Athletic Lives of Distinction - A - L
G - L

Gray, Melissa '83 - Swimming

Melissa was among the first girls to join Ridley's swim team in the early eighties, earning a SOSSA championship and forming lifelong memories of beloved swim coach, Paul Lewis. "He made every swimmer feel valued, inspired and capable,” she recalls fondly—she'll never forget his rallying cry of Bang-o! at the start of every practice.

After Ridley, Melissa went on to McMaster University, where she swam on the varsity team for four years. She was team co-captain and won the Most Valuable Contributor Award. Her love of competition led Melissa to seek out new challenges on the water with the Mississauga Canoe Club and the Mississauga Bladewarriors. She was named most improved paddler, won a gold medal in novice kayaking and received a Civic Award of Recognition from the City of Mississauga.

During her athletic career, one of the greatest lessons Melissa has learned is “the power of mind over body.” And determination and a positive attitude have been the keys to her athletic success. Though she was initially discouraged and intimidated at her first swim try-out at McMaster, she remembers
making a firm decision to do whatever it took to make the team. “And when I did make it,” she adds, “to stay on it, keep improving and somehow bring value to the team.”

“I was nervous before every single set of every single practice, but I would only allow positive, encouraging thoughts in my head, and those same words out of my mouth once we got going.”
P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 700 students from 60 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only   co-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.