Western academic winners

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    Members of various Mustangs teams from the Faculty of Health Sciences pose for a photo at the Freedom 55 Financial Scholar-Athlete Luncheon
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    Alex Taylor and Emma Pearson were named the winners of the Freedom 55 Financial Athletic Leadership Award, which is presented to a scholar-athlete who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on and off the playing field

Western’s top student-athletes were honoured for their academic achievements in late November at the Freedom 55 Financial Scholar-Athlete Luncheon. A total of 371 student-athletes were recognized for achieving an average of 80% or higher in their academic program while participating in a varsity sport in the 2016-17 academic year.

With two national and seven provincial championships already won this season, the Mustangs are a powerhouse on the field of play as well as in the classroom. Western once again boasts a high number of U SPORTS Academic All-Canadians, with 149 student-athletes achieving an average of 80% or higher in their program while competing in a sport at the university level.

“Being a student is first and foremost in our Canadian university sports system, and to have 37 percent of our student-athletes on campus be recognized as scholar-athletes is outstanding,” said Christine Stapleton, Director of Sport and Recreation Services.

Each of the 371 recipients received a certificate denoting their status as either a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian, an OUA Achievement Award winner, or Western Mustangs Scholar Athlete.

In addition, two student-athletes were presented with the Freedom 55 Financial Athletic Leadership Award. The award is given to a male and female full-time undergraduate or graduate student who had an 80% or greater average from the previous academic year, and who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on and off the playing field.

This year’s recipients of the award were Alex Taylor, a Kinesiology student from Winnipeg, and Emma Pearson, a Social Sciences student from Richmond Hill, Ont. Taylor and Pearson excel both in the classroom and in their athletic pursuits, with Taylor helping the Mustangs win the 2017 Vanier Cup, and Pearson serving as the captain and key member of the defence on the women’s hockey team.

“[Winning this award] means a lot to me because there are so many amazing student-athletes at Western,” said Pearson. “To be selected for this award is an honour, and I’m really appreciative of the award.”

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Submitted by Western Mustangs and photos by Pam Bialik