Heyens wins na­tional award

Lasalette na­tive plays rugby for Brock Badgers

Simcoe Reformer - - SPORTS - JA­COB ROBIN­SON

La Salette’s Kate­lyn Heyens con­tin­ues to make a last­ing im­pres­sion on the rugby com­mu­nity.

The Brock Badgers com­peti­tor is not only a mul­ti­ple- time On­tario Univer­sity As­so­ci­a­tion ( OUA) all- star but on Oct. 31 was pre­sented with the U Sports Student- Ath­lete Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award dur­ing the annual women’s rugby All-canadian gala in Wolfville, Nova Sco­tia.

“I am hon­oured to re­ceive this award and am in­cred­i­bly hum­bled by it,” Heyens said in a re­lease. “How­ever, this was a team ef­fort. I would not be here if it wasn’t for the sup­port from all the amaz­ing peo­ple in my life. I am truly thank­ful for all the peo­ple who have en­cour­aged me to get in­volved, and for all those who have helped me grow as an ath­lete and in­di­vid­ual over the last few years.”

Last month the Holy Trin­ity grad­u­ate won the OUA Rus­sell Di­vi­sion Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award.

The prospec­tive high school phys. ed in­struc­tor is cur­rently at­tend­ing teacher’s col­lege and has vol­un­teered in a num­ber of projects, in­clud­ing the CIBC Run for the Cure ( four years), the Ni­a­gara Su­per­hero Run, and at first-year ori­en­ta­tion serv­ing as ‘Mo­tion­ball Co­or­di­na­tor’. For three years she took part in the Brock women’s rugby Rookie-vet Men­tor­ship pro­gram and was a mem­ber of the Brock Univer­sity Ath­letic Coun­cil for four years.

“Vol­un­teer­ing has al­ways been a big part of my life,” said Heyens, a mem­ber of the Nor­folk Har­vesters women’s team. “From a young age, my par­ents en­cour­aged me to get in­volved and help oth­ers when­ever I am able to. I wouldn’t be where I am to­day if it wasn’t for the help and sup­port of oth­ers, so in re­turn I want to do all I can to help oth­ers reach their goals.”

Heyens has spent her sum­mers work­ing with youth at the Water­ford Her­itage Agri­cul­tural Mu­seum.

“Through vol­un­teer­ing, not only have I been able to help oth­ers, but I have been able to meet some amaz­ing peo­ple and gain some valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said. “Through meet­ing new peo­ple and hear­ing their sto­ries, it re­ally adds a new per­spec­tive to life. By of­fer­ing even a lit­tle bit of your time to help, it can make an in­cred­i­ble im­pact in the lives of oth­ers.”

Badgers coach Ste­fanie Pavlovich said Heyens takes a great deal of pride in help­ing her peers.

“Kate­lyn has a pas­sion for help­ing oth­ers lead a healthy life­style, and is al­ways will­ing to help oth­ers in need,” Pavlovich said. “Last year, she was the re­cip­i­ent of the Dal­las Beaton Award at the Brock Ath­letic Ban­quet, which goes to a Brock ath­lete that has truly left an im­pact on the Brock com­mu­nity. She is self­less, hard­work­ing, and an in­cred­i­ble per­son to be around.”

It’s in­ter­est­ing to pon­der where Heyens’ ca­reer would’ve led had she not been con­vinced by Holy Trin­ity girls rugby coach Ian Fitzger­ald to make the switch from soc­cer to rugby after her fresh­man year.

“Fol­low­ing the sum­mer sea­son with the Nor­folk Har­vesters, I de­cided to try out here at Brock and made the team,” she re­called. “Four years later I am still here, and am fin­ish­ing up my var­sity rugby ca­reer, which is crazy.”

A se­nior full­back, Heyens was one of the Badger cap­tains that led her team to a se­cond con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar sea­son record of 4-0 and a play­off run that saw Brock fin­ish fourth in the prov­ince. She col­lected her third pro­vin­cial al­ls­tar nod along the way.

“Rugby has be­come a sig­nif­i­cant part of my life in the last four years. It has chal­lenged me both as an ath­lete and as an in­di­vid­ual,” said Heyens. “This sport has taught me re­siliency, team­work, time man­age­ment, and the im­por­tance of hard work. But ul­ti­mately, rugby has al­lowed to meet so many in­cred­i­ble peo­ple, many of whom will be life- long friends. Es­pe­cially here at Brock, our team is like a fam­ily. We sup­port each other both on and off the field, and we con­stantly push each other to strive for great­ness. I couldn’t imag­ine my life now with­out this sport and all the amaz­ing peo­ple I have met.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

La Salette’s Kate­lyn Heyens was named U Sports Student-ath­lete Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Award win­ner dur­ing the annual women’s rugby All-canadian gala in Wolfville, Nova Sco­tia. Heyens is shown along­side Brock Badgers coach Ste­fanie Pavlovich.

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