For Fiona Huang, competing as a University of Toronto Varsity Blues sprinter is something that equips her to cope with the demands of academics, and vice versa.
In an interview with CBC News, Huang, a second-year student in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, discussed how her approach to balancing coursework and athletics led to her being named an Academic All-Canadian by U Sports. The award is given to varsity athletes who achieve an academic standing of 80 per cent or better.
“To me, track is a good mental break from school … just making sure to meditate or take a day off if I need to, take a break from studying and from track as well as I need it,” said Huang, who is from Hay River, N.W.T.
She said the award, which came just as final exams are set to begin, is a welcome reminder that “everything’s going to be OK and hard work pays off.”
Joe LeBlanc, Huang's track coach at Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River, hailed her as a "totally coachable athlete" who "doesn't just work hard, she works smart as well."