TESTIMONIAL OF MICHAEL THORNTON
I have to admit that there are not many people who I have met in my life like Joe Parolini. He is a man of action and not just words. I was fortunate enough to meet Joe a few years ago after returning to Toronto from living abroad. I was in my last year of high school and had limited time to decide on what my future would be after graduating. I wanted to continue with my education yet soccer has always been my passion in my life and I was searching for a way to do both. I am extremely grateful to Joe who made it possible for me to continue with the next level of education and be able to play soccer at a very high competitive level on a NCAA Division 1 soccer team, the Memphis Tigers. It is an absolutely incredible opportunity to be able to play in the United States at this level on a fully funded scholarship.
Joe welcomed me to the Toronto Blizzard Scholarship Program where I was truly amazed with the professional training environment for development. I was excited to see an atmosphere where all players trained with intensity, discipline and diligence. Joe has a hands-on approach to helping student athletes get to the best university soccer programs. He puts a lot of focus into speed, agility, and conditioning and his advanced technical and tactical training is designed so that each individual player continually learns, improves and is prepared for games, showcases and University/College. The Blizzard Scholarship Program has proven to be successful for so many athletes providing them with opportunities for future success. I am very thankful to have met Joe and his staff who have helped me obtain an opportunity in life I will never forget.
I’ve been playing soccer since I was 13. I started off with North Mississauga and then I switched to Erin mills B. I’ve always wanted a soccer scholarship to the states but I never thought it was possible in fact, my parents and I thought it was unrealistic. At 16 I switched to the Toronto Blizzard. The training here was way more intense but well worth it. Being here and training has made me physically and mentally stronger. Before I came I was literally skin and bones and was terrified to make mistakes but through the program, I grew a lot stronger and mistakes are now the last thing on my mind while playing. I also got a lot more looks here. On my old teams we used to get excited when we saw a guy with a clipboard on the side lines. We thought they were scouts when really it could have been anyone, another parent for all we knew. Being with the Toronto blizzards I’ve never seen so many scouts in my life. At most of our games especially the ones in the states there are more scouts than there are parents. I found it and still find it fascinating that we not only tour but we actually get to play D1 and D2 schools. I got interest from a few schools some of which include Umass Lowell, Oral Roberts and Detroit Mercy. Joe has really done a lot for me. Without him, I probably wouldn’t be going to University or have gotten a chance to play on the Guyanese Women’s National Team. Joe has really opened the door wide for me and he continues to hold it open.