Humber varsity athletes give back with Hawks Have Heart

Megan VanKeulen, a final year kinesiology student and cross-country team member, helps by giving weekly free lessons to Etobicoke high school girls on nutrition, self-defense, body image and physical activity. | PJ Valois Megan VanKeulen, a final year kinesiology student and cross-country team member, helps by giving weekly free lessons to Etobicoke high school girls on nutrition, self-defense, body image and physical activity. | PJ Valois

PJ Valois
Sports Reporter

Humber athletes aren’t only scoring on the court and field, but also in community programs through the Hawks Have Heart initiative.

It was started this year by Humber Athletics as a method for student athletes to build a résumé outside of the classroom and off the playing field.

“We thought we would organize some events that essentially will meet various learning objectives,” said Haan.

Haan said the hope is within two years it will be part of a co-curricular record Humber will have, where outside experience mirrors what’s learned in the classroom.

Events this year included a charity run, a Humber residence move-in, food drives and a health and fitness program for local high school girls, she said.

“We are given so much as varsity athletes, we kind of have the opportunity to give back,” said Kelsey Bardy, a fastball and rugby team member who is involved in supporting community high school girls.

“We try to empower the girls, we try to make them feel like fitness is something that should be part of their lives,” she said.

Female varsity athletes involved in the program give free lessons twice a week on nutrition, self-defense, body image and physical activity to Etobicoke high school girls, said Megan VanKeulen, a final year kinesiology student and cross-country team member.

“Everyone is enthusiastic about it and we have a great time together,” she said.

The physical activity program for high school girls isn’t only about health and fitness, it also provides someone for the girls to talk to about the future, said Bardy.

Hawks Have Heart is slowly getting out to Humber’s athletes said Haan, who cancelled the 12-hour challenge for the Right to Play Foundation late last month due to low registration.

“It should grow in the years to come,” she said.

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