Natalie Lukiw

 

Born: December 4, 1973 in Mindemoya Ontario.

"Natalie Lukiw, a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, is fortunate to have been blessed with an athletic “gift”. Despite having a natural talent for many sports, she chose to excel in volleyball. Unlike most, Natalie started later in life but progressed rapidly with hard work and determination. After high-school she was offered a scholarship to the USA, played one year, then returned to Canada to be closer to home. She completed her sport eligibility with the University of Saskatchewan, while working towards a degree in Kinesiology (1993-1998).

 

Post University, Natalie made the National Women’s indoor Volleyball Team. Unfortunately during that time her mother, a single parent, was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. As a result, Natalie’s career with Team Canada was short lived (1.5 years) when she chose to leave the team to be with family during the difficult time. In 1998 Natalie not only lost her mom to the fatal disease, but part of herself and her direction in life as well. Such a defining moment helped Natalie embark on her own personal soul searching journey.

 

In 2002, four years later, she found her way to Toronto to assist her grandmother in time of need. A planned short visit ended up turning into a four year stay. During that time Natalie found her way back into participating in sport at an elite level. This time she trained with Canada’s top beach volleyball players and travelled the world representing Canada in the International FIVB World Beach Volleyball Circuit. The young sport had to share its share of political issues and such challenges made it difficult for athletes trying to make it in the international scene, but that did not stop Natalie from playing a sport she loved so much. Unfortunately, it was a more ‘freak’ sport related incident that forced Natalie to step away from competition one more time (landing on a metal steak in the sand, while diving for a ball). Needing a positive change, Natalie chose to move back west to be an environment she felt most comfortable.

 

Today, Saskatoon is where Natalie gladly calls home. No longer the elite athlete she once was, she finds other ways to stay active and involved with sport. She regularly participates in competitive leagues and tournaments within Saskatoon and throughout Saskatchewan. However, when unique opportunities present themselves, Natalie is likely to participate, Her last major international competition was the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney Australia; capturing 5th indoors and a silver medal in the sand.

 

Right now, Natalie is focusing her time and energy on returning to school and getting her nursing degree from SIAST and the University of Saskatchewan. She is expected to graduate in 2013. Once her degree is completed, more doors and opportunities will present themselves. Which path Natalie will take is still to be determined. One thing for sure, there is never a dull moment in her life."

 

“Being involved with sport has definitely had a positive impact on my life. Without it, life could have been completely different.”

- Natalie Lukiw

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  • Neechie Gear
    718 Circle Drive East Saskatoon, SK S7K 3T7
  • 1-866-NG FEVER
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