University of Calgary files
Aug. 31, 2023
Fan support empowers Dinos athletes from the stands
At the University of Calgary, September not only signifies another start of the new academic year but also the beginning of the KICKOFF Season for beloved Dinos players. Many student-athletes navigate the challenging journey of balancing academics with sports training and the pressure to perform in front of crowds. A lot of their success is greatly amplified by the unwavering support they receive from the campus community, coaches, family, friends and fans cheering them on.
A gametime preview
Being a student-athlete entails a demanding routine that blends intense training sessions, academic pursuits and personal growth. Like many student-athletes, Mya Proctor, captain of the women’s basketball team, is committed to a daily practice schedule. Balancing rigorous practice, game and academic schedules, Proctor, who is a fifth-year communications student, says it has taken a lot of time and training to prioritize what is most important and additionally tackle other mental stresses such as injuries and being able to check in with herself when needed.
“Our schedules are so busy and there’s just a lot going on all the time and every day brings new challenges, whether it is performance or stress,” says Proctor. “But at the end of the day, the experience is worth it and helps us to grow as a person. It’s like the building block for personal growth, shaping us into better versions of ourselves.”
Support on campus
UCalgary recognizes the significance of creating an environment where student-athletes can thrive. Programs on campus like Dinos Grade Point Success allow for these individuals to navigate toward their full academic schedule. Proctor explains her academic coaches and just about everyone in the department genuinely cares and takes an interest in her personal and professional career.
“I’ve been really fortunate,” says Proctor. “My coaches sacrifice a lot for us and will drop anything to come and help us, whether it is personal, athletic or academic.”
The impact of fan support
Fans also play a pivotal role in the journey of any athlete. The unwavering enthusiasm, cheers and encouragement create an electric atmosphere during games, providing players with a boost of energy and motivation.
“It’s really exciting to see fans in the stands and it really just makes you feel like you’re playing for something that’s larger than yourself,” says Proctor. “It really makes you feel like you’re representing the school and the people there and it just really motivates you and pushes you.”
Proctor explains since playing on the basketball team and receiving the amount of support that she has had, has helped her to grow her confidence as a shy rookie and rising to become captain of the team.
Supporting athletes encompasses more than just cheering for their success; it signifies an investment in their dreams, both as an athlete and a student. As we cheer on our Dinos this KICKOFF Season on Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at McMahon Stadium, athletes like Proctor are motivated to overcome obstacles and drive to reach their full potential.