Vanier grad goes out with a bang

[attach]4528[/attach]Being a team captain is all about leadership. But Niya St. Amant isn’t just the captain of two teams — she has the entire school following her lead.

To recognize her contribution both on and off the sports field, St. Amant was named the North region athlete of the year at the 26th annual Town Crier Athlete of the Year Awards.

“I was surprised,” said a modest St. Amant after the event. “My coach said that I might get it but I didn’t really believe him.”

St. Amant played on four separate teams this year. She was a member of both the co-ed and girls volleyball teams at Georges Vanier SS as well as being captain of the girls basketball and ultimate Frisbee teams.

For St. Amant, athletics provide motivation, not distraction.

“Sports is what gets me through school,” she said. “While I’m doing my schoolwork, I think ‘well afterwards I’ll shoot some hoops’.

“It’s balanced in a way that I do my school work before sports.”

Still, it is her work away from the games that may have had a bigger impact at her school.

There was no athletic council at Georges Vanier last year, so this year St. Amant formed one. She recruited friends and teammates. Then they began organizing and promoting sports-related events around the school.

“At the beginning of the year I honestly thought that it would just fail but by the end of the year it was a big accomplishment,” she said. “We definitely did a lot for the school and I think it’s just going to grow bigger and bigger.”

St. Amant made announcements and advertisements to raise interest and school spirit. She also organized various activities such as a charity run with a barbecue on Terry Fox Day as well as a school-wide sports extravaganza that saw the entire school spend an afternoon participating in one of 25 physical activities.

Even though her high school career has come to a close, St. Amant said she would still lend a hand to the young council she’ll be leaving behind.

“I’m graduating but I’m definitely going to come back and help out a bit in my spare time,” said St. Armant, who was recently accepted into York University’s social work program.

St. Amant said she would only play intramural sports during her first year at York but may try out for the university’s varsity basketball and ultimate Frisbee teams in her second year, when she also intends to transfer into the kinesiology program.

First though, she was going back to Georges Vanier to show off her award. After all, it may have stopped her from signing up for a fifth year of high school.

“It’s definitely good because I was thinking of doing a victory lap and I think I’ve gone out with a bang,” she said. “I think I’m good.”