Michelle Sawatzky-Koop

Michelle grew up in Steinbach, Manitoba where she attended Steinbach Regional Secondary School. Her athletic accomplishments began there as she led the volleyball team to the 1987 “AA” Provincial Championship.

Following graduation in 1988, Michelle was recruited to play with the University of Manitoba Lady Bisons and was the starting setter as they won the National Championship in 1990, ’91 and ’92.

Michelle's athletic achievements are numerous:

  • starting setter, 1989 Canada Summer Games Bronze Medal team
  • member of the Junior National team, 1990
  • member of World Student Games team, 1991 and 1992
  • named University of Manitoba Female Athlete of the year, 1993
  • joined the Senior National team, May, 1993
  • Bronze Medal team, PanAm Games, Argentina, 1995
  • member of Canadian Olympic team (9th place finish), Summer Olympics, Atlanta 1996


While volleyball is important, it is not the only facet of Michelle’s life. Music is certainly the other side of things. She began to study music at the age of 4 and studied piano and voice for many years.

Michelle's musical accomplishments include:

  • member of the National Youth Choir (performed across Canada and at the World Symposium of Choirs), 1992 and 1993
  • piano competitor at the National Music Competition, 1992 and 1993
  • Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance from the University of Manitoba School of Music, 1993
  • performed a 12-concert solo piano tour of Western Canada, CFMTA Young Artist Competition, 1993


Michelle’s story of overcoming obstacles and persevering “no matter what” is inspiring. Her life of sports and music will be a great conclusion to our conference and fits well with our theme of ‘sound connections’.