Humber Hawks volleyball: spiking the stigma

by | Jan 21, 2019 | Headlines, News, Sports, Varsity

Jacob Phillips
Sports Reporter

GUELPH — Sunday’s games were more than about the score. It was also about spiking the stigma and spreading awareness of the importance of talking about mental health. 

Both of Humber’s volleyball teams were victorious over Conestoga with the women swiping Conestoga, and the men winning in a come from behind victory after being down 2-1 in sets.

Women’s Hawks volleyball middle blocker Danielle Miles spikes the ball towards Conestoga Condor defenders on Jan. 20. (Jacob Phillips)

With these wins over the Conestoga Condors, the men’s team finish with a perfect week while the women’s end the week with a 3-1 record.

Humber’s and Conestoga’s men and women’s volleyball games were sponsored by Bell’s let talk campaign to help spread and stop the stigma about mental health awareness.

Conestoga fan Mary-Allen Curry praised the teams.

“I think it’s fantastic the athletes are open about mental health and they can be advocates on speaking about mental health,” she said.

The coaches of the men’s and women’s team of Humber and Conestoga talked about how important these games were to the teams to be advocates on mental health.

“It’s very important for the guys because they want to help their community on how to interact with people suffering from mental illness,” Conestoga men’s head coach Wayne Harris said.

Condor’s Men holding Bell let’s talk signs. (Jacob Phillips)

Conestoga women’s head coach Haiqi-Liu talked about why it’s important spreading awareness.

“We have more people being diagnosed with depressive disorders and it’s affected me and the team personally,” he said.

Humber’s women’s head coach Chris Wilkins talked about the importance the OCAA spreading awareness saying “Young people today have so many challenges they go through so they need the help.”

Humber’s men head coach Wayne Wilkins said it’s okay to be open about mental issues.

“It’s important to know there’s always support available and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help,” he said.

Men’s Humber Hawk’s 13, 9, and, 14 getting into defensive positions. (Jacob Phillips)

Humber women’s volleyball setter Brandy Ferguson said teammates help each other through any mental health issues that athletes go through.

“Student athletes suffer immensely from mental health due to school and sports. And if the pressure is starting to pile up, the team is there for each other,” she said.

“It’s very stressful because of how much it’s expected of a student athlete and we sometimes need to take a break and just relax,” Ferguson said.

Humber’s mens libero Edward Lai said it can be difficult to speak out.

“People don’t get an opportunity to speak out and sometimes their too scared to speak out,” he said. “For a lot of those people who don’t get that opportunity to talk, it’s important that they see other people are aware of what they’re going through.”