U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: Aaron Chia
- School: Trent University
- Sport: Men’s soccer
- Position: Centre / midfield
- Year of eligibility: Fourth
- Program: Business Administration
- Hometown: Courtice, Ont.
1. What attracted you to Trent University
The main reason I chose Trent University was because of the positive atmosphere that surrounds the school in both the academic and athletic fields. Aside from the amazing campus on the Otonabee River and great facilities at Trent, it was the people that really made a difference. The athletic staff here at Trent has always made me feel welcome since the very first visit back at open house day. From the second I stepped onto the pitch for my first training session in 2015, I knew right away that this school would be my second home and that this team would be my second family.
2. What’s your favourite memory, and your greatest athletic achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete?
For me, my favourite memory and my greatest achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete are combined into one. For any young athlete growing up, representing your country on a global stage is something I am sure we all dream of. That being said, representing Canada and Trent University at the 2017 FISU Sumer Universiade in Taipei was by far the most surreal experience of my career so far. When I got the call from coach Mile Pinsent (from University of New Brunswick) offering me a spot on the team, I didn’t even have to think twice. From meeting the other players and staff at training camp in B.C. to the Opening Ceremonies in Taipei City, I was blown away by the magnitude of the event. The experiences I encountered and the people I met along the way are all things that I will never fail to forget.
3. Where are you hoping your path will take you after university?
After University, I am hoping to attend law school and further my education, but I would also like to travel the world with any opportunity that arises. As far as my athletics, my goal is to continue playing soccer at the highest level possible and continue on with supporting the Trent Soccer program in any way I can.
4. Who’s had the greatest influence on your athletic career?
There are a number of people who have had a tremendous influence on my athletic career, but I would have to say my parents have had the greatest influence of all. From putting me in soccer at the age of 5, to travelling across the world to support me, my parents have always been there no matter what. Not only have they provided me with a mass amount of opportunity, but they have helped me grow individually both on and off the pitch. Overall, my parents have always pushed me to my limits throughout my career and because of that I am extremely thankful to have them by my side.
Aside from my parents, I would like to mention Richard McPaul, my assistant coach at Trent, as someone I have known long before my days at the University. Rich is someone who has always supported me, and most importantly, has never let me take the easy way out. If it weren’t for Richard, I definitely wouldn’t be the player or the person I am today.
5. Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, with whom you’d love to have dinner with? Why?
As a massive Arsenal fan, I would love to sit down and have dinner with the one and only Arsène Wenger, a legend, not only in Arsenal FC history, but the history of soccer entirely. He is one that has coached so many different players from all over the world and has a great reputation for providing opportunities for young footballers, which is something I have so much respect for. It would be great to sit down and discuss the wide variety of experiences he has encountered and hear some of the great insights Arsène has on the past, present, and future of football.
6. What is your pre-game ritual? Do you have any superstitions/idiosyncrasies around preparing yourself for a game?
On game days, I typically like to sleep in a little extra if I can, eat a big breakfast given that I’ll be playing in the afternoon or at night, and then I make sure I eat again a couple hours prior to kickoff, this time a lighter meal. Before the team warm-up I like to spend a couple minutes on the bike to relax and get in the right mindset before the game. Once I feel like I’m ready, I head back down to the dressing room to regroup with the team and knock a ball around in there until it’s time to head out to the field.
7. What’s your go-to song to get pumped up for practice or a game?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific song I listen to before games, more just a mix of songs, usually full of Post Malone, NAV, and Drake. But when it comes to music in the dressing room, I’ll never turn down a bit of Migos.
8. What’s your favourite social media account to follow?
There’s nothing I love more than updates on football boots, so because of that I’ll have to say @soccerdotcom on Instagram.
9. If you could try another sport, what would it be and why?
If I could try another sport I would love to get into table tennis. If you’ve ever seen an intense rally between pro table tennis players, you know exactly what I mean.
10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as an athlete?
I honestly can’t say that I’ve had many completely embarrassing moments as an athlete, but one thing that never fails to give me a good laugh is each time I run into someone new on campus all I have to say is “I’m Tori’s older brother” and people automatically know who I am. If you’re from Trent you probably know exactly what I’m talking about, if not, just imagine feeling slightly overpowered by your younger sibling over and over again.