New physical literacy alumnus and student-athlete Connor Blake gave back throughout his education

Connor Blake


Meet Connor. Academic. Athlete. Aide.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Program: Bachelor of Health and Physical Education | Major: Physical literacy


Connor Blake grew up playing hockey for the Calgary Express, a team both his father and grandfather coached, and participating in many tournaments in different cities, such as Toronto and Las Vegas. While his parents encouraged him to try everything, Blake says, “My grandfather was the big hockey personality in my family so he really pushed for me to get started in hockey.”

He would eventually be scouted from the Grande Prairie Storm hockey team and offered a position on Mount Royal University’s hockey team, the Cougars. Eventually, Blake became team captain and a star player both on and off the ice. The Bachelor of Health and Physical Education — Physical Literacy major recently counted his 100th game for the university.

During his time at Mount Royal, Blake volunteered with HEROS Hockey, a charity that offers free programs to school-aged children and post-secondary students and aims to empower marginalised youth through hockey.

Blake was also involved with the Autism Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary (AAFS), which provides socially fulfilling programming to youth on the autism spectrum. AAFS program co-ordinator Scott Godfrey connected Blake, and his team, with two athletes who spent time with the players on Mondays. Blake’s involvement with AAFS extended to many other areas, including helping with the launch of the first on-ice hockey program with the organisation.

Blake has also volunteered with the Cougar Classic golf tournament, an annual fundraiser to support the wellness of student-athletes. “Really anything I could try and get involved in, I tried to lend myself to,” he says.

To keep up with academics, hockey and volunteering, Blake quickly learned to be proactive. Building schedules helped him stay on top of due dates.

He also maintained a supportive social life. “Being on a team, it's easier because everyone's in the same boat. So, you can always find a little time to go hang out with the guys, to relax and rejuvenate. But also, if studying needs to be done, we're able to work together and help each other out as well.”

In 2023, Blake was honoured with the U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian Award, which recognizes student-athletes who achieve an 80% or better academic average. In 2024, he was awarded the UBC Hockey Alumni Trophy for Sportsmanship and Ability by the Canada West conference for his skill and sportsmanship.

"Mount Royal was so great to me, the least I could do was try to give back a little bit to the school — to the athletic program and especially my teammates."
Connor Blake

That same year, Blake was recognized with the Brian Flemming Student-Athlete Award. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding student-athletes who excel in both academics and athletics and who demonstrate community involvement. When Blake was unable to accept the award during the Cougar Night ceremony, his team took to the stage to accept the award, on their own accord, and called him on facetime.

This award was the reflection of a conscious effort, on his part, to make sure to give back to the University. “Mount Royal was so great to me, the least I could do was try to give back a little bit to the school — to the athletic program and especially my teammates.”

Blake has a long list of people who supported his journey at Mount Royal, including his coaches and coaching staff. “There's a lot of people who helped me get to this point of graduating and without them I would like to think I would have been able to get it done, but it definitely wouldn't have been as easy.”

He names the academic advisor for student-athletes Ciara Lane, who helped him with schedule building. He also mentions Head Sport Conditioning Coach Jack Boyle and Mental Performance Consultant Claire Fewster.

Blake says that being present as much as he can and focusing on what he can control is something Fewster worked with him on. “I think that was a big reason why I had success both in academics and in athletics this year. There were a bunch of different strategies to help me stay present when sometimes my mind would drift into the ‘ifs’ and ‘what could be.’ ”

Blake is now graduating with a deal in hand. During the last year of his program, he signed with the Adirondack Thunder.

“I kind of want to run with hockey right now and see where it can take me professionally. But in saying that, the reason I went to Mount Royal is to get my education and to have that to fall back on. So, eventually, I want to get an education degree and follow in my mother's footsteps by being a physical education teacher.”