Third Year - Nursing
"If you want something done, give it to a busy person."
It's not known who coined that old adage, probably because the person who said it was too busy getting things done to worrying about taking credit for their accomplishments. Kind of like Kim Klassen.
Although the Trinity Western University Spartans volleyball player didn't invent that saying, she certainly fits that description of a busy person who gets things done. The third year right side hitter is not only a starter for the #8 ranked Spartan women's volleyball team, but she's also a nursing major. The nursing program is known for being perhaps the most grueling, work and study-intensive majors available for undergrads. To take on that kind of academic workload and also try to be a varsity athlete at the CIS level? For most students, it's one or the other, not both. Most university coaches that recruited Kim certainly thought so.
"Lots of coaches from different schools were like ‘Why don't you take another major and do your nursing degree after your volleyball career is finished?'" Kim remembers of her grade 12 year at MEI in Abbotsford, B.C. "Since I was young I wanted to be a nurse. I wasn't going to give up on that dream, so I decided that I was only going to a school where I could be a nursing major and play volleyball."
Complicating Kim's dreams of pursuing a nursing degree while playing volleyball was that she still wasn't fully recovered from injuries sustained in a car accident in grade 11. Still, current Spartans Head Coach Ryan Hofer and the TWU staff saw enough potential to give her a chance.
"TWU decided to take a chance on me, that I would get back to full health," Kim said. "The coaches wanted me to try some nursing electives or pre-req's to see if I could handle playing volleyball and being a nursing major."
Three years later, it looks coach Hofer and the Spartan staff knew exactly what they were doing, and what kind of player and person they were getting.
"Kim Klassen is consistent," says Coach Hofer. "She works hard and gives everything that she's got. She's a great blocker, and attacker, and we know that she's going to get us a kill or block when we need it. She's a big contributor to this team."
Another reason Kim chose TWU was her passion for mission work and helping those in need. She has been on three separate missions trips to the Ukraine, Thailand, and Honduras, and would love to take some more.
"I really am thankful that I had the opportunity to go on the missions trips that I have," says Kim. "I like working with kids and using sports as a ministry. I went to Honduras with AIA and we played volleyball and shared our faith. In Thailand I was teaching English a lot and running sports camps. That's just something that I really love to do."
Kim's passion for helping others is evident on the court and around the team too.
"Each person contributes in her own way, and she has a servant's heart," says Coach Hofer. "She wants to give back, she wants to encourage people, build up people, and she does that with her actions and her words."
This year, Kim is a starter for the first time, and is currently ninth in the Canada West conference in kills with 39 in just 14 games. An impressive accomplishment? Not for Kim, who looks at it as just another thing that needs to be done, and done well.
"It's a little but different not being on the bench, but being on the floor more. I still go into it with the same mindset and work hard. So far so good."
Her coach would say that's an understatement: "She's made some significant improvements, to the point that we've made some changes in positions on the team to accommodate her, and make sure that she's on the floor," Hofer says. "She's turning into one of the top CIS right sides."
Looking back now, it seems silly to doubt whether Kim could handle a nursing major and volleyball. She's doing so well with both that she's considering adding a minor in missions. Just another example of a busy person getting something done.
Last Updated: 2008-01-10