Although the St. F.X. X-Men were not one of the teams in the recent U Sports men’s basketball Final 8 tournament, there was an Antigonish flavour, as always, during the annual national championship event.
Katie Broussard, a native of Pomquet Antigonish County, was courtside as a student athletic trainer for the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
“It has been a great experience,” she said, prior to one of the Huskies’ tournament games at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, noting the coaches and players have been “really nice.”
“Our head athletic therapists are great – they teach us a lot of new things, which helps make it such a worthwhile experience.”
The third-year kinesiology student at Dalhousie University – a daughter of Ronnie and Joanie Broussard – was completing her first season with Saint Mary’s athletics.
“They don’t have health science or kinesiology programs, so the trainers for the sports teams at SMU, actually go to Dal,” she said of her connection with both Halifax universities.
Broussard explained, each year, the academic advisor with her Dalhousie program sends out an email, one gauging interest in such athletic positions.
“I was really interested, so I applied, and they matched me with basketball,” she said.
Along with Broussard, the Huskies have several connections to Antigonish, particularly the rival St. F.X. X-Men.
Saint Mary’s head athletic therapist Kurt Stevenson served in an assistant’s role with St. F.X., before making the move to the Huskies, while assistant coaches Mat MacDonald and Damon Cole are former X-Men basketball players.
As for plans after graduating next spring, Broussard is considering a career in physiotherapy or, possibly, medicine.
“This is a really great real-life experience to lead up to that,” she said of her work in student athletic therapy.
As for her academic experience at Dalhousie, including studying in the kinesiology program, it has been second-to-none.
“I am really glad. I was lucky because I think I chose something that fits me really well,” Broussard said.