed. and Athletic Coordinator Ian Moore announced that Annette Wrigley will be receiving a Coaching Excellence Award later this year. He nominated her for the award, which she will receive in the fall in Toronto. It recognizes the contributions a coach has made “over a period of years.” She has coached for 25 years at the school.
The award is in partnership with the Coaches Association of Ontario and will be presented during ‘Coaches Week.’