#YearOfYou with Arokya Shrestha: Scoring Confidence with Sport
Jan 02, 2024
At viaSport, we’re passionate about capturing authentic, diverse, and influential stories from all in the BC sport community. The following story is a part of our #YearOfYou series, which focuses on telling stories from individuals from varying experience levels and walks of life.
Sport is for everyone: getting involved in sport not only improves long-term health, but shapes well-rounded, resilient individuals. Participating can help you build meaningful friendships, find community, and positively shape the course of your life on and off the field. Learn more about #YearOfYou and how to start your own journey in sport here.
Arokya’s journey in sport didn’t have the positive start that many expect.
As a timid 13-year-old boy, Arokya was apprehensive about getting involved in team sports. He struggled with connecting with people and found it challenging to find community: finding his confidence on the soccer field posed as a challenge. “My parents forced me to do it,” he recalls. “Honestly, I didn’t enjoy it at all.”
But one day, something clicked. With newfound motivation, Arokya was determined to prove himself and others wrong: that day at practice, he excelled. He spent time watching sports on TV, practicing, and gradually gained a stronger skillset. Arokya didn’t see as much representation in media or his community, so he strived to spark change. “People of my ethnicity weren’t really seen as athletes in the area I lived.”
Since then, Arokya’s life has been revolved around sport. Once he started high school, he gained exposure to competitions and a wider array of sport opportunities – though soccer remains as his main focus, he was able to try basketball, track and field, and volleyball. Athletics became a core part of his identity: he ended up winning various awards and designations, such as being named the Island Champion for both soccer and basketball.
As Arokya’s sport journey continued, he found his confidence grow and his community solidify. “Sport is everything to me. I am hoping to make a career out of it,” he says. “I have been through a lot of ups, but twice as many downs,” he says. “Injuries, bad performance, and rejections are all to be expected. But it’s how you react to them that really matters.”
He hopes to see individuals take the leap and conquer their fears when trying a new sport for the first time. “Don’t be scared of what other people say or think about you. It doesn’t matter how good you are. As long as you’re having fun, that’s all that matters,” he says. “If you have fun while playing, the improvements will come.”