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April 11, 2024

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Edyta Waclawczyk: Outside hitter and Flame-killer

The story of a BGSU Volleyball player who brings a unique background and set of skills to the program
Edyta Waclawczyk: Outside hitter and Flame-killer
Michael Cotterman

When most think of a firefighter, they think of carrying heavy equipment, putting out flames, and helping people in need.

You usually do not think of volleyball.

Well in Bowling Green, the words ‘firefighter’ and ‘volleyball’ go hand-in-hand for freshman Edyta Waclawczyk.

Waclawczyk is a freshman outside hitter from Katowice, Poland. She always grew up around the game of volleyball, and gained her inspiration to play from her dad, Marek.

“I played with my dad just for fun and I really liked it, but I didn’t have much opportunities to actually start practicing it professionally,” said Waclawczyk. “So I was doing gymnastics and other sports, but volleyball has always been in my mind during this time, so when I got a chance from a coach at a club close to my hometown, I just decided to switch my sport to volleyball.”

But volleyball is not the only passion in life Waclawczyk.

So too is an interesting lifestyle-  being a volunteer firefighter in her local community.

“You can rescue someone’s life, so that’s beautiful, and I think this is the beauty of it and I just love the idea,” said Waclawczyk. “I’m not a professional firefighter, it’s just volunteering, so this is the idea of helping others without getting money for that.”

Living life as a firefighter is certainly a lifestyle that for head coach Danijela Tomic, is one that she has never come across during her time recruiting athletes.

“She mentioned that in Poland, they have high school kids who can join (the fire department), and I was like ‘that is so cool!’,” said Tomic. “I’ve never had anybody; she’s the first one, the first athlete I’ve coached or an athlete I’ve known who did the training for firefighters during high school, and I said that’s so awesome. It’s unique; that’s a selfless profession where not only do you serve others, but you are actually going into a fire in situations where you know you may sacrifice your life for somebody else.”

But in a way, being a firefighter and a BGSU Volleyball player’s primary values can go hand-in-hand- both strive for appreciating life everyday, and using your gifts to help those around you.

“I need the adrenaline in my life and I think volleyball is one thing that gives me a lot of emotions and adrenaline,” said Waclawczyk. “But firefighting is the other thing that gives you emotions you may not experience on the court.”

For Falcon fans, they have yet to see Edyta step onto the floor, as she is still recovering from a knee injury.

But down the line, they can expect a player who will bring lots of options to the table.

“I don’t know where she’s going to fit; I look forward to the spring,” said Tomic. “I know that she’s very strong, she helps running some drills, she hits down balls; I mean she’s what we saw on the video- the balls that she hits, there’s no 50%, it’s hard, the ball goes fast and it’s heavy. She likes to lift when it comes to weightlifting- she’s strong physically, so I can’t wait for her to be healthy to see when she jumps and to get used to our tempo.”

But the most important option in life, for Edyta, is to be someone who lives a life of wanting to help people in need, and encourages those around her to do the same.

“I think that this is the kind of job that people will always respect because you just help them and they are so grateful,” said Waclawczyk. “When you see that they’re so grateful, it makes you feel amazing, especially if you’re a volunteer and you know you’re doing it without getting paid, it’s just your hobby and your passion, and you can just help others by doing your passion. It’s beautiful, it’s a very nice feeling and I think that if someone is considering becoming a firefighter, they should definitely try.”

However, it is also ok if when you try, the job is not for you.

“If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay, but they should definitely try and I think they would fall in love with it.”

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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