‘Getting to Know’ is a new weekly Q&A feature at ufvcascades.ca. Some of the questions are serious, some not so much. The first Cascade in the crosshairs is Danica Kump, a fourth-year midfielder with the women’s soccer team.
The other day, you laughed at me when I called you Danica, because everybody on this team just calls you Kump. How did that get started?
“At one point when I first started here, there were three Danicas on the team. One of them (Danika Snook) was called Snooki, the other one (Danica Ferris) was kind of called Danica. Everybody was like, ‘Danica Kump, we need a nickname for you! Ehhh, we’ll just call you Kump!’ And it stuck.
“(Head coach) Rob (Giesbrecht) calls me Kumper. Nobody calls me Danica. I don’t even really respond to Danica. If they’re calling me Danica on the field, I don’t even hear it. Kump it is.”
What’s it like to view the world from a 5-foot-2 vantage point?
“(Laughs) I call myself fun size! People are like, ‘Oh, you’re so small,’ and I say, ‘No, no, no, no, no. It’s fun size.’
“I was actually at work one day and was talking to some young soccer players. They were like, ‘Oh, you play soccer for UFV?’ I think one of the girls was quite young, and her mom said, ‘See, you can play soccer when you’re older! You don’t have to be very tall!’ And I said, ‘Yeah, don’t worry – I’m not tall and I’m still playing, and I hold my own!’
“I am smaller, but I like to be feisty on the field and make up for the size!”
You’re from Langley. When you have a teammate that comes to UFV from out of province, what local Fraser Valley landmarks do you like to show them?
“Right now, it’s the new mall! I love High Street (in Abbotsford) – you can do everything there. In Langley, I like to have get-togethers at my place, because I have a little bit of land. So you know what, let’s have team bonding and a team sleepover, and let’s all get to know each other.”
Tell me a funny story about Rob Giesbrecht.
“Hmmm, a funny story… I think the best thing was when we scored against Alberta (in the 2014 Canada West semifinals to earn a trip to CIS nationals), and he went sliding along the sidelines on his knees because he was so excited. I was on the bench, so I got to witness the whole thing. He was so happy and so enthusiastic, it was almost better than the goal itself. It was awesome to see how excited he is for the team when things happen. It’s really encouraging, honestly, not just that we’re happy, but that he’s so excited when we’re successful.”
As a teenager, which posters did you have on your wall?
“I didn’t have many posters, to be honest. But I did have a few. I had a little Whitecaps poster that I got at a Whitecaps game. That was pretty cool. Other ones were of little celebrities. Like, the Family Channel ones – The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, the twins. That’s so embarrassing!”
Besides the CIS national championship, which sports trophy would you most like to win?
“The Women’s World Cup, that would be amazing. I’m such a fan of it on TV. I watch it every year that it happens, both men’s and women’s. The energy level there is insane, it’s incredible. We got to watch one of the (FIFA Women’s World Cup) games this year in person, Tristan (Corneil) from the team and I. It was like the Olympics all over again. It was just incredible. Being a part of that would be breathtaking.”
Tell me a little bit about your teammates. Which of your teammates would you trust to date your brother?
“(Laughs) Oh my gosh! A lot of them have boyfriends. But I have a lot of good friends on the team – Tristan, Kara (Delwo), Karlee Pedersen, Jade Palm as well.”
They’re good enough for your brother?
“I’d say they definitely are. All the girls on the team are. They’re wonderful, wonderful girls. But those ones, I guess, if I had to choose!”
Your team accomplished so much last season, winning the Canada West silver medal at finishing fourth at nationals, and there’s a special feeling around the Cascades again this year. What makes this team so special?
“What Rob said, and I totally agree with it, is we’re very tight this year. We’ve just been able to hang out more and get together. And we’ve even been able to connect with the guys soccer team more – we wanted to connect with different teams just to be closer as a university.
“The cohesion we have on the team this year, it’s really nice. It’s nice to be friends with not just my close-knit group, but with everyone – from people who are from out of town, Delta, Surrey, wherever. It’s really nice to be able to go up to anyone and trust them, and be able to talk to them about anything you need to talk about. I feel like what makes us so successful is how trusting and how close we are as a team.”