For Ethan Williams, sports and wellness run through his veins
The student-athlete’s ongoing ascent in UTM’s fitness community traces back to childhood.

Ethan Williams—a third-year undergraduate student in the Political Science specialist program at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), with minors in Philosophy and Ethics, Law, and Society—was recently elected to act as director of Health and Wellness on the UTM Eagle Athletic Council. Williams plays Tri-Campus basketball and aspires to be a personal trainer at UTM’s Recreation, Athletics & Wellness Centre (RAWC).  

Though Williams’ school-related involvements surely speak volumes about his fitness-consciousness, prior to 2020, he wouldn’t have described his athletic journey as one motivated by health and wellness.

“Before then, I was just enjoying the sports that I love with the goal of becoming a post-secondary varsity athlete,” explains the North York native. “When Covid hit, and I was unable to play due to lockdowns […], I had to figure out other ways [like at-home workouts] to stay active and healthy for whenever the lockdowns would be lifted, and seasons would resume.” 

Through pandemic-induced online research, Williams, in his own words, “fell in love with” the idea of physical wellbeing as a lifestyle. His father, however, first introduced him to the gym. “He was always in the gym, leading a life of health and wellness,” Williams says. “Many of my first workouts were with him as my personal coach, just teaching me the basics.”

Growing up in a family of multi-sport athletes, Williams miscellaneously dabbled in sports until he eventually found success in track and field, cross-country, and especially basketball. 

Starting basketball at the age of five served Williams later in life: he captained teams in high school and then played at a university-level. “I have had a great experience playing with the Tri-Campus UTM basketball team,” he says. “[My teammates and I] spoke the same language, and our chemistry showed that as we supported and encouraged each other on the way to an undefeated season and championship.” Coach Brian Hutton led them to the Tri-Campus Championship of the 2021-2022 season. 

Around this time, Williams also experienced a warm welcome from staff at the RAWC. “From when I first came on campus and into the RAWC in February 2022, the trainers showed me nothing but kindness, respect, and support for my goals, even before I got to know them on a personal level.”

Since September of 2022, Williams has been working as one of the RAWC’s student trainers. His hope is to become a certified personal trainer with the gym so that he can help people achieve their fitness and health goals. In this spirit of caring, Williams seeks to promote health and wellness in the everyday activities of UTM students as an Eagle Athletic executive. 

“There are many different forms of health, from physical health to mental health,” he says. “I look to address all forms of health and […] healthy living through various methods such as fitness events for students, informative posts, and showcasing all the fitness classes that the RAWC has to offer our students that they may not be aware of or know much about.”

In terms of participating in UTM sports, Williams’ advice is this: “Stay consistent and understand that not [every day] will be your best day, but [every day] will be worth it. There will be easy days and there will be days where you may not even feel like getting out of bed. That is completely okay, and it happens to the best of us. Just stay the course, enjoy the journey, and never stop learning.”

Williams practices what he preaches. In trying to balance his training at the RAWC, club meetings, time spent on the court, personal and social activities, and homework, Williams realized that he had to minimize social media distractions, disengage with unproductive behaviours, and shift his focus to avoid procrastination: “This helped me improve my time-management skills. Juggling academic commitments with my athletic, fitness goals, and extracurricular clubs and committees is far from easy, but it’s definitely worth it for who I want to be in the future. Most of the time, these athletic and fitness goals do not feel like work or a hassle to me, and when you enjoy what you are doing, it makes it so much easier to get through.”

Sports & Health Editor (Volume 49)| — Alisa is a third-year student completing a major in Professional Writing and Communication with a double minor in Political Science and Cinema Studies. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Mindwaves Volume 15 and Compass Volume 9 and was a recipient of the Harold Sonny Ladoo Book Prize for Creative Writing at UTM. Her personal essay, “In Pieces,” appears in the summer 2020 issue of The Puritan. In 2022, she published her first poetry chapbook, Post-Funeral Dance, with Anstruther Press and wrote for The Newcomer as a journalist. When Alisa isn’t writing, she’s probably reading historical nonfiction, ugly-crying over a sad K-drama, or dreaming of places far, far away.


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