Winter break is a time most students look forward to — getting to visit family, a break from the books, enjoying the holidays and seeing old friends.
It also marks the end of first semester, meaning we are halfway to summer.
Our Golden Hawk athletes, however, experience winter break a little bit differently.
OUA athletes take on the tremendous challenge of balancing books and athletics.
Some argue that the time consuming schedule that comes with university sports allows the students to better manage their time, however include a social life in the mix and things become increasingly difficult.
Fortunately for student athletes, during exams they only need to fit in team workouts where possible, until after Christmas when it is back to everyday practice. This means come break time, our athletes get to cram eight months of “normal” Laurier student life into a couple of weeks.
Matt Tait, defensive lineman for the Golden Hawks football team explained what he plans to do with his free time.
“I look forward to curling up next to the fire, enjoying a hot cup of cocoa and spending much needed quality time with my Xbox One.”
Which I am sure includes playing Madden, to make sure he stays on top of his game.
Fall athletes have much needed fall reading week in their season, but winter athletes must be ready to get back into the groove of things during the turn of semesters.
Kaitlyn Schenck of the women’s basketball team said this is an easy task.
“Considering ball is life … we work so hard over the break because we know we still have half of our season left to play,” she said.
In contrast to Tait, Schenck is excited that she won’t have to worry about getting her nails and having them break in practice, she explained.
On a more serious note, the winter break means much needed time with family, friends and pets alike. It is possible for some of the hardest working students on campus, despite their other commitments. Both Tait and Schenck expressed how excited they are to get home.
Despite having a break, student athletes aren’t able to completely forget about the commitments they’ve made back in Waterloo, even if they do go back to their hometowns.
As a sports fan myself, I will probably spend time over the break stressing over the Indianapolis Colts .500-win percentage, but for the Golden Hawks it’s a little different.
“We never really leave the Athletic mindset,” Schenck said.
While some students could be baking shortbread cookies with their families, Laurier’s student athletes can be found training, hitting the gym, or receiving stockings filled with KT tape and nutrition bars.