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Graduating Athletes

May 15, 2024 | Institution / General, University College

By Madison Franks, Student Writer

OTTERBURNE, MB – Providence is a university that holds many opportunities in which students can get involved. One of the many ways this involvement can take place is by joining one of our sports teams. Providence has the pleasure of boasting championship titles and many successful games played in soccer, basketball, and volleyball, and our school is full of athletes who are winning these games while balancing everything else going on in their lives. The number of athletes Providence has means something both sad and happy; namely, every year goodbyes must be said to some of the student athletes.


Kate Hanson was a student athlete on the women’s basketball team, who just finished her final year at Providence with a BA in Aviation. “I had no idea what to expect when I came to Prov,” Kate shared. As an out-of-province student who had taken no tours of the school, she did not know what her future campus would look like or what kind of people she would meet, but she had an experience here that she said “exceeded my wildest expectations.”

One of the most difficult parts of being an athlete in university is balancing schoolwork, your sport, and maintaining a social life. Having a good support system is so necessary, and Kate was able to find a solid one here. “The women’s basketball coaching staff are among the most supportive coaches I have ever had,” Kate answered in response to where she receives her primary support. She added that the environment of her team is a “loving, fun, and exciting environment to be a part of,” proving just how rewarding it can be when you make the effort to balance your life at university well.

If given the chance to speak to her first-year self and offer words of wisdom, Kate would choose to say, “Keep working hard because hard work pays off. It sounds kind of generic! Also, always put school first. Physical activity is a great way to counteract stress, but being a successful student athlete means prioritizing schoolwork.”

Anna Cushon was another graduate from the basketball team who obtained a BSc in Biology, and she had something to say to her first-year self too: “Step out of your comfort zone as much as you can. Do all the things you want to even if they scare you.” Wise words of experience from Anna – an athlete, excellent student, and head of the science club. “I think I was afraid of a lot of things, but I’ve had so many experiences through my time here, it’s just helped me become more confident in my abilities. Basketball has taught me how to be a leader and how to be more adaptable.”

As Anna reflected on her time at Providence, she saw this year’s season as a highlight for her. “Winning the NIAC championship was definitely a highlight. It was such a crazy game and to win it with this team was an amazing feeling that I’ll never forget.” Anna’s bond with her team grew strong throughout this year of playing, learning, and winning.

Anna offered some advice to anyone who is considering playing for Providence on the women’s basketball team. She said, “This experience to play your sport at this level comes once in a lifetime, so take advantage of it while you can. You can always come for ‘just one year,’ but I suspect you’ll be back.” Kate’s advice was just as wise when she said, “The athletic program at Prov is a special one in which your team truly does become your family. Not only does this make playing your sport more fun, but it also gives teams the opportunity to become incredibly successful. The tight-knit community that Providence as a school offers plays a role in its sports teams as well and is something to be cherished.”

Providence takes pride in its students, and Kate and Anna are only two students in the larger group of impressive women and men athletes. If you are an athlete considering Providence, these two students would whole-heartedly recommend the experience, as would many others. “It will provide you with memories to be held close to your heart throughout the rest of your life,” Kate said about her time. And she also added, “I know I will look back fondly at my time as a Providence Pilot.”