Balancing school, sports, social life, and stress is quite an act for Concordia Stinger Tawnya Danis, who has an extremely hectic schedule to deal with.
Danis, a forward for the women’s hockey team, has a full course load as a third year Psychology major and minor, in the department of Applied Human Sciences.
“Sundays and Mondays are reserved for studying,” said Danis. There is actually an academic aid centre in the sports complex to schedule tutorial sessions for the athletes. Teams also have academic advisors that help them with things from scheduling conflicts to choosing a major.
Concordia Stingers are great enforcers of academic excellence. Les Lawton, Danis’ coach, has a copy of all the players’ schedules and marks.
“If your grades fall, you can be put on academic probation or kicked off the team,” said Danis.
Along with mental exercise comes the physical side of being a Stinger. Danis has practice five days a week. The women’s hockey team has one to two games per week.
“Games can last an entire day,” said Danis. Each game can take up a lot of time when you factor in traveling, team meetings, warm up and preparation.
Exercise can increase your energy level and help you to be more alert in class but too much can have the opposite effect. When faced with this knowledge, Danis agreed with the latter.
“Sometimes it is outright exhausting,” said Danis. She has been sick already this year with strep throat and says that she can fall asleep in class. Her love for hockey keeps her motivated to get the grades. The last thing Danis wants is to be sitting on the sidelines.
Believe it or not, Danis also finds time to make some money. She works for the Concordia Sports Complex and on occasion for Pepsi. She got both of these jobs through the hockey team.
“I work about five hours a week,” said Danis, which is more than enough for someone with her workload.
Danis also manages to squeeze in a social life, which is part of a University student’s lifestyle. She has narrowed it down to a science by having social nights on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The forward has developed some great friends on the women’s hockey team.
“We don’t always go out, sometimes we just chill at my apartment. We all obey the 48-hour rule,” said Danis. None of the girls drink any alcohol 48 hours before a game, so they can be in top form to compete.
Danis seems to have developed quite the routine as a student-athlete. She loves hockey whole heartedly and is proud to be a Stinger.
“It is so worth it,” said Danis. She has found a way to balance everything and still enjoy her young adult life.
This may be an obvious answer from a Canadian, but when asked what her priorities are Danis said without hesitation, “Hockey, family, school, social life.”
To see more of Danis, check out the defending QSSF champion Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team schedule at www.stingers.ca and head down to the Ed Meagher arena.