Local Athlete – Courtney Hebert
Courtney Hebert grew up on a farm in St.Paul, Alberta. She’s now a full time student at the University of Alberta studying Kinesiology where she’s also a Long Jumper on the U of A Pandas Track Team. When Courtney’s not in school or training, she loves to get back home to be with her family and 3 dogs enjoying the outdoors. She can also be found coaching track and volleyball thus sharing her knowledge and skills with others.
Courtney started doing track with her local club, the Northeast Alberta Track Club when she was in grade 9. Her brother and sister were both on the team and encouraged her to join. She wasn’t expecting to like it, but was immediately hooked and her interest in the sport grew quickly. She has now been doing competitive track for 7 years. She typically sticks to the Long Jump and Triple Jump but can occasionally be found sprinting just for fun. She truly enjoys all aspects of Track and Field events.
Her first coach, Reg Green, guided her into long jumping. She made note on the fact that he was a huge reason for her success throughout high school, and was a major factor in her decision to pursue track into university.
“He always took special time to work with me and I still keep him updated on every meet I do.”
Some of Courtney’s best memories are from travelling with her team for track meets throughout Canada. She has met some of her best friends competing which is truly one of the things she loves most about it. Her teammates are her biggest role models and motivators helping her get to practice during exam season or when it was tough to stay focused on training. Courtney had a pretty serious back injury which took her away from training for a few months. After coming back she was extremely grateful to have this extended track family by her side.
Courtney believes track is an unique sport because it is highly sportsmanlike. Courtney says “Of course everyone wants to win but a lot of times everyone is simply trying to break their own personal best. They push themselves which drives others.”
“The one thing about track that is really different from other sports is always having an objective measure of how you do. It can be really frustrating when you put in so much training and don’t see the 5-10cm increase that you were expecting.” Courtney further noted “I’ve definitely had to get better at continuing to persevere and stay optimistic in competitions. I often tell myself that the best I can do one day might not be the same as the next day and that’s ok, it’s important to always give 100% every day. This attitude has definitely come into play in other parts of my life – especially school.“
Courtney’s stand-out track moments include winning provincial gold in long jump in grade 10 and 11, and competing in the CanadaWest championships in Edmonton in 2019. Her indoor season over the last 3 years has also been very memorable. She added “It’s always so fun to compete in green and gold with my teammates.”
Due to our current circumstances the future is somewhat uncertain for Courtney, just as it is for everyone. She had been hoping to compete at Nationals in Montreal in July 2020, but that event has recently been cancelled. Courtney’s plans are to keep training, getting stronger and faster. She is fortunate to have a home gym back on the farm and a long jump that he dad built for her.
“Next indoor season will likely be my last season of varsity track and field since I’ll be graduating in the spring of 2021, so I’m hoping to make the best of this next year. Get in some of my best jumps ever and enjoy more great experiences with my teammates.”
Courtney says that after she’s done competing she hopes to stay involved with the sport and continue coaching. She’s excited to mentor her athletes, one of whom is her little sister. “It’s fun to be a big sister again even though I don’t live at home anymore.”
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