Arokya Shrestha is on the path to success in the world of soccer, a path he thanks PISE for helping him find.

Born in Nepal and raised and educated mostly in Victoria, Arokya is currently calling Reading, UK home as he attends the elite International Development Academy, a well-known pipeline to the world of professional soccer.

“I’m improving every day and just trying to get better,” says Arokya, speaking from England. “It’s like a dream come true. I’m basically living like a professional now. We train every day. I’ve met so many new people.”

Still only 17 years old, Arokya has already had a remarkable playing career, a success he attributes to hard work and the support he has received along the way, as he’ll be the first to admit it didn’t all come naturally to him.

Prior to Grade 7, Arokya had never been particularly interested in sports but when all his friends began to join teams and get involved in athletics, he decided to join in. And he went all in, playing basketball, volleyball, track and field, and, especially, soccer. Not that soccer came easily to him either.

“If I’m being honest, when I first started soccer, I was terrible; for the first two or three years I was really bad,” Arokya says. “But then I played with a lot of better players and just found the motivation to get better. So, I put in a lot more work and saw a lot of improvement.”

Soccer turned into something more than fun with friends as Arokya continued through school. He started to play for a club when he was 14 and moved his way up the ranks of local Victoria teams.

Arokya’s relationship with PISE started in Grade 9 when he heard about the Canadian Sport School, a program at PISE designed for high school students on the athletic path, to help them progress as competitors while also succeeding at school. When he reached Grade 12, after seeing the progress others were making through the program, he knew he wanted to join up.

With his family struggling to keep up with his myriad sports costs, they applied for a scholarship for Arokya to attend the program. He now says it’s one of the best decisions he ever made.

“It was amazing,” he says, speaking of his time at PISE. “That six-month period was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I met a lot of great people. All the staff, I felt like they really cared about me even though they only knew me for a short period of time. They wanted me to succeed, wanted me to get better.”

With his experience at Canadian Sport School, Arokya eventually found himself playing in the Dallas Cup, the largest international youth soccer tournament in North America. His playing at the tournament was noticed by the International Development Academy, and the folks there got in touch with Arokya and encouraged him to consider coming to England and honing his skills.

And hone his skills he did. As the youngest player on the team, he ended up captain of the academy’s U21 squad and from there was also invited to play U23. He said he’s being shaped into an attacking midfielder, based on his technical abilities. His coaches tell him his greatest strengths are that he’s strong, fast, and creative.

Now, Arokya’s goal is to get noticed by one of the larger professional academies or a club, with the ultimate goals of playing professionally and representing Canada with the national team. He credits PISE for making that goal possible.

“If you are serious about pursuing your sport after high school and have hopes of one day representing Canada, attending the Canadian Sport School at PISE is the best asset,” Arokya says. “A lot of my teammates have been playing at this level for three to five years, but I am not in anyway behind even though it has only been three months since I came to England. Canadian Sport School is why. I’m so grateful for my scholarship. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”

It’s through the generosity of our donors that PISE is able to offer scholarships to young athletes like Arokya and give them the resources, support, and encouragement they need to achieve their athletic dreams.

One way to consider supporting the work of PISE is through a charitable donation left via a Will, a form of philanthropy that is a growing trend among Canadians. Leaving a gift via an estate can be a remarkably effective way to ensure the causes and charities you care most about continue to receive aid long into the future, all while still ensuring the care and support of loved ones.

This is why PISE has teamed up with Will Power, a national campaign encouraging Canadians to leave a legacy through a gift left as part of their estate. Will Power helps connect Canadians with the resources they need to make their decision to support a charity and put their plan into action.

PISE is proud to partner with Will Power and would encourage anyone interested in learning more about how they can use the power of their Will to make a difference to visit the PISE Will Power webpage.