Hannah Bradbury is shown in this undated photo. — Star file photo
By Rudey Downey
Special to the Star
At the start of September, Hannah Bradbury was faced with playing on a volleyball team where she was trying to find her role, balancing schoolwork while learning French and adjusting to a new town all at the same time.
“The most difficult part is ... at some point you’re going to be proud of that,” said Bradbury. “You’re going to realize that, ‘Wow, if I had given up that first two weeks then I wouldn’t have known what I know now.’”
Bradbury just got back from St. Anne’s University in Pointe-de-l’E’glise, N.S. at the end of April where she was playing volleyball with the St. Anne’s University Dragons. By the end of the season the 22-year-old Corner Brook native saw things get easier, felt her confidence grow and was selected to the all second women’s team in her conference by the Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association. A friend of hers who saw the selection process unfold told her that she just missed making the all first women’s team. She says after three days of attending the school, every student has to sign a contract agreeing that they will not speak any English at all outside of making phone calls. Bradbury said this was an especially difficult time in the season.
“It was just really hard because I’m an outgoing and talkative person ... and then all of a sudden it’s, ‘OK, you can’t talk at all,’” said Bradbury.
She took the challenge of the situation and sees the experience as an example of how fast she took to learning something once she had no other choice. Her team struggled through the early stages of the season, but as the year wore on she says the team was clicking on a lot of different levels. Unfortunately by the time Bradbury really started to see the team do well, there were only a couple of games left in the season. Her team finished sixth out of seven teams in the women’s volleyball standings for the Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association.
“By the end ... although I wasn’t obviously perfect at French, I was much better, I had more confidence, I felt more positive ... it just kept progressing until the end of the year,” said Bradbury.
She saw her game grow all around playing the position of power throughout the season, but thinks the area where she especially got better was in her hitting ability.
Bradbury won’t be returning to St. Anne’s in the fall and is attempting to get into the engineering program at Memorial University in St. John’s.