Coleman Vollrath has turned his focus from saving pucks to saving the environment.
Standing tall between the pipes with the Victoria Royals from 2012-16, the former Western Hockey League goaltender earned a full academic scholarship that he is now using to pursue his next greatest passion.
“In Victoria, the fans were awesome and the organization treated us incredibly well, but the best part about playing there was being able to spend time on the Pacific Ocean,” Vollrath told Junior Hockey Magazine’s CHL Leaders presented by Kubota. “It was just incredible. That really got me passionate about environmental issues and wanting to be critical of how I am impacting the Earth and how we as humans are impacting the Earth.
“My research focuses on ways to apply technology and policy approaches to the upstream oil and gas sector for methane emissions reduction. My goal is to bring some solutions to the table to lower the carbon footprint of the energy that we get to use and enjoy in the developed world. I am really enjoying what I get to do it.”
Currently pursuing a master’s degree in geography from the University of Calgary, Vollrath continues to use many of the life lessons he learned at the rink to help him succeed in the classroom.
“I have always prided myself on being the most prepared guy, the guy who was there last after games, and my warm up was always intense, really just trying to bring everything together to get my performance to the ultimate level,” Vollrath detailed. “I think that transfers over to post-secondary education and my success in academia. I think being prepared gives you that confidence to perform well, so test days are my favourite days at school. It’s just like playing a game.”
Today, Vollrath often reflects on the lifelong friendships he made during his junior career and how the CHL scholarship program helped him pave his path forward.
“I made awesome relationships with my teammates, coaches, and billet family. I still keep in touch with everyone,” Vollrath added. “There was just so much support from everybody. I am often asked from younger athletes that are aspiring to play in the WHL if I would do it again and, hands down, absolutely. There is no better path to do it and I am so happy that I did.
“To have a full scholarship, I didn’t have to take out a student loan – my wife is a teacher and she has quite substantial student loans – so to know that we only have to pay off one loan is going to set us up in a better spot for our future.”
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