Simmrin Dhaliwal is a promising soccer player from Surrey, BC, who will soon be playing for Northwestern University
In her final year of high school, Simmrin Dhaliwal is already an accomplished soccer player. The 17-year-old has played in the World Cup with the Canadian National Team and has gone to the Canada Games with the Whitecaps—where they achieved a gold medal for British Columbia. She has also been playing on the BC Provincial Team from Under-13 onwards, after playing for the Whitecaps Prospects Team when she was 11.
She attributes her success to putting in extra time and effort, as well as taking care of her health, “I’ll wake up early in the morning before school and go for a run because I need to take care of my fitness, I’ll also eat healthy and make food on the side when everyone else is eating pizza or butter chicken, so that I’m taking care of my diet.” Most importantly, though, she explains that her family is the most crucial factor in her success, “the feeling that drives me the most is seeing my parents, my brother and my whole family proud of me.”
So how did Simmrin’s journey begin? At the age of 7, she began playing soccer. Simmrin explains that she was not always the star player that she is today—she admits that the first game her father ever attended did not go very well, “I was a goalkeeper for that game and he saw the other team score like 15 goals on me.”
This mishap turned out to become a learning experience, as her father decided to start helping her train and become a better player. She explains, “This was the turning point, he told me that he was going to make me a better player so that I’d be scoring goals on the other team instead of playing in net.”
Simmrin’s outlook is a positive one—she is adamant that setbacks and failures need to be greeted with a sense of optimism, and that she, herself, has been in situations where things
did not go the way she hoped, but that by working hard and trying to improve, she has gotten to where she is today.
For instance, the year she was told that she could not play on a team above her age, she was upset, as she had been playing above her age level for quite some time. By staying positive and continuing to put in time and effort, she was invited to join the older team in a national tournament at the end of the year, “I went to play in a national tournament against the other provinces when a girl on that team got injured—the coach called me and said that I’ve been doing well and that I’m ready to come play with them.” She adds, “If I had shut down that whole year, I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity, but I kept my head up because I knew that opportunities like this were going to come.”
After playing soccer for many years now, she explains that her favourite part of being a soccer player is being able to represent her country. She says that she began to realize just how much pride she had for her country while participating in the World Cup, and that standing in line with her team, singing the national anthem in front of thousands of people was a very touching and memorable moment.
Being able to work with her team and play for her country is something she finds very important. She hopes to relive this experience soon, “it was such a good feeling,
and I just want to go to another World Cup!”
Her soccer skills will be transitioning all the way to Chicago for university—she has committed to attending Northwestern once she graduates high school. She will also carry on with the under twenties.
She is both excited and nervous for this new chapter in her life, as this will mark her first time living away from home.
Simmrin is quite used to balancing education with soccer at this point, but does admit that it can be difficult at times. She says it is most important to “be super organized, do as much as you can when you have free time, and be open to asking for help from teachers.” She is aware of the time constraints, but remains positive that “it is completely doable—you can stay up a little later and wake up a little earlier to get things done.”
This talented soccer player offers some advice to other athletes who want to excel: “The first thing you need is passion. After that, you’ve got to be willing to put in the work to get to the next level. Put in your best effort, go to the gym, eat well, and everything else will fall into place.”