Khadim Mbaye is starting his second year as a Gee-Gee. The former CEGEP Montmorency student had a great first season as a linebacker with the Gee-Gees. The Laval, Que., product studies commerce at the Telfer School of Management.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Ottawa?
I knew Devin Murphy, the Gee-Gees defensive coordinator, before coming to uOttawa. He inspired me to join the Gee-Gees. I also love Coach Barresi’s philosophy and coaching style. He’s able to bring out the best in each athlete. I knew I was going to be able to reach my full potential with his help. Sports was what motivated me to come here. I also wanted to study elsewhere, therefore uOttawa met all my criteria.
How do you manage to balance school and sport?
It’s quite hard to balance school and sport during the season: we have to dedicate many hours to practice, training, travelling and games. You need to be diligent or else you always find yourself doing your projects at the last minute - that’s never good!
Why did you choose to join varsity sport?
Sport has always been part of my life, especially football. I started playing football during my second year of high school. Quitting was never an option. When people started to approach me to play at the university lever, I told myself I couldn’t let this opportunity pass by. It’s probably the best decision I’ve made.
What is your favourite hobby?
Besides football, I enjoy training. To me, running and doing weights outside training hours doesn’t feel like a chore because I really enjoy it. I also enjoy spending time with friends when I have a bit of free time… usually after football season.
What is the biggest challenge with interuniversity sport?
Balancing school and sports is quite the challenge. Often times, we need to miss classes when we travel. Contrary to what people might believe, it’s actually harder during the off-season than it is during the season. We tend to register to more classes in winter because the football season is over but we also have the off-season trainings for next season. The workload is much bigger.
What is the most rewarding thing about interuniversity sport?
Being able to play sports while completing your studies is very rewarding. Graduating becomes harder when you’re a student-athlete but it’s definitely worth it. It also brings a great feeling of accomplishment.
Who or what inspires you the most?
I wasn’t very apt for playing football at the beginning. I had to work hard for years and fight for my spot on the team every season. I was often told that I wasn’t good enough, fast enough or strong enough but instead of letting that discourage me, I used it to motivate myself. I want to prove to anyone that didn’t believe in me that I can accomplish great things. I also want to inspire others to never give up.
What are you most proud of?
On a personal level, I’m very proud of myself for pursuing studies at the university level. I didn’t always put in the effort when it came to studies. I got accepted to uOttawa because I worked for it. I worked hard to better my grades in order to get accepted in the commerce program. On the athletic level, I had the opportunity to be part of the 2012 Canadian Football Team. We defeated the Americans during the U19 World Championship final. That’s something that I hold dear in my heart.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
After graduating, I would like to play for a professional football team. I also plan on starting a business once I’ve graduated from Telfer. In five years, I hope to have both!