After losing a loved one McMaster University student athlete, Wayne Moore was faced with the burden of choosing whether to mourn the loss or stay strong for those who were relying on him. Rather than withdrawing from the world Moore instead applied that emotion in a positive way.
Moore has led the McMaster football team to victory more than once as the running back. On Sept. 13, 2014, Moore, 22, showed strength and perseverance when he played his best university game following the death of his grandmother.
Two days prior to the game, Moore received a call from his mother after practice telling him his grandmother was unwell and didn’t have long to live. The following day his grandmother passed away and he made his way home. Moore was faced with the choice to either use the time the coach gave him off, or play the game the team had the next day.
Sitting in the bleachers before the game, he prayed to God and reached out to his grandmother for her support. Moore decided his grandmother would want him to play in the game, and played while wearing the word “Mama” on the back plate of his pads in honour of her.
Moore says, “Knowing in the back of my mind that I would have my grandmother’s support is what really drove me to go through with the game. She always told me to follow my heart.”
He played with aggression and all his heart. It wasn’t until after that he found out he had just played his best university game. He ran for 164 yards on 27 carries, and scored three touchdowns, leading McMaster to a 37-17 victory. This gave him a rushing average of 6.1 yards per carry. Moore had asked his grandmother to cover him before the game and he believes she did in one way or another.
Moore’s family was always there to support him, he says. “ I feel like football brings my family closer together.” His grandmother is just one person who continues to support him everyday.
One of his biggest inspirations in his life is his mother. Moore grew up in a tough neighbourhood, losing his friends to violence. This led to him becoming emotionally strong. This was the hardest thing to overcome, but he worked through it with the help of his mom and sister.
“It’s just tough because you live with those people everyday… those people you look up to, especially me, being one of the younger guys. You look up to them and then one day they’re not there anymore, or they’re in trouble or they go to jail or some of them pass away… It’s just kind of tough growing up in that lifestyle.”
Moore remembers the many friends he lost who ventured down the wrong path. Growing up around this lifestyle, Moore says his mother steered him in the right direction.
Moore recalls the countless sacrifices his mother made for him regardless of her own personal battles. Moore says, when he is struggling on or off the field he thinks about how hard his mom has worked to help him get to where he is today and that gets him through anything.
His approach in life is inspired by a quote given to him by his fitness coach Clance Laylor. Laylor has always reminded him, “Be relentless in your pursuit,” and following those words he works long and hard to achieve his dreams.