AUDIO: Interview with student-athlete Morgan Garland

Morgan Garland, a student-athlete at the University of Toronto, was successful at the Ontario University Athletics figure skating championships in 2019. Submitted photo

 

JG Sports Media’s latest audio interview guest is Morgan Garland, an accomplished local figure skater, runner and equestrian athlete.

Submitted photo

In this in-depth interview, I talk to Morgan about her current studies at the University of Toronto for health and disease and psychology, as well as her athletic background.

Morgan is involved with a research project at the university’s StarLab for Mind and Development.

“I started that last summer for course credit and then moved on to volunteering throughout the year to finish up the project that I was working on. The lab kind of looks at how kids reason about the social and moral world, so how they make decisions about what’s good and what’s bad and right and wrong and how those views kind of change as kids age.”

Families, if interested, can get involved. Normally participants would attend in-person sessions in Toronto, but due to the current circumstances with COVID-19, that’s not possible at this time.

“We’ve had to move our studies all online and so we’re looking for participants between the ages of 3 and 11 to participate in our study,” Morgan said. “We’ve been doing them over Zoom call and they’re basically just set up like fun stories and then we ask them questions about what they think throughout. We’re just looking for any families that might be interested in participating in that.”

Children receive a certificate of participation and families are entered into a draw to win an Amazon gift card.

Anyone interested can e-mail the lab at starlab@utoronto.ca or sign up through the website at starlab.utoronto.ca.

Read more about Morgan’s research project at https://todaysnorthumberland.ca/2020/06/03/young-participants-sought-as-research-continues-for-local-u-of-t-student/

We talk about Morgan getting involved in figure skating around the age of two and continuing to compete all the way up to the Ontario University Athletics level last year.

Photo by Danielle Earl Photograpy

Figure skating is a sport she would recommend to any parents looking for something new to sign their children up for.

“It’s so much fun to just get to be out on the ice and play around with a little bit of artistic movements, but also the athleticism that comes with figuring out how to jump and spin and balance…it really is a lot of dance on ice and I think a lot of people would really enjoy it if they got into it a little bit more,” she said. “There’s a lot of local CanSkate programs at Port Hope, the Jack Burger Sports Complex. There’s the Port Hope Figure Skating Club and then there’s one in Colborne and one in Baltimore and they’re all really great clubs that really encourage kids to have fun and learn a new sport and make some friends.”

Submitted photo

While track and field was something Morgan had to do in elementary school, she enjoyed it and learned she was good at it. It also helped with her skating so she stuck with it during her high school years and even competed at the OFSAA cross-country provincial championships three out of her four years at CCI.

“It was really good cross-training for skating to get endurance and cardio built up throughout the year. I really enjoyed running and I really loved the team and the coaches.”

As for her equestrian background, Morgan says she got into it around the age of 6 or 7. Her grandmother owned horses when her mom was younger so she had a natural interest and that was something Morgan picked up on as well. Her cousin was also a competitive rider and Morgan decided to give it a try.

It was another challenge for her, to train and compete with horses.

Submitted photo

“It’s really kind of a partnership, but your partner doesn’t speak English so I think the biggest challenge with horses is getting them to trust that what you’re asking them to do isn’t going to put them in harm’s way and getting them to understand that if I apply pressure here, this is what I’m asking for. I think a lot of the difficulty just comes through communication. It’s really awesome to kind of build up a relationship and see you were gaining some trust and that they were understanding what you were asking despite not speaking your language.”

Click the play button above for the full interview.

NOTE: While we wait for local sports to return following the COVID-19 pandemic, a big part of JG Sports Media’s website content will be audio interviews, like this one.

Guests will include representatives from local sports organizations as well as other notable guests, many who have ties to this area and even some who don’t.

 

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About the Author: Jeff Gard