Dalhousie University’s student athletes receive awards for their academic and athletic performances. Toronto student athletes seek the same recognition.
The Halifax-based university is leading the way with its athletics department and coaches “deeply committed” to student athletes’ success in the classroom, said Tim Maloney, executive director of athletics and recreation. “We do have a philosophy that they are students first and their academic success is our first priority.”
Dalhousie’s philosophy had raised to academic all-Canadian status 107 of their students, 44 per cent of whom were student athletes.
Dalhousie offers their athletes dedicated academic advisors for their athletes, a mandatory study hall for first year student athletes, study skills and time management sessions, including tutorial services, to support their efforts in being successful both in their academics and athletics.
Alvin Wong, a D-League athlete for the varsity basketball team at the University of Toronto, said he doesn’t feel his school gives student athletes the necessary support. “For the most part, I feel like student athletes don’t get enough recognition,” Wong said.
It is difficult to maintain a high-level of play and excel academically at U of T, Wobg said. “My energy levels vary throughout the week, but it’s about designating time-slots and prioritizing what has to be done. If it’s a priority in your life, you will find a way to get it done.”
“The U.S. is definitely a better region for athletes to prosper,” Wong added. “I think that the U.S. represents a gold standard for a lot of sports.” Outside of student athletes, coaching staff in the NCAA receive recognition as well.
Associations like the OUAA and OCCA, do offer an environment for student athletes to develop in Ontario, Wong said. These associations allow student athletes to gain experience and develop so that they will have the ability to go pro in the future.