Alumnus leads Team Canada to Olympics
Abbotsford, BC, is a long way from Australia, where TWU alumnus Adam Froese (’15) was born and raised, but its here that the Team Canada field hockey player lives and trains. And it’s where he commuted from to attend Trinity Western University, often fitting in two training sessions a day at UBC between his business classes.
Froese, who initially planned to attend UBC, chose Trinity Western after a visit to the campus in 2010 during which he met then-School of Business professor Lachlan Watley, a fellow Australian. “That first encounter turned my plans upside down,” he said. “I felt so welcomed by Professor Watley and by all the School of Business faculty.”
That decision, it turned out, was one that would have a profound impact on Froese’s spiritual life. “I wasn’t a solid Christian when I first came here,” he said, “so the thought of attending a Christian university wasn’t in my plans.” But through TWU, he said, his faith deepened and he began to see his sport as an opportunity for ministry.
The son of a Canadian father and Australian mother, Froese came to Canada at the age of 17 to try out for Canada’s national field hockey team, which he made on his first effort. A natural leader on the field and off, he challenged himself to excel not just in sport, but also in academics, friendships, and—most importantly—his spiritual life.
“I really feel God pushing me to see this opportunity as a mission field,” said Froese, who had been on the same Team Canada squad for five years. “I have a desire to be a light for my team. It’s cool to be able to do this at a high-level sport, where distractions are so common; it’s easy for sport to become your God. So being able to lean on my faith has really helped me remember who I am in Christ.”
One of TWU’s most accomplished alumni athletes, Froese has participated in two Pan Am Games, where his team earned silver medals in 2011 in Mexico and last month at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. His overtime goal against Brazil at the 2015 Pan Ams earned Team Canada a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In November, the team will compete in the World Field Hockey Championships in India.
“It’s a blessing to connect with other Christian athletes at these multi-sport games,” Froese said of his Toronto experience. He wasn’t the only TWU alum at the Pan Am Games: a pair of former men’s volleyball standouts, Steve Marshall (’13) and Rudy Verhoeff (’12) were there donning red and white, as well as two current track and field stars, Katelynn Ramage and Nathan George.
“Being able to represent Christ in a vast array of events with other athletes is cool,” said Froese. “I’m excited for our opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games, which is a dream come true. I love being part of the close community of guys that is Team Canada.”
While playing field hockey at this elite level has its ups and downs and challenges, Froese acknowledges the journey is about something more. “It’s not about the accolades or accomplishment,” he said, “but finding the purpose for why I’m competing: to represent Christ and be a disciple.”