The OVA is proud to announce Jessie Nairn and Jordan Pereira of the McMaster University as the two recipients of the Scarborough Solars Award.
The Award is presented annually as part of the OVAtion Awards to a minimum of two Ontario athletes (equal number of male and female athletes) who have been selected to, or who have the ability to, represent Ontario and/or Canada in international indoor or beach volleyball competitions. With the purpose to assist Ontario athletes to pursue their volleyball objectives, the award provides no more than $1,000 or no less than $500 per athlete, per year (one (1) female & one (1) male).
Playing the game can be a powerful feeling. For athletes like Jessie Nairn, volleyball gives purpose and helps unlock that capacity to believe in yourself, to believe that you can thrive in the environment and what you’re working towards – and the ethic that’s required – will benefit other areas of your life down the road.
With the Oakville Thunder Volleyball Club, a twelve-year old Nairn would find that confidence and begin to emerge from her shell. For five years, with each passing season, she learned what it was to be a teammate, a listener, a leader and a driven individual with value. These principles would be applied when Nairn graduated from the youth competitions scene to post-secondary volleyball with the McMaster Marauders.
Jessie built a successful university career in Hamilton. In her five years at McMaster University she has won an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship, been awarded OUA West First Team All-Star twice (2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons), named a two-time team MVP and has earned a captaincy role on her squad. Nairn’s consistent support and dedication to her teammates has never gone unnoticed, especially this year where circumstances were tough on all athletes. Head Coach Tim Louks commended Nairn’s leadership and strength.
“Jessie has stayed the course and is leading her team even through this unusual time,” he said. “It truly has been a great journey of a dedicated “volleyballer” from recruitment and support to empowering and leading. She has grown immensely as a player. A process not possible without, change, learning, dedication, loyalty, determination and commitment as a team member, teammate and leader.”
Though her university career is now behind her, Nairn has always been looking to the next step and the next challenge that lay ahead. Her sights now set on a professional playing career in Europe with the ultimate goal of competing on Team Canada. The gears are in motion to help realize this goal when she trains with the Women’s National team FTC in the fall.
“I hope to continue to improve to one day compete for our country and I believe that playing overseas will get me to the level I need to be," said Nairn.
Congratulations, Jessie on earning the Scarborough Solars Award!
Jordan Pereira has been steadily building a name for himself in Ontario volleyball. A nine-year athlete in the OVA, the former Pakmen player and libero acquired all of the tools necessary to constantly propel his opportunities indoor and on the beach.
It was with Team Ontario and a victory at the National Team Challenge Cup which broke him through to National playing time. Competing on the Youth National Team and later the U21 team provided the taste of the international circuit and prepared the St. Catharines native for success with the McMaster University Marauders. His performance on the National Team was lauded, winning the NORCECA Best Receiver, Best Digger and Best Libero awards. Pereira would later be selected to train as part of the Senior Team National Excellence Program which only furthered his growing encyclopaedia of volleyball knowledge.
With McMaster’s Men’s Volleyball Program, Pereira added two National bronze medals to his accomplishments. He also tacked on many OUA medals which include two gold, one silver and one bronze as well as receiving the OUA West – Dale Iwanoczko award in 2020. This award is given to those who achieve academic excellence, athletic excellence and outstanding community service. In 2020-21, Pereira has been training with the Canadian National Team as there was no OUA volleyball season. Always the hungry competitor, Pereira has aspirations to go to the Volleyball National League this Summer and in 2024, hopes to be bound for the Olympic Games in Paris.
“I am grateful for the foundation that the OVA has given me, which has allowed me to play in several world championships/FISU games in both Beach and Indoor, and I look forward to representing Ontario and Canada in the future.”
Congratulations, Jordan on earning the 2021 Scarborough Solars Award!
The OVA will be recognizing and honouring individuals who have been making contributions to the growth and development of volleyball through the 2021 OVAtion Awards. Award winners in the Athlete and Service categories will be announced throughout May, digitally through the Ontario Volleyball website (ontariovolleyball.org) and across OVA social media channels.