Hay River’s Fiona Huang has been recognized for her dedication as a student athlete at the University of Toronto.

The 18-year-old has been named an Academic All-Canadian.

“It’s definitely a huge honour,” she said.

U Sports – the national governing body of university sport in Canada – introduced its first Academic All-Canadians in 1988 to recognize exceptional student athletes who achieve an academic standing of 80 per cent or better while playing on one of their university’s varsity teams.

Hay River’s Fiona Huang, centre – now a student athlete at the University of Toronto – was named an Academic All-Canadian on Nov. 20. Huang received the honour from Sandy Welsh, left, the vice-provost of students at the University of Toronto, and Beth Ali, right, the executive director of athletics and physical activity with the university.
Photo courtesy of Fiona Huang

Huang, a graduate of Diamond Jenness Secondary School and a long-time competitor at the NWT Track and Field Championships, is now in her second year as a member of the track team at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in sprints and relays.

She is also studying kinesiology at the U of T.

Huang and a number of other student athletes at the university were awarded the Academic All-Canadian designation on Nov. 20.

She also received a congratulatory letter from Governor General Julie Payette, who wrote that it is no ordinary feat to achieve academic excellence while pursuing varsity-level athletic endeavours.

That accomplishment deserves some “serious kudos,” wrote the Governor General.

“You should be very proud of yourself,” Payette told Huang. “I am very impressed by what you have achieved and what you will continue to accomplish. I wish you all the best in the pursuit of your ambitions. Aim high and never give up!”

Huang said she felt really honoured to receive the letter from the Governor General.

“It was nice to see that the hard work put into school and the long hours of studying and just good study habits paid off,” she said. “It’s like a good recognition of being able to balance track and school, and all the hours devoted to both. It’s just really nice. I guess I’m pretty proud and just honoured.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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