Chatham-Kent’s Renae Nevills, Making CK Proud

Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically. Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are proudly representing our community. We hope many of these athletic ambassadors for our community someday come baCK to call Chatham-Kent home.

This week, we feature Thameville’s Renae Nevills. Nevills is in her 4th year playing USports hockey for the Western University Mustangs women’s hockey team, where she studies kinesiology.

Here are Renae’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:

1. Can you describe what support you’ve felt from your hometown/Chatham-Kent while you’ve been away?

While being away at school I’ve felt a tremendous amount of support from my hometown throughout my university career so far. I grew up playing minor hockey in Dresden and this past year they did a few reno’s to the rink, one of them being adding my name and picture to the front of the girls dressing room. Having that kind of support and recognition from your hometown is a feeling that is second to none. As well, while playing in the National Championship a couple years back the amount of texts and calls I received that week from family members, old friends and teammates, past teachers, and trainers gave me an overwhelming amount of joy. It was the most humbling experience to look up from the ice and see the amount of family and friends that made the trip down to come out and watch the Championship game.

However, the endless amount of support I receive from my family is an indescribable feeling, knowing they are the ones that’ll have my back through everything and the ones that always give the best pre game texts and calls and will always greet me with the biggest hugs and smiles even after a tough loss. I couldn’t be ever more grateful for the amount of support my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and most importantly my parents and brothers have given me throughout my hockey career.

2. What do you enjoy about coming home to visit?

Being at Western University it has made me appreciate living in a small town and growing up on a farm, the University alone has a bigger population than my hometown! I love coming back home to Thamesville to just hangout and catch up with friends and family. I must say that coming back and just being able to have a simple campfire or movie night and sharing stories and laughs with the people that mean most to me is what I enjoy and look forward to most when I come home to visit….well maybe minus not having to cook for myself and do my own laundry.

3. Would you consider making Chatham-Kent home again some day?

I would definitely consider making Chatham-Kent home again some day. This is a place where my roots were grown and the community here is outstanding. I know if I were to start my own family back in Chatham they would grow up with the same if not more support I have gotten the privilege of receiving especially through my years playing university hockey, and I think the support of Chatham-Kent is something everyone should be able to experience one day!

4. What advice would you give to young athletes baCK home in Chatham-Kent?

If I could give any advice to young athletes back home in Chatham-Kent it would be that just because Chatham is a small town, you still will be seen for the athlete you are. Chatham may be small but it sure is mighty, I know a lot of people think that if you want to be successful and go anywhere in sports you need to leave behind a small town and go somewhere like Toronto where you’ll be seen and heard. That’s not necessarily the case, you can make a name for yourself right here in Chatham, and you can be successful right here in Chatham. If you know where you want to go and work hard and put in the time and effort to get there you can achieve whatever you want, you will get drafted by that OHL/NHL team, you will sign with the University/College you want and Chatham-Kent will have your back through it all!

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