What does it mean to play with your body and soul? What is the role of spirituality in athleticism and excellence? How does bringing your soul to the game intersect with identity?
Hart House Black Futures, Multi Faith Centre and UTM Interfaith and Spirituality are pleased to welcome special guest speaker Herbie Kuhn, Raptors in arena announcer and Co-Chaplain for the Toronto Raptors, and Argonauts in conversation with sports analyst, podcast host and social justice champion Shireen Ahmed.
Athletes bring their talents and skills to the game, but they also bring their identities. In this talk, we’ll explore what an athlete’s “Personal Best” means in relation to mental health and spiritual and faith-based well-being. Sport is about digging deep, developing good habits, and committing to a regimen of self-care.
Our guests will expand upon the intersection of sport psychology and spirituality and investigate through dialogue and their shared experiences working with athletes how the mind, body and soul triumvirate functions when it comes to performing at peak level. Further, our guests will try to unpack the synergy between sport and spirituality to better understand how turning inward and bringing a holistic approach to sport can allow athletes to be fully who they are.
You play with your soul as well as your body.Kareem Abdul Jabbar, NBA Professional
Join our special guests as they discuss sport, identity and spirituality. Opening reflection presented by Liam Cousineau, Varsity sports athlete and VP External Black Students Association followed by a lively Q and A!
Student Athlete Reflection
Liam is a 4th year Varsity football athlete, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy and African Studies. Liam is a faith based and spiritually grounded athlete who has found success both in the classroom and on the field. Liam is also VP External for the Black Students Association.
Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform Senior Contributor with CBC Sports, a TEDx speaker, valued mentor, and award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is a global expert on Muslim women in sport.
Shireen is the co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team, and teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media at Toronto Metropolitan University, in Toronto, Canada. She is happily married, has four amazing kids and a phenomenal cat. She drinks coffee as a tool of resistance.
Herbie Kuhn is best known as the in-arena announcer for the Toronto Raptors, a role which he has performed since the team’s inception in 1993. This may be Herbie’s most public role, however in addition to being the voice of the team, Herbie’s impact is also deeply felt as Co-Chaplain to the Toronto Raptors and Lead Chaplain to the Toronto Argonauts. In his capacity as Chaplain, Herbie performs various functions leading the team’s players in pre-game chapel services, conducting bible studies and assisting players with their personal challenges. His insight and experience are invaluable, and he brings a mindful and compassionate approach to his work. In reflecting on his role Kuhn says, “My goal isn’t necessarily to get them (players) more excited to play, but to get them to be more appreciative and have a better balance in life as a whole” (Voyaguerprofile by Alex Kieffer)
Herbie is a graduate of Vanier College where he began his sports announcing career, born and raised in Toronto, he has always had a love of the game, with particular affection for hockey and rugby.
Herbie’s other professional accomplishments include commercial voice-over work and freelance sports writing. Herbie is a gifted motivational speaker and an in-demand master of ceremonies. Herbie has brought his ministry to people in a multitude of settings from traditional worship services to youth rallies, charity events, schools and sports organization among others. He and his wife Stephanie of 21 years, also lead marriage retreats, conferences and provide counselling.