B.C. TikTok star puts social media on hold to pursue soccer dream in Kamloops
Kyle Hansen, 19, will play with Thompson Rivers University's men's team
Kyle Hansen from Burnaby, B.C., has more than a million followers on TikTok, but says he will step away from social media to play university-level soccer.
Early this month, Hansen, 19, committed to join the WolfPack men's soccer team at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). He will arrive in Kamloops on April 1.
The six-foot-three-inch striker is currently playing with a Vancouver soccer club, Columbus FC, and previously attended the Vancouver Whitecaps FC residency training program.
International soccer star Alphonso Davies lived with the Hansen family when he also trained at the Whitecaps Caps residency program. He's now a member of the German soccer club Bayern Munich and the Canadian national soccer team.
Hansen spoke to host Shelley Joyce on CBC's Daybreak Kamloops about his decision to join the WolfPack and quit social media, and his friendship with Davies.
The following transcript has been edited for clarity and length.
What appealed to you about the Kamloops TRU team?
I think just the whole family aspect that they have — I went there about a month ago, and it just felt like a family there.
Do you see yourself being a good fit for this team?
Yes, I think I'll fit in very well. I have a couple of friends on the team, so I hope we get to play together and it'll be really fun.
🏐 MSOC | "Absolutely we are excited to add Kyle, not just for this next season but for the next five years up here at TRU."<br><br>📰 <a href="https://t.co/6VSonPaNXQ">https://t.co/6VSonPaNXQ</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FearTheWolf?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FearTheWolf</a> <a href="https://t.co/5YxiTfGEvT">pic.twitter.com/5YxiTfGEvT</a>—@GoTRUWolfPack
They call you a social media influencer. How did you get to that point?
I started when COVID just happened, and we all had to quarantine. During the quarantine, that's when I started making videos, and that blew up from there. Then I just kept doing it while having to be in quarantine.
You ended up with more than a million followers on TikTok.
I know. That's crazy. I did not expect that.
Now, you decided to stop posting on social media and focus on soccer. What made you decide to do that?
Since I have stopped social media and focused on soccer, I'm just staying off my phone. It's really good for me because while I was doing social media, you always had to be on your phone 24/7. I've really tried to just stay off my phone most of the time and focus on myself.
You lived with Alphonso Davies. Your family was a billet family for him.
We went to the same school. We became really good friends at school. He needed a place to do the Whitecaps residency program, so he ended up billeting at my house for five years. We just became like a family.
Does he know about you making the TRU team?
Yes, he said "good job." We were talking over text a few days ago and he was like "congrats."
What kind of influence has he had on you as a person and as a player?
He was always very kind to me and treated me like his little brother. As a player, he showed me that anything's possible as long as you put in hard work, and that you can really do anything with your career.
With files from Daybreak Kamloops