Ellie Henry, a fourth-year soccer player from Toronto, Ont., attended Hawthorn School for Girls, where she excelled in both soccer and volleyball. Her other athletic ventures included basketball, downhill skiing and ball hockey. Henry has been an athletic person from a very young age, but she did not envision playing varsity soccer at a university level. Fortunately for the Mounties, however, Henry’s future changed when she received a recruitment letter from then-head female soccer coach Barry Cooper.
By attending Mount Allison, Henry is following in the footsteps of her parents, both of whom are Mt. A graduates. Henry’s father, Paul Henry, played as a middle linebacker on the 1984 Vanier Cup football team. It was at Mt. A where he met Henry’s mother, Jennifer Ferguson. The couple are still very fond of the university, visiting every chance they get to see Henry play soccer. The Henry family connection runs deep in Sackville. Henry’s sister Maddy Henry is a first-year swimmer at Mt. A and her cousin Sydney Umlah was the 2014-15 MVP of the Mt. A volleyball team.
Henry was red-shirted in her first season, but through intense training and dedication, she made the transition from outside midfield to full back, and eventually found a home as a defensive stalwart at the centre-back position. Henry went on to play in every game during her second season, and was a starter in both her third and fourth years. In her final two seasons Henry became a team leader who relished the opportunity to encourage her teammates from the back line. Henry is quick to deflect praise onto the rest of her team, saying that team success “derived from closeness on and off the field.” In Henry’s first season there was a staggeringly high count of 15 rookies on the team, eight of whom will graduate with her this year. The large number of new players added to the team’s camaraderie. Henry said the friends she made at Mt. A will be her best friends for life.
Henry’s love of sports and being part of a team transcends varsity soccer. She is the vice-president of outreach and education for Right To Play Mt. A. Henry believes “sport is incredibly impactful and empowering. It teaches someone a lot about themselves and provides opportunities to interact with a variety of different people.” Henry’s selfless attitude is again on display in her role within Right to Play, as she always makes sure to attribute praise to her fellow executives.
Henry has excelled at balancing academics and the demanding schedule of being a varsity athlete. She says that having such an arduous schedule has forced her to use her time very efficiently. Henry has channelled her strong work ethic into an honours in biochemistry and a minor in biology. Henry will pursue a career in medicine as a doctor in the field of community medicine, pediatrics or infectious disease.