Jeremy Yudin, Sports Reporter
Eight Humber athletes were honoured as Academic All-Canadians for their commitment to educational success and athletic achievement.
“It really shows the type of person, the commitment level, and the desire,” said Michael Kopinak, associate Athletics and Recreation director at Humber. “They’re just well-rounded individuals and it’s something we’re very proud of.”
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) gave out the award to 172 athletes across 45 schools. The criteria of the accolade is to be an honours student and earn individual and/or team success.
Humber had the third most athletes that won the award.
“We probably have a lot of other athletes that could be All-Canadians, but they don’t have the combined athleticism, or aren’t on as good enough team,” Kopinak said.
Fortunately for curler Brittany Elson, with an 84 average and an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) second-Team All-Star, was one of eight Hawks to win the accolade.
Elson keeps track of four schedules to balance her nine-hour work shifts on the weekend, as well as varsity practices and schooling.
“It was more difficult come the new year, but because my work was flexible and especially with (coaches) Cindy (Bishop) and Sean Turriff being so flexible with the curling schedule, they were able to work around a lot of the other athletes and my work commitments,” Elson said.
Along with the help of varsity coaches, student-athletes can also reach out to the school’s support system.
“Our athletes are fortunate in that we have a varsity academic coordinator, so a full-time academic advisor who supports our student athletes from an educational and career-advising standpoint,” said Ray Chateau, Athletics and Recreation director at Humber.
While Humber athletes have generally done well in their programs, Kopinak admits there are students who still need support.
“We also have some students that struggle,” he said. “This is not a perfect story and it’s those students we have to support (that) are at risk and do whatever we can to help give them the tools for success.
“Academics are always front and centre,” he said.