Aiming higher

Dal athlete's community involvement recognized by AUS and CIS

- March 28, 2011

Track and field star Rebecca Haworth. (Nick Pearce Photo)
Track and field star Rebecca Haworth. (Nick Pearce Photo)

Rebecca Haworth gulped when she saw the sign at the front of the room.

“Quiet means silence. No electronics. No food. Study.”

The study hall session was set up specially for first-year varsity athletes, taking place every Monday. Between her studies, training as a track-and-field athlete and volunteer responsibilities, Ms. Haworth came to appreciate the blunt message of the study-hall sign.

'Shock to the system'

“There’s a lot of pressure those first few months as you get used to everything,” says Ms. Haworth. “That first set of midterms was like a shock to the system. But then you develop a routine and a schedule and it keeps you on track.”

From Waverley, Nova Scotia, the 18-year-old aspiring doctor is used to aiming high—she’s a high jumper, after all, who runs hurdles “just for fun.” Arriving at Dal on an academic scholarship, the first-year science student managed to pull off a 4.07 GPA in the fall term.

Recently, Ms. Haworth’s community involvement was recognized by both Atlantic University Sport (AUS) and Canadian Inter-university Sport (CIS). At the AUS championships, she captured gold in the high jump and set a conference record of 1.71 metres. For her performances all season, she was recognized as the AUS female rookie of the year and field athlete of the year. Then, at the CIS 2011 Track and Field Championships held earlier this month in Sherbrooke, Que., she was honored with the CIS Student-Athlete Community Service Award for Women’s Track and Field.

Her community involvement reflects her desire to serve others and her love of sport. She’s helps out with patients at lunchtime at the QEII Hospital; she poses as a patient at Dal Med School; she coaches the Bedford Sackville Special Olympics Swim Team and the track team at Sacred Heart School; and she serves as the track rep on varsity council.

Emergency room experience

Since starting university, she’s had to let go of her volunteer position at the Cobequid Community Health Centre in Sackville, where she helped make people comfortable as they came into the emergency department—bringing them a pillow as they waited or showing them the way to the X-ray department. She also helped behind the scenes, stocking shelves or acting as extra hands for the nurses as they worked.

It’s where she first started thinking she’d like to practice emergency medicine one day. “It’s a thrill; it’s not the same thing over and over,” she says. “You have to think on your feet—it’s as if you’re in competition and wind’s come up and you have to rethink your strategy. I find that really exciting.”


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