Brock student-athlete finds meaning in community during Black History Month

The Brock Badgers are highlighting Black student-athlete and staff stories through a series of features as part of the University’s celebration of Black History Month/African Heritage Month in February. A list of events taking place throughout the month is available on ExperienceBU. Throughout February, Brock Sports and Recreation is raising funds for the Black/Indigenous Heritage Student-Athlete bursary through proceeds from an “All for Change” T-shirt, which is available online, and a portion of varsity home game ticket sales.

Brock student-athlete Sherika Noad can’t help but feel like she’s in the right place when she looks around at her teammates on the University’s track and field team.

“Track and field at Brock is diverse, allowing individuals from different cultures and religions to showcase their skills,” said the third-year Media and Communication Studies student. “It’s broad and inclusive, and I appreciate the level of diversity we have.”

As the final week of Black History Month/African Heritage Month approaches, Noad is focusing on the significance of education, reflection and celebration.

“It’s a time to learn about my culture, understand my roots and appreciate the sacrifices made by those who came before me,” Noad said. “Black history is a reminder of the progress we’ve made and the work still ahead to foster inclusivity and equality.”

Sharing her experience as a student-athlete at Brock, Noad recognizes the importance of finding a sense of community. She said the Black Student Success Centre (BSSC) at Brock is an important resource for Black students, supporting academic and personal growth.

“Joining clubs like the Brock Black Students’ Association and participating in events that bring together Black individuals have helped me maintain my cultural identity and find connections with people who understand my upbringing,” she said.

Born to Jamaican parents and raised in Toronto, Noad’s said she has loved running since she was a child. She credits her parents, Barbara and Barry, for fostering her love of the sport.

“My dad watched the Olympics with me and encouraged me from a young age. He’s always been supportive,” said Noad, who was also influenced by her admiration for iconic athletes such as Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix.

Noad’s elementary school offered only two sports, men’s basketball and track and field, so track and field became her passion. One that has lasted to this day.

Her mother, significant other and coaches at Brock have helped her navigate her journey as a student, athlete and person. She expresses pride in her identity as she continues to make strides toward her goals on and off the track.

“Being black means I have to work harder, but it also means I can do anything. I love my skin and who I am,” Noad said. “It’s a beautiful thing. It allows me to educate people, overcome challenges and appreciate the beauty of diversity.”

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