October 6, 2003 - by
International Players Find Florida State University Appealing

Oct. 6, 2003

When most people mention Florida State athletics, Bobby Bowden’s coaching record, our No. 1 ranked baseball team, and our new $10 million basketball facility are recent topics of conversation. Believe it or not, there is more to athletics here than what meets the eye. In fact, there are a lot of interesting characteristics and unique facts that go beyond our ACC and National Championships. Perhaps the most interesting fact of all is that there are over twenty-five international athletes playing here, at Florida State University.

More than half of the Seminoles seventeen collegiate sports teams enlist active international athletes. These players come from across the world; from Canada to England to South America to Africa, and even as far as China. It’s incredible to think that these players have such a strong passion for their sport; that they move thousands of miles to play here in Tallahassee.

What attracts players to Florida State? Is it the change in climate, scenery, or people? Perhaps just being in the “Sunshine State” alone is more than enough incentive to travel the distance. One of Florida State’s top tennis stars, senior Anca Dumitrescu, who comes from Bucharest, Romania, says, “I love FSU. FSU is basically Tallahassee and I really feel comfortable at this university. I chose FSU because it offered the best combination of athletics, academics, student support and a friendly atmosphere.”

To some athletes, interaction with other international players is an inducement to play for the Seminoles. Junior Kimberly Walker, a women’s track team sprinter all the way from Trinidad and Tobago, says there are a few things that initially attracted her to Florida State.

“There are more opportunities here to meet different people from all over the world and America. I have met people from Africa, Europe, as well as other people from the Caribbean. There are also great academic and good track programs.”

Having an admirable coach and a great team reputation is a huge factor in enticing athletes to come play here. Netherlands native, senior runner Helen Inge Hofstede, speaks highly about Florida State, compared to other schools in the country, “There are a lot of good runners on the team and Coach Braman was the most enthusiastic coach to get me here.”

There are many differences in living between the U.S. and foreign countries, but most of the international players are happy with their new home. When asked what was better about Tallahassee compared to the Netherlands, Helen Inge Hofstede said, “Sports are very important here, it is very good to be an athlete here. In Holland I always had to do everything for myself and the University there doesn’t cooperate that good.”

Whether players are attracted to Florida State University for the people, the weather, or the coaches, it is not hard to see why so many people are willing to travel the distance to be one of Florida State’s elite international players. Even though they came here from all over the world, all international athletes will leave Tallahassee bonded with the rest of their peers as proud Florida State Seminoles.

By: Lauren Segal
Sports Information Student Assistant

Active International Players By Sport

Diego Romero – Comodoro Rivadavia, Brazil

Men’s Cross Country
Luke Beevor – Luton, England
Ian Hornabrook – Queensland, Australia
Tom Lancashire – Bolton, England
Rhoan Sterling – Ontario, Canada
Joep Tigchelaar – Macharen, Netherlands
Lars Tveter – Oslo, Norway

Women’s Cross Country
Carla Agnew – Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Vicki Gill – Lancshire, England
Helen Hofstede – Hoogharspel, Netherlands

Men’s Swimming and Diving
Justin Lawrance – Sloane Park, Republic of South Africa
Michael Paulus – Somerset West, Republic of South Africa
Alan Ribeiro – Rio De Janaro, Brazil
Tal Stricker – Ramat-Gan, Israel
Chris Vythoulkas – Nassau, Bahamas

Women’s Swimming and Diving
Emma Dutton – Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Lisa How – Preston, England
Andree-Anne Leroy – Nanaimo, B.C., Canada

Men’s Tennis
Joao Paulo Bounassar – Maringa Parana, Brazil
Jonathas Sucupira – Sao Palo, Brazil
Chris Westerhof – Durban, Republic of South Africa

Women’s Tennis
Roxanne Clark – Republic of South Africa
Anca Dumitrescu – Bucharest, Romania
Alina Mihailescu – Constanta, Romania
Mihaela Moldovan – Bucharest, Romania

Men’s Track and Field
Brian Dzingai – Harare, Zimbabwe

Women’s Track and Field
Laura Gerber – Mies, Switzerland
Vicki Gill – Lancshire, England
Helen Hofstede – Hoogharspel, Netherlands
Kimberly Walker – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

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