It has been hard enough for students to keep up with school throughout the pandemic, let alone with an added layer of sports and a social life. Caitlin Frost is a graduate of Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR) and she currently attends Champlain College Saint-Lambert. There, she studies health sciences and has just finished her first year, achieving honours status. On top of that, she has been playing Division 1 basketball for the Cavaliers. Though the season was unlike others due to COVID and some training had to happen through Zoom, the team still managed to thrive, bringing home the RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) championship for their division for the first time.
Frost credits her sister as the reason she got into basketball to begin with: “I have been playing basketball since the age of 11. I was inspired to start playing the sport by watching my sister play when I was younger and thought I would give it a try.”
Being that this was her first year of CEGEP, there was a lot of adapting to do. “It was challenging to adapt to my first year of CÉGEP, as it is for any student, but sports helped me manage my time, relieve stress, and meet new people. Coach Georges Germanos and the team were very welcoming, which really helped with the transition.” Having sports as part of her routine helped her find her place at the new school more quickly than she would have without it; “Training daily demands organization, and playing sports helped me become more comfortable in my new environment and balance both academics and athletics.”
The year was one of big achievements for Frost. Besides winning the championship with her team, she was awarded the RSEQ Division 1 Rookie of the Year award. The team went on to place fourth in Canada at the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) Nationals in Nanaimo, British Columbia. There, she was also named the second team all-star. Upon returning home, she says she was “recognized for my academic successes as a student-athlete, as I was awarded the CCAA Academic All Canadian Award for obtaining honours in my program all while having success in my sport.” This award was given to her at the Champlain College Sports Gala.
Frost offers some advice to students who are struggling with the sports/academics balance, saying that the most important thing is to stay organized. “Sticking with a study schedule and managing my time to make sure all my academics are covered was a great way for me to get through my first year of CEGEP.” She urges students to prioritize, though: “As a student-athlete, it is important to understand that school should always come first. This will help student-athletes to understand the importance of managing their time to be successful in class.”
In the future, Frost hopes to play basketball professionally. However, for right now, she says she plans to “use the sport as a segue to get into a reputable school with a great basketball program. I am enjoying the adventure and the travelling.” This year, she got to travel to Manheim, Pennsylvania; Louisville, Kentucky; and Orlando, Florida. “Each tournament welcomes over 400 teams. It is fun to travel, meet new people, and get the opportunity to be seen by scouts from American universities.”
Frost reminds people that “while balancing sports with academics and a social life might feel overwhelming at times, in the long run [sports] are an amazing opportunity to stay fit and develop key life values such as resilience, teamwork, problem-solving skills, work ethics, and leadership.” Her school/sports balancing skills have been extremely impressive this year and have clearly paid off enormously.