Occupation: Footballs and Brains- An Athlete’s Message By Kenna Rose
Though he is a champion on the football field, Ottawa Redblacks’ player Brendan Gillanders confesses that he wasn’t always a champion in the classroom.
“In grade 12, I was the typical jock- didn’t go to class, only cared about football… I guess I learned the hard way how important school is.” Gillanders focuses on the table directly in front of him as he talks about his high school career. He admits, while hardly making eye contact and rubbing the stubble on his jaw, that his only goal for a while was to obtain an athletics scholarship. Unfortunately, due to his less than perfect grades, Gillanders was not accepted into the Human Kinetics program at any of the universities offering him a full scholarship.
Gillanders explained how he had to work hard in order to raise his GPA during his first year of university. He had been accepted into a Bachelor of Arts program and eventually managed to get his grades up enough to transfer into his Human Kinetics program. Gillanders is passionate about Human Kinetics, strength and conditioning, and training. In fact, he reveals that he never planned on becoming a professional football player, but to work with athletes in a more therapeutic way. As a matter of fact, Gillanders plans on using his background in kinetics as a fall back when he is no longer able to play professionally.
Throughout his brief account of his life, Gillanders consistently emphasized one subject: the importance of schooling in a person’s life. He acknowledges that football is an important part of his life currently, but that he wouldn’t be able to go forward in life had he not obtained his degree.
“Everyone has a passion. But it’s when you take the work ethic that you apply to your passion and put it towards school that you become the person you want to be… Unless you’re okay with just being average.”