Western Mustang Alum Luke Sim is back home in Toronto after finishing a season with Södertelge Volleybollklubb in Sweden. He helped the Mustangs win three OUA silver medals, and a CIS silver medal in his final year, and made a big impact on the court in Sweden. We are super stoked to have such a passionate and dedicated player competing in ONE Volleyball's first Challenger Series event on January 7th, so we caught up with him to chat about his experience overseas, and what it's like to be back.
Club team: Crush Volleyball
University team: Western Mustangs
Post-secondary: Södertelge Volleybollklubb
What made you return to Canada?
My experience playing professional volleyball in Europe was easily the most amazing two years of my life. It allowed me to travel the world while playing the sport that meant the most to me. However, I could never seem to get over the feeling that my life at home was being put on hold, that all of my friends and former classmates were getting a jump start on ‘real life’. The season was 8 months, but the 8 months spent away from family and friends felt much longer.
What are you doing now to stay involved?
I am coaching 16U girls with Phoenix Volleyball Club, and help train 10-14 year olds through a development program on Monday nights. Being a part of a team, a family, that shares a common goal to be the best and are striving for greatness together is a feeling that cannot be artificial created. I am also participating in any Elite tournaments that I can.
Do you miss playing volleyball full-time?
I feel blessed to have been able to play volleyball at an elite level and to be a part of a competitive family was a gift.
Unlike many volleyball players, there was no significant injury that forced me to stop playing, so I especially miss volleyball. For me, being on the court was a way of escaping the reality of life’s stresses. Much like any other sport, when you’re competing, your mind seems to completely ignore any other issues that may be apparent in everyday life.
We heard you were thinking about going back overseas. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I miss competing everyday, and I miss being able to contribute to a common competitive goal. I currently have no intention on playing this season, however would be open to offers for the 2017/18 season if the contract is right.
What would you say if there was an opportunity to play semi-pro or pro here in Toronto?
If the opportunity to play semi-professional volleyball here in Toronto presented it self, I would most definitely be interested. Although I truly believe that volleyball has made great strides within North America, I also believe that we have a long way to go.
Check out the video that helped Luke pursue his volleyball career overseas!