Student Athletes

Jamie Robertson

JR

School: Carleton University, Ontario, Canada

Sport: Swimming

Program: Geography 

Dream Job: Teaching or working for the government

How did you end up swimming?

“My parents first put me in swimming lessons when I was 5 but I hated the water and was very scared. They took me to a swim meet that was going on downtown Toronto where I watched my cousins swim. I wanted to be fast like them and it helped me over come my fear of the water. I ended up catching on very quickly and went through the levels very fast, skipping a few along the way. I finished all 10 levels with the city of Toronto at the age of 7, and my parents realized my love for swimming and being in water, so they signed me up for a pre competitive swimming program where I did that for a year, and started competitive swimming when I was 8. And over the past 13 years I’ve swam for 4 different teams”

Achievements and Accolades 

  • Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute Swimming MVP 2013 and 2015
  • Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute 2015 Athlete of the Year

Jamie R

Jensen MacDonald 

Jensen

School: Carleton University, Ontario, Canada

Sport: Powerlifting

Program: Law

About Jensen: 

“I am a third year law student at Carleton, who got into powerlifting when I started university. I compete in the CPU which is a drug-tested federation and compete as a 74kg equipped JR; 74kg being my weight class, equipped being the category and JR being my age category (18-23). Powerlifting focuses on the squat, bench press and deadlift with my best lifts in training being a 252.5kg squat, 155kg bench press and 245kg deadlift.”

Achievements: 

“I have been powerlifting for 3 years now and as of September 2017 when I competed at Ontario Provincials I broke my first records. I was able to break the Ontario squat record for both my age category and the age category above me. At that same meet, I was also able to win best equipped JR in Ontario for 2017. I now have my goals on taking the National squat and bench press record this November when I compete next.”

Kaan Alsan 

kaan

School: University of Waterloo

Sport: Swimming

Program: Computer Science and Statistics

Dream Job: Data Scientist or Analyst

Why Does Kaan Swim?: “I like to push myself a lot and swimming helps me do it. Swimming requires willpower in many ways such as waking up every morning at 5AM or forcing yourself to finish a set even though your muscles are screaming at you to stop. After doing this for 10 years, it gives you a feeling of being unstoppable, both in and out of the pool. Swimming also helps me deal with life in general. Sometimes I can get too obsessed with academics, so it’s nice to have goals not related to grades to focus on. There are plenty of times where I feel overwhelmingly stressed by school and during those times the only thing that can make me forget about it is swimming. Especially after studying for hours for exams, swim practice refreshes my brain and gives me a break from everything. Also, early morning practices make it easier to go to lectures at 8AM.

How do you balance school and a varsity sport? 

“I have practices in the morning and at night so the only time I have is in the middle of the day. I find that doing work during those little breaks between classes and lunch really makes a difference for me. Meal prep also helps me save time during those hours, so I don’t have to go home to cook. On weekends, I like to go to cafés with my girlfriend to do work, which is when I’m the most productive. The most important thing for me though is to avoid procrastinating, because work can pile up fast. I like to finish my work as soon as possible which helps me feel in control.”

What got you interested in swimming? 

“My dad tried to get me into swimming when I was younger, but I hated waking up early on Saturday mornings, so I stopped. Two years later I decided on impulse that I wanted to swim competitively, so that year I signed up with a club. I’m not sure why I wanted to swim, but I think I was just really bored at the time. After my first year, I made lots of friends and felt athletic (which is something I was struggling with at the time), so I stuck with it.”

Accolades and Achievements

  • Dean’s Honours List
  • Academic All-Canadian
  • Captain of Waterloo’s men’s varsity swim team
  • Team finished 5th at OUA Championships (aiming for 4th next year)
  • Competed at provincial and national level
  • Was ranked in top 50 in Canada (for age group) in 200m and 100m Butterfly

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