Student-Athlete Spotlight: Audra Heilman, Field Hockey
July 24, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Recently the Indiana University Varsity Club had the opportunity to interview Audra Heilman, a senior on the IU field hockey team. Heilman discussed how important her scholarship is to her and what it means to be a Hoosier.
Sport: Field Hockey
Major: Elementary Education
Q: What does it mean to you personally to wear the Cream & Crimson and represent Indiana University?
A: To be able to wear Indiana across my chest is a true honor and a blessing. Indiana is a fantastic university that not only has high academics, but very competitive athletics. When I think about wearing my jersey, I think about all the people who have helped me get to where I am: my family, friends, coaches, team, and alumni. It is very humbling and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Here at IU, we say you are representing something greater than yourself, and that could not be truer. You represent everyone who has helped you get there; you are the role model that a little girl or boy wants to be; you are the face of Indiana. I don’t think it could get much better than that and I could not be more proud to wear the Cream and Crimson.
Q: The motto for our sports program is “The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team." What does this motto mean to you?
A: To me, this means you are there for every sport, and we are one big team. Every team here puts in the same amount of work, and goes through the same things. We all feel for each other. We are all each others number one fans and you can see that at every sporting event.
Q: As a scholarship athlete, some of the aid you receive comes from our Varsity Club donors. How do you benefit from the aid, and how do you feel about it?
A: Without the donors and the Varsity Club, I would not be here. I could not be more grateful for them and their donations. They have given me an opportunity to continue playing the sport I love just a little bit longer. That is the obvious. What goes unnoticed is that by donating, they are also giving us an opportunity to come to Indiana, to meet new people, and to truly find who we are supposed to be in the world. I could not thank them enough for that.
Q: If you had a chance to meet the donors who provided the funding for your scholarship, what would you most want to say to them?
A: I would first want to thank them very much. I would say that without them my dreams would not have come true, and I never take what they have done for me for granted.
Q: After you graduate and leave the university, which of your IU experiences do you think will have had the most impact on your life and career? Why?
A: I don’t think that I could just pick one experience that will impact me the most. Here at IU, I have learned who I am as an athlete, friend, student and, most importantly, a person. While here, I learned there will be ups and downs in everything you do, but to overcome those and push past your limits is worth it in the end. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and allow myself to be vulnerable and honest; that is when I learned the most. Each one of my experiences here has had an impact on my life that has made me a better person. I am going to be an elementary school teacher. I want to take everything I learned here and inspire those students to follow their dreams but teach them that it will take work. Lastly, each of my experiences has taught me to never give up. Someone here once told me, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” Never give up on anything you do.
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