What does a student-athlete do when their playing career comes to an end? This is a hard question that I was forced to ask myself this year as I moved to study Pharmacy at the University of Alberta. I decided that balancing a very heavy course load while playing varsity sports was probably too much to take on this year so I took a step back and decided to hang up my skates. I was fortunate enough to play on the Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey team for the last two seasons where I had some unforgettable memories and made some lifelong friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Augustana and would not trade the experience for the world.
That brings me back to my question. I was kept up late many nights over the summer and the beginning of the semester thinking to myself “how am I going to fill this massive gap in my life that hockey used to occupy?”. I was confused with how I was going to use my time and make friends as playing competitive sports was all I knew from an early age. That is when I was given a fantastic opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself. I was given the opportunity to be involved in a mock male beauty pageant. Yes, you read that right. I probably need to give you a little background information…..
Every year the Faculty of Pharmacy puts on a mock male beauty pageant to raise funds for the Movember campaign. It is called “Mr. Pharmacy”. The general idea is that 2 contestants from each year (8 total) compete against each other in a variety of events including a talent competition and a beachwear competition to try to wow the audience and a set of judges. It is a full night’s event that cumulates in the crowning of a winner: Mr. Pharmacy. Pageants like the one at the U of A are held at all 10 of the pharmacy faculties in Canada with the winners of each respective faculty competing for the title of Mr. Pharmacy Canada at the national students conference held in Winnipeg this January. Last year the event at the U of A alone raised over $30,000 for the Movember campaign.
Being involved in this event has given me a great opportunity to get involved and meet plenty of outstanding individuals. It has helped me bridge the gap from my playing career at Augustana onto new things at the North campus. More importantly it is raising money for a great cause. All proceeds go towards mens health which includes areas such as prostate and testicular cancer research, as well as mental health.
To donate you can visit my MoBro page.
The show is taking place at the Myer Horowitz theater on December 3, 2016. It is open to the public and is definitely a show you do not want to miss. You can get tickets here. Thank you for all your support and I hope to see a few familiar faces in the crowd on December 3!!
Submitted by Preston Eshenko, 1st year Pharmacy, Vikings Hockey Alumnus.