Jacky Normandeau honoured with All-America award

Photo by Luke Sarazin

The life of a student-athlete is something many only hear or see from afar, but cannot really relate to – especially at the university level.

While some athletes have busier schedules than others, it is still something to applaud them for considering they also have to balance school just like every other student.

On top of that there are the student-athletes who manage to do better than many of those who are just students.

It’s not to discredit those who are students alone at this level; school is a great commitment that all should be lauded for. But there is something different about those who balance more than just school in their life.

Enter Jacky Normandeau, a fourth-year biology major from Uxbridge, Ontario.

Normandeau has played on both the women’s hockey team and women’s soccer team in her four years as a Golden Hawk.

In her four-year career, she has accomplished plenty, having been a four-time U Sports/CIS Academic All-Canadian, winning Laurier’s Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement Award twice and being named the Outstanding Woman of Laurier in 2015-16 for academic, athletic and community work.

As a defender for the teams she played for, she helped both win OUA championships in 2013-14. She was also named Laurier’s Rich Newbrough female rookie of the year that year, as well as an OUA women’s soccer second-team all-star in 2015.

To top off her long list of accomplishments as a student-athlete at Laurier, Normandeau has recently been named to the 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division at-large second-team, having finished her time at Laurier with a 3.86 GPA. The at-large teams are made up of student-athletes from NAIA, two-year and Canadian institutions.

Having achieved this, Normandeau becomes the third Laurier student-athlete to ever receive this honour, with the others having been former men’s football receiver Dillon Heap and former women’s hockey defenceman Fiona Lester.

“It’s just such a huge honour and I’m so proud that I could represent Laurier and add them to that list. There’s like so many amazing athletes … so it’s just an incredible honour,” Normandeau said.

“I think it just shows that anyone who gets this honour has a lot of perseverance I guess and dedication. It also reflects on the school and the support academically.”

When asked how she managed it all, she credited those in her corner who were a part of the journey. She gave credit to her teammates, roommates and coaches for all of their support and understanding.

She mentioned how there were times where she was overwhelmed, but had the support of her teammates and roommates through it all. She also gave credit to her coaches for understanding her workload with both teams’ seasons overlapping and the workload she also had to balance being a two-sport athlete.

She is someone who has achieved plenty in her time being a two-sport student-athlete, both as a student and an athlete. More so, she humbly gives most of the credit to those who have helped her on her journey.

It seems to only be fitting that she achieved such a high honour and represents those around her and her school in ways most wish they could.

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