Monday January 09, 2017

'Football saved my life': One teen's personal moment of disruption

Nolan Bellerose beat the odds.

Nolan Bellerose beat the odds.

Read story transcript

>> The Disruptors

Nolan Bellerose is matter of fact about his difficult childhood. His mom died when he was three. A few months later, his dad walked out, and was never to be seen again. 

"My childhood was really kind of rough and shaky because I was growing up with alcohol and drugs a lot with a couple of my uncles" says Bellerose. "It was a rough journey growing up." 

The Grade 12 student admits he was heading down a dangerous road.

"I was getting into trouble and doing bad things with the wrong kind of people."

But for Bellerose, a disruption came three years ago when he was given the chance to play football — something he'd always wanted to do but could never afford. 

"It's just changed me so much, made me into the man I am today and I'm loving it."

The man he is today is a six foot two inches, 225 pound offensive lineman with the New Westminster Hyacks Senior football team. It's a squad that made it all the way to the semi-finals of the BC High School Provincial Championships.

Bellerose says he loves the hitting and the brotherhood you get from a contact sport. He insists that football saved his life.  

'If I was still going down that path without football I wouldn't be here right now. I would probably either be dead or in jail right now. I believe that 100 per cent.'   - Nolan Bellerose

Bellerose is graduating high school in 2017. He plans to head to college, maybe to play football but his end goal is to become a social worker, "so I can try to motivate youth around Canada to play sports they want to do and see that it can change their lives too." 

Listen to the full story at the top of this web post.

The segment was produced by The Current's Elizabeth Hoath.