Mustangs help kids learn
By Aron Yeomanson
WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DETERRING BULLYING. The point of
Monday’s anti-bullying campaign was apparently forgotten
by two participants in the basketball game who get engaged
in a bit of a donnybrook.
Weekday afternoons at Alumni Hall typically feature boring lectures
about politics or psychology allowing hundreds of drowsy university
students the chance to catch up on their rest.
Monday afternoon, however, was completely different.
Over 1,200 kids ranging from the sixth and eighth grades packed
the building to capacity for an anti-bullying initiative, which
featured a play performed by students from Banting Secondary School
and culminated with an exciting men’s basketball game between
the Mustangs and the Ontario University Athletics Selects, a team
composed of former OUA players.
“It went off like a clock,” said Mustangs head coach
Craig Boydell. “The board of education had everything tremendously
organized and [Mustangs’ capatain] Sagar Desai was our organizational
man today — and it turned out to be the kind of thing I had
hoped it would be.”
“I think it’s been great,” added Scott Weaver,
a teacher at Leesboro Central Public School. “The play the
kids put on earlier was excellent, we get to do some extra work
in our classroom tomorrow and I know that most of the kids from
my school haven’t been out to see a basketball game here
The game itself ended in a 72-63 victory for the Mustangs which
thrilled the crowd and was more of a battle than anticipated. “It
got intense at the end,” said OUA Select player and former
Mustang Tim Shanks. “My friends Sagar [Desai] and Adam [Peaker]
are still on the team and anytime we play against each other it’s
going to get pretty competitive.”
Playing in a close exhibition match also gave the Mustangs a chance
to try to make improvements in a game situation, but Boydell was
quick to point out the day was really about the kids.
“We’ve been struggling and we got a few guys into
the lineup today who haven’t been able to play for a while,” he
said. “Mostly, though, it was a day where we were just trying
to do something for the community and that was really the focus.”
The event created an important link between Mustang Athletics
and the community as getting kids involved with the university
seems to be a goal of both the Thames Valley District School Board
“We’ve worked with [Western] in the past,” said
Susan Dale, a teacher on special assignment in violence prevention. “But
this is the first time we’ve connected up with athletics
so it’s very exciting for us.”
“I’ve always believed that athletics have to be about
more than just playing games,” Boydell added.