York University Lions wrestler Urshian Khalid was named the recipient of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) student-athlete community service award in Fredericton on Saturday (March 1).
From left to right: Eamonn Dorgan (wrestling coach), Urshian Khalid, Omar Thomas, Bahman Sarbazi (wrestling coach)
"It’s definitely a huge honour to win that award. I don’t think any of us do community service for anything other than helping others so when that’s recognized that’s a great thing. Even though I won the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) community service award, I didn’t even know I was nominated for the CIS, so when they called my name, I was surprised and glad to have my coaches there supporting me," said Khalid of winning the award.
The third-year wrestler from Mississauga, Ont., was honoured at the CIS championships hosted by the University of New Brunswick. Also this weekend, teammate Omar Thomas (Toronto) represented the Lions in the competition and finished in seventh place in the 90kg division.
Khalid is a leader for the Lions who exhibits outstanding achievements in wrestling, academics and community involvement. She is the team captain of the wrestling program and the York Wrestling Club president while studying kinesiology and health science and concurrent education. This year, she was selected as the recipient of a Sport Excellence Award and the Robert Munro Menzies Award.
She is heavily involved in the York community as a resident assistant, a student health ambassador and the wrestling representative on the York Sport Council, and she was chosen to become a member of the Lions Leadership Group. This season, in conjunction with other resident assistants on campus, she has started a charity initiative to raise money for Relay for Life and the Canadian Cancer Society.
She has also grown as a wrestler on the mat. The team MVP last year, she won the silver medal at the York Open in December and finished in sixth place in the 63kg division at the OUA championships in mid February.
Thomas, who qualified for the CIS championships after winning the bronze medal in his weight class at the OUA championships, defeated Sean Belisle of the Regina Cougars in his match on the final day to finish in seventh place.
Earlier in the tournament, he lost a trio of close matches in the round robin, falling to Daniel Oloumi of the Alberta Golden Bears, Alex Thoms from the host Varsity Reds and Andrii Vorontsov of the Brock Badgers.
The Badgers swept the men's and women's team titles at the CIS championships and won 12 individual medals.