Published on March 17, 2014 | by Megan Kimmerer Photography by Michele Randall0
Balancing work and play
Adriana Renton played for the Humber Varsity Women’s Rugby team in her first year at the University of Guelph-Humber. By her third year, she was managing the team – a big commitment for a student studying kinesiology.
According to Monique Haan, varsity academic advisor at Humber College, kinesiology students don’t typically have issues with balancing schoolwork and their sport.
“All of them have passing grades and a number of them have made the honour roll this past semester,” she said.
Haan said there are 20 kinesiology students representing all teams, with women’s volleyball and women’s rugby holding the most.
Joe Harwood, a third-year kinesiology student, is on the Humber Varsity Men’s Rugby team. He said making the balance can be difficult, but it is achievable.
“The pressure for both rugby playoffs and fall exams come at about the same point in time, which can be a breaking point for a lot of people,” he said, adding that being a student before an athlete is important when feeling like grades are suffering.
“The commitment can be very stressful from time to time,” said Harwood. “I find the best way to achieve balance is by using a day-planner and sticking to it.”
Renton uses a similar approach to planning her time, creating two-week calendars outlining all of her school and rugby commitments. “By having a schedule laid out I’m able to complete my priorities and find holes in my schedule in order to have dolce far niente, which is the sweetness of doing nothing,” she said.
Though it is possible for these two athletes, the balance between studies and sports hasn’t always come easy. Last year, Renton sustained three concussions in the span of a month while playing rugby, causing her to miss opportunities within her team and to drop her course load from five to three courses.
“I wanted to play the game more than anything at the time,” she said. “I had to step back and take care of myself, which also affected me academically.”
Despite setbacks like these, Haan, Harwood and Renton all agree that the two worlds go hand-in-hand, creating well-rounded students and athletes.
“I think being involved in kinesiology and a varsity sport are by far a great combination,” said Haan. “The students get to practice what they preach.”