A luncheon dedicated to student-athletes at UOIT took place on March 25, but instead of celebrating their abilities on the courts, fields or rinks, it was for their dedication to hitting the books.
In total, 31 students were presented with an All-Academic Award in honour of their grades.
The average GPA among the 200-plus athletes at UOIT is 2.7, or a B-. Eighteen of those athletes maintained a GPA of 3.7, an A-, or higher.
Alongside the All-Academic Awards were the Top GPA Awards and the UOIT Scholastic Awards.
The Top GPA Award celebrated the two students (one male, one female) with the highest GPAs in each sport. The UOIT Scholastic Award was presented to the male and female students with the highest GPA overall.
This year’s winners of the Scholastic Award were Heather Murphy of the Tennis team, and Rizwan Thawer of the Soccer team.
Murphy, a fourth year Kinesiology student, said it’s a balance to try to keep up with both sports and school.
“You just have to really commit to what you’re doing in both aspects. Get stuff done when you can,” she said.
Despite having practice every day and games every weekend during the season, Murphy also said that in her spare time, she loves to play tennis.
She added that while she didn’t know for sure if she’d be winning the award, she was “very happy to see the hard work pay off.”
UOIT President Dr. Tim McTiernan spoke about students who are engaged in sports and still keep up with school, saying “it pulls together a whole sense of what life at UOIT is like.”
The event was filled with family members, friends, coaches, faculty members, and even a guest appearance by former NHL star Bobby Baun.
Baun, known for scoring the game-winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1964 Stanley Cup Playoffs, has a varsity scholarship associated with UOIT.
Also making an appearance at the ceremony was Peter Lockhart, president of the Canadian National Sportsman’s Show, who made a $6,000 contribution to Baun’s scholarship fund.
A $1,000 bursary was also presented by the Oshawa Golf Club, the course where the golf team plays, to Kevin Jovanov for having the highest GPA on the team.