From a failed dream to a future Olympian

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From a failed dream to a future Olympian

During a game against the Lindbergh Flyers, sophomore Karen Trevor-Roberts guards her goal. “I do everything to make sure the ball doesn’t get into the goal, even during practice when a lot of balls are being shot against me,” Trevor-Roberts said. “[Field hockey] gives you a family. It teaches me teamwork and even helps with social skills. It also teaches me how to balance school and sports.”

During a game against the Lindbergh Flyers, sophomore Karen Trevor-Roberts guards her goal. “I do everything to make sure the ball doesn’t get into the goal, even during practice when a lot of balls are being shot against me,” Trevor-Roberts said. “[Field hockey] gives you a family. It teaches me teamwork and even helps with social skills. It also teaches me how to balance school and sports.”

Wagner Portraits

During a game against the Lindbergh Flyers, sophomore Karen Trevor-Roberts guards her goal. “I do everything to make sure the ball doesn’t get into the goal, even during practice when a lot of balls are being shot against me,” Trevor-Roberts said. “[Field hockey] gives you a family. It teaches me teamwork and even helps with social skills. It also teaches me how to balance school and sports.”

Wagner Portraits

Wagner Portraits

During a game against the Lindbergh Flyers, sophomore Karen Trevor-Roberts guards her goal. “I do everything to make sure the ball doesn’t get into the goal, even during practice when a lot of balls are being shot against me,” Trevor-Roberts said. “[Field hockey] gives you a family. It teaches me teamwork and even helps with social skills. It also teaches me how to balance school and sports.”

By Zoe DeYoung, Parkway West High School

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“Speechless.”

That is how sophomore Karen Trevor-Roberts describes the moment she discovered she will be attending Sport EuroTour Drivjer GK Academy in Amsterdam, deemed to have the “top training and competition abroad,” for field hockey goalies.

While eating lunch at West County Mall, Trevor-Roberts’ step-mom pulled out a calendar to look over the family’s summer plans.

“I saw a goalie camp [on the calendar], and I asked them what it was. They told me, and I was speechless,” Trevor-Roberts said.

Operating under the tagline, “the best goalie camp on Planet Earth,” the Drijver GK Academy is July 18-27. Athletes ages 16 to 20 years old learn the “Martijn Drijver goalie method,” created by camp founder Martijn Drijver and partake in six days of goalie training and evening workshops, with two days set aside for sightseeing.

“I’m hoping to gain more experience and hopefully [the camp coaches] can correct my technique and give me more advanced skills to work on,” Trevor-Roberts said. “It’s going to be a lot harder because [the competition is] more advanced.”

Trevor-Roberts’ career did not start out with immediate success. Freshman year, she tried out for the volleyball team but did not make it; with advice from a friend, she decided to take a chance on field hockey.

“It’s just like starting any sport,” Trevor-Roberts said. “It is hard at first, but once I got my basics down, it became much easier. I enjoyed learning how to kick the ball correctly and how I should stand because that meant that I could improve. I had tons of determination, so I didn’t let anything get in my way.”

Along with her late beginning, Trevor-Roberts is hard of hearing, which can challenge her during games and practices.

“One difficulty I have is sometimes I can’t hear everything while I’m playing because I have to take my hearing aids out,” Trevor-Roberts said. “During practice when coaches give instructions, I sometimes have to run up to them and ask them to repeat it. During games, as a goalie, I don’t have to listen as much. I usually tell the umpires before the game that I have trouble hearing. Having them know is helpful because then they can make sure they are close enough and looking at me so I can understand what they are saying.”

Her father, among others, was a large reason why she took up field hockey. Trevor-Roberts would consider him her greatest supporter.

“He watches YouTube videos and tells me how I can improve,” Trevor-Roberts said. “When I played other sports, my dad would be proud of me, but with field hockey it’s on a whole other level. Instead of just taking me to practice, he can work with me.”

Field hockey has allowed Trevor-Roberts to grow off the field as well as on.

“I’ve learned how to work as a team and communicate better with people, and how to get across my message the best way possible to people,” Trevor-Roberts said. “It helps me think before I say certain things.”

Trevor-Roberts is not letting her limited experience or difficulty hearing hold her back. This camp is her first step to achieving goals much bigger than high school field hockey.

“I want to be in a Division I college and then hopefully be on a national team and go to the Olympics. It would mean the world to me,” Trevor-Roberts said. “There is a saying; ‘ff you say you can or can’t, you’re right.’ I say that I can.”

This story was originally published on Pathfinder on April 11, 2019.