Justin Robar, a fourth-year men's rugby player from Geary, NB, was acknowledged for his commitment to athletics, academics, and community service as the 2017 winner of the John Frederick Walls Memorial award.

The award is given annually to a male student athlete of good character who has actively participated in university athletics, maintained a good academic standing, and represented the athletic ideal.

"I've really developed at St. Thomas and it's helped me turn into the man I am today," Robar said after receiving the award. "It's nice to receive this honour and also to represent the men's rugby team and my teammates."

On top of his commitments as a student athlete, Robar has given back to his sport as a high school and mini rugby coach, and spent a summer traveling through Africa coaching as part of the Bhubesi Pride. He's also volunteered at the Ville Cooperative, participated in the student athlete mentor program, and given of his time at the Grace House shelter for women.

"I'm honoured just to be in the running for this award," he said. "I really think student athletes hold an important position and can do good in the community and all over the world."

Next fall, Robar will be pursuing a Master's in Sports Management at Brock University. He hopes to put his experience at St. Thomas to use through the creation of sport development policy.

"I want to promote best practices concerning sport for development," he said. "I really think sport is a vessel for positive change if used correctly."