By Mia Hildebrandt

As the athletic seasons are wrapping and graduating Ooks are starting to spread their wings out in the real world, they reflect on what being a part of the NAIT athletic family has meant to them over the years.

Donnelly, Hurlburt, Lewington and Norenberg have all had incredible experiences at NAIT on and off the court.

NAIT women's volleyball team

Julia Donnelly | Photo by Railene Hooper

Julia Donnelly, a fourth year on the women’s volleyball team said that looking back one of her favourite memories was going to San Diego for a tournament.

“On the last day there we got to go on a hike up a mountain and then down to a beach which was a super cool memory to have because it was so much fun and I got to do it with my team,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly is thankful for the sport as she has been able to meet her best friends through the game.
“From the moment I decided to commit to NAIT, to the moment I played in my last game, I have had nothing but gratitude and respect for this school and my team.”

NAIT Women's Basketball Team

Sydney Hurlburt | Photo by Railene Hooper

Sydney Hurlburt, a fifth year on the women’s basketball, ended her athletic career at NAIT by earning a first team all conference award and breaking the records for most games played and most three points made for the women’s team.
Hurlburt said that her favourite memory at NAIT was winning an ACAC championship as a rookie.

“Being an Ook has been a second family to me. I have met so many people that will be in my life for a long time, but not only that, I got to play the sport that I love while having the ability to get an education while doing it.”

Hurlburt is hoping to coach a basketball team to keep connected to the sport she has grown to love so much.

NAIT Men's Volleyball Team

Mitch Lewington | Photo by Railene Hooper

Mitch Lewington, a fourth year setter from Australia for the men’s volleyball team, said that moving here and meeting so many new people and having so many new experiences has made his time as an Ook unforgettable.

“The friends I have met over here and the things I have been able to see, I will hold very closely to me for a long time.”

Lewington said that he hopes to play as much beach volleyball as possible and join a men’s league in the future.

NAIT Women's Volleyball Team

Emma Norenberg | Photo by Railene Hooper

Emma Norenberg, a fourth year from the women’s volleyball team said that she will always remember beating the Lakeland Rustlers when they were the number one ranked team in her second year.

“It was pure elation running onto the court with my teammates to celebrate beating the undefeated team. It was one of those games where everything we did was perfect.”

Norenberg has nothing but praise for her time spent playing at NAIT.

“Seeing my teammates every day was always the highlight of my day even if I was dreading practice. I was always in a better mood after practice than I was going into it. Being an Ook has given me some of the happiest memories of my life and it makes me sad to not return next year,” Norenberg said.