Dan-Lee Athill’s high school career was definitely out of the ordinary. As a competitive athlete, Athill set his expectations high in many aspects. Outside of the classroom he ran track competitively and played football; most days he would run an average of 20-kilometres to practice for track—on top of his studies, community service and football practice. His competitive nature has pushed him to be an outstanding Scarborough neighbour.
“It started when I was in grade 11, I just got involved with everything in my school.”
Athill just finished his required courses at University of Toronto Scarborough for a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, Politics and Religion and will be spending a semester at the St. George campus to prepare himself to enroll in teacher’s college next fall—he recalls a leadership course he took in high school that he would love to teach to young minds.
The course required 60 community service hours, and being the competitor that he is, he took that minimum as a record to break. His hours of community service totaled nearly 4,000 hours—the most in the school’s history.
And from there his community service continued. Athill was involved in U of T Scarborough’s Department of Athletics & Recreation for three years and a number of initiatives outside of the university. Some of these include: Camp Olympia, a student leadership camp; volunteering with high school track and cross country meets; the annual Nike/Neil McNeil John Roland Games and the Boardwalk Relays that take place through his former high school; and coaching various U of T Scarborough sports teams.
His most recent volunteer work has kept him busy creating, organizing and monitoring the cross country course for the North American Indigenous Games that come to Toronto this month. Athill also worked diligently in recruiting volunteers for the Games.
Although he will be out of Scarborough for his future education, he wants to remain close to this city in which he sees so much potential, and to put forth his own efforts for improvements.
“I find Scarborough’s infrastructure is incredibly under-developed for the athletes that we are producing,” he says as he explains that Scarborough track and field athletes often travel to other areas of Toronto to practice their craft. “I would love for young minds and athletes to have more opportunities.”