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Determined to Succeed, Despite Setbacks
By Karen Buhler, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB

A torn ligament in her right knee shortened her Zone 4 soccer season, but Lenore Friesen is optimistic she will be ready for basketball season next month.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 athlete at Garden Valley Collegiate was injured in a soccer game against Vita early this fall, but she was able to play the final minutes of the game with only a slight limp.

Friesen missed nearly 20 games, but she accompanied the team to their games and cheered them on from the sidelines. She admits that being on the sidelines was difficult.

"It made me feel helpless and I like to feel in control," said Friesen. "It's very hard for me," said Friesen. "Looking down at my weak leg and not being able to run is depressing at times. I have to believe that I'll get through this and regain my strength. I'm determined to get better in time for the basketball season, which starts in early December."

Friesen has been involved in sports such as soccer, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, and track, for most of her young life. She is thankful that her injury is not permanent, although she may have to wear a knee brace for sports in the future.

Despite her injury, Friesen is working hard in all of her school subjects to make her year meaningful.

"I plan to remain positive and stay focused and determined so I'll have a successful year," says Friesen.

Friesen is no stranger to sports injuries. As a Grade 9 student, she pulled a muscle during the track season. She had placed first in three events at the Rural Provincial meet, but the injury kept her out of the City Provincials. She thinks she would have done well and was very disappointed in having to miss the event.

Lenore says her older sister Loretta and former teammate Donna Shiels are her role models. "They were both amazing athletes who combined their talents with hard work and a positive attitude to succeed and excel in sports. I really admire people who can be competitive yet kind-hearted and who have determination to succeed and improve. This is the type of person I aim to be."