Introducing the numerous family dynamics within the Blues’ Athletics
Mya Fraser (She/Her) // Sports Editor
Lauren Howard (She/Her) // Illustrator
Playing alongside a sibling or being coached by a parent are things not everyone has a chance to experience. It’s an especially unique circumstance when it happens at a varsity level, and the Blues have multiple family dynamics within their Varsity programs.
Anika and Vanesa Gatto are twin sisters in their fifth year from the women’s volleyball team. Vanesa Gatto has played all her years of eligibility at Capilano University, and won her team’s MVP award last season. Anika Gatto played her first two years for the University of Toronto, and another two years at Mohawk College, where she was named the Female Athlete of the Year in 2023. They have had many opportunities to play together in their youth, including high school volleyball, club volleyball and both even played on Team BC for a period of time.
On what it’s like playing with one another, Anika Gatto explains it’s similar to instinct, stating, “I always know where she is on the court. We almost have twin telepathy powers.” She goes on to explain the trust they have in one another, and how it benefits them on the court. Off the court, they are often still at each other’s side. Anika Gatto reflected, “I think since I moved away for so long, I forgot how great it is to have this time together.”
Tommy Millar is an attacking midfielder for the men’s soccer team. Prior to playing at CapU, he most recently played in the 2023 New Zealand Northern League for the West Coast Rangers, and also played a year for MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Tommy Millar is the son of Steve Millar, the new head coach of the team. He was coached by his dad during his youth soccer experience in the BCSPL, achieving things like League Cups and Provincial Cups together. When he was asked what his favorite part about playing under his dad was, he commented, “I am able to learn from him on a daily basis, and that he places high expectations and trust in me, which makes me a better person on and off the field. Having been able to share some of these moments with him is something that I’m very grateful for.”
Riley Marshall is a defender for the men’s soccer team. Before coming to CapU, he played a year for the University of British Columbia Okanagan soccer team. Riley Marshall is the son of Paul Marshall, the new assistant coach of the team. His dad coached him for the majority of his youth soccer, and even helped out when he played for Fusion Football Club. Having been a part of each other’s journey for quite some time, Riley Marshall commented his favorite part is “getting to spend time together doing something we both love.”
Brighton Fraser is a first year defender for the men’s soccer team. Prior to CapU, he played for Mountain United and played a year on the Vancouver Whitecaps residency team. He took some time off the sport upon graduating high school. On what inspired him to get playing again, he stated, ”I played in a co-ed urban rec league with my sisters last year and it got me back into the game, so I decided to join the Cap team since my sister Mya played there and my sister Ayesha has just signed with the team too.” He also mentions how it’s fun watching his sisters play together, and he enjoys cheering them on.
Ayesha Fraser is a first year defender for the women’s soccer team. Before joining the Blues she played for the West Vancouver Football Club. On what it’s like playing with her older sister, Mya Fraser, she commented, “This is the first time my sister and I have been able to play together. She has been my coach a few times but I definitely prefer getting to play alongside her.” She also mentions enjoying all the free rides to practices and games. On what it’s like having her brother on the men’s team, she mentions she’s excited to watch him play next year since he was injured this season.
Whether it’s just for a season, or it’s something you’ve always known, playing amongst family is a special opportunity no one takes for granted.