When Jazmin Logue-Prest graduated from Horton in 2012, she really didn’t need to have her arm twisted to attend Acadia. By doing do, she was following an Acadia tradition in her mother’s family that is now well into its third generation.
“There wasn’t really any other choice but here,” she said. Both her maternal grandparents, her mother, two aunts, her older brother and even her stepfather are all Acadia graduates.
Logue-Prest, 20, recently completed her second year at Acadia and with the Axewomen volleyball team.
“It means a lot to me,” she says. “Growing up, I always came to the games, and idolized a lot of the Acadia players. It feels special that I can play here and have my whole family watch me play, including a lot of my former teachers.”
After a solid career playing volleyball at Horton and with the Valley Waves club program, Logue-Prest was one of the top high school women’s volleyball graduates in Nova Scotia by the time she finished Grade 12.
“The volleyball I played in my high school years,” and as a member of the provincial elite program since the age of 13, “prepared me for Acadia.”
That’s not to say, though, there weren’t challenges.
“In high school, you’re one of the better players on your team. At Acadia, you’re only one of a lot of good players, and when you start out, you’re younger and less experienced. It really opened my eyes to how much I had to learn.”
No shortage of role models
Asked if she had role models growing up, Logue-Prest said her grandmother was definitely one. Nancy (Sutherland) Logue, an Acadia Sports Hall of Fame inductee, “left a great legacy playing basketball and volleyball here,” Logue-Prest said.
During high school, Logue-Prest got to attend the National Team Challenge Cup, where she had the opportunity to watch the national team play.
“Growing up in this kind of a community, and with such a connection to Acadia, there were no shortage of role models – people like Lori-Beth MacEwen,” she adds.
Later, Katrina Clow, who used to play in the area, started coaching Logue-Prest’s club team.
“I always looked up to her, and she always inspired me to try and reach her level,” she said.
She also cited Michelle Aucoin, her former provincial team coach; Michelle Jeffery, her coach at Horton; and Michelle Wood, her current coach at Acadia.
“She’s very confident,” Logue-Prest said of Wood, “and is able to instill that confidence in all of us. She’s a good mentor, both mentally and technically, the kind of person who pushes you to be your best.”
On the court
Logue-Prest trained with the Canada Games program, although when the time came for the 2013 Games, she was a little bit too old to participate.
“But I still got the benefit of all the training,” she said.
Logue-Prest was in Grade 8 before she started playing. Starting younger, and getting the proper foundation, “is educating girls on how to be confident, and giving them extra confidence to compete.”
Girls, she said, “can play, too, just as well as boys, and be just as capable, especially as long as we learn the fundamentals at a young age.”
Another important thing is creating and maintaining interest among potential young players.
“We’re on the right road,” she said, adding that many times this year, there were plenty of kids at the Axewomen volleyball games.
“That’s nice to see. There was a time I was where they are, looking up to the people who are where I am now.”
Logue-Prest is studying kinesiology at Acadia, which she says “is a very good school for that, with some very supportive profs.” She plans to complete her degree in four years, and would like to go on to do occupational therapy.
As for what can be done to improve opportunities for today’s young female athletes, Logue-Prest says, “it’s a big issue in Nova Scotia right now.” Acadia is doing its part, she adds, including running an Axe Academy for younger players, aged seven to 13.