Connor Way, 17, won four gold medals and one bronze at his first modelling competition in Los Angeles. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Island teen faces tough choice between modelling, football

North Saanich student earns big honours at California competition

Between football and a burgeoning modelling career, North Saanich resident Connor Way has a decision to make.

At 17, the Claremont student was chosen as the “Senior Champion Male Model of the World,” at the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) from July 6-15 in Long Beach, California. winning against entrants from 62 countries in his 16-24 age group.

Way spent two weeks competing, and he won four gold medals in the casual, formal, photos, and spokesmodel categories, as well as a bronze medal in the swimsuit division.

During the week of competition Connor was scouted by and sat down with representatives of modelling agencies, as well as LA casting agents and directors, but for a decade, he has been wanting to play football professionally. He has played for Team BC in football and played across Canada and the US. Rugby and basketball are also in the mix, but modelling was not in the cards originally were it not for a suggestion from his mother, Shauna Dorko.

“She said, let’s try this, let’s push this because I love learning new things and meeting new people,” said Way.

It was Way’s first modelling competition and his first time in LA, and he said the “whole environment of the competition was amazing.”

“You get to make friendships and bonds with people you may never get to meet in your life if you don’t go there,” said Way.

He was selected as the Connor was chosen to represent Team Canada by submitting photos to Vancouver scouts and directors last fall, who forwarded them to a national director in Toronto. He was then chosen as the Senior Male Model representative for Canada.

For the spokesmodel category, contestants had to give a minute-long speech on the topic of their choice and were judged on their presentation. Way spoke about “the brotherhood of football,” because of the influence it had on his life.

He met his best friend through football, and “just that one friendship means the world to me, just through football,” he said.

“You would lay your life on the line for anybody on your sports team if you really, truly care about them. That’s the brotherhood bond, I believe.”

While in L.A., Way was scouted by several casting agents as an actor, though he’s only done background work so far. It is yet another choice.

“Now we’re at a point where we have to make a decision,” said Dorko.

Way says he can balance football and modelling for the moment, but he acknowledged he needed to make a decision soon.

“Coaches want me at 205 for football, and big, but for modelling they want me where I am now, maybe five pounds less. It’s torn. You can’t have a modelling body playing football.”

Last summer he was hand picked by Coultish Management here on the Island for their male modelling division, he is now modelling locally, and they have plans next year to send him out internationally.

Way wants to go to university, but “it’s just a matter of where and when,” because he said he might want to model internationally after his high school graduation, but “reality is, you have to go to university to get a decent job now, so that’s what I want to do.”

Way enjoys social studies and law in school, and wants to study law enforcement, policing, or kinesiology, with the goal of being a detective.

“Every door is open right now, I’ve just got to pick the right one to go through.”

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