FeatureSports

Never give up

Mitch Henry on the field in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by Ryan Wellicome/SAIT Polytechnic)

Mitch Henry on the field in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by Ryan Wellicome/SAIT Polytechnic)

When Mitch Henry woke up today, he felt like he did back before 2012.

Getting to this point, however, was an
uphill battle.

Growing up, Henry was an avid soccer player, starting at the age of three; he always played in the
highest division.

“I’ve played almost every sport, but soccer is obviously something that I was really interested in from a young age.”

Schools in both Canada and internationally were salivating at the chance to have this athlete attend their institution, but then everything came crashing down.

In January of 2012, Henry suffered an upper body injury that prevented him from playing the game he loved.

“When the doctors told me I couldn’t play sports or even run, it really put a damper on things.

“I lost all motivation.”

The lack of motivation was observed by those around him, including parents, teachers, and coaches.

After spiraling into depression, due to not being able to play, Henry turned to some self-described
“bad decisions.”

In a testimonial letter from his parents, Judy and Daryl, they talk of the withdrawal their son
experienced from all his close connections.

It got to the point that during the months of January to July of 2013, Henry lost five jobs.

“It was clear to all of those who loved him that Mitch’s decision making abilities were non-existent,” his mother said.

A friend had called the Henry family, mentioning a clinic that dealt with the depression symptoms brought on by the injury.

“What did we have to lose?” Judy Henry claimed.

It took two days and four sessions for the improvement to start. In the letter, they recall their
son “bouncing” through the door on the second day.

By day three, he was jogging after spending the previous 20 months inactive.

Mitch Henry lacing up in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by Ryan Wellicome/SAIT Polytechnic)

Mitch Henry lacing up in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo by Ryan Wellicome/SAIT Polytechnic)

The long trek back to his former self had begun.

“It’s helped me to be healthier, make more friends, and better choices,” said Mitch Henry.

The process culminated with his acceptance to SAIT’s electrician apprenticeship program.

That’s often not enough for someone
like Mitch Henry, so he went and tried out for the
soccer team.

He had played with several of the players on the team growing up, and thought it was a good time to try and get back to his former self.

The potential scholarships towards his education, which is key to Henry, were also another factor
in his decision.

It was a testament to the long road the entire family, especially Mitch Henry, had travelled, when the news came he had made the team.

“It gives me pride to be able to be involved in something like this.”

As far as his injuries go, doctors have cleared Mitch Henry to participate in contact sports.

The future seems bright for this athlete on
the return to his former self; at least, he certainly
thinks so.

“I think the old Mitch is back.”

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