Thompson Rivers University

Program helps student-athletes keep PACE

February 27, 2024

Learning strategist Erin Pincott received her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from TRU in 2018. As a student, she competed on the TRU curling team and is a three-time U Sports silver medalist. As a former student-athlete, Erin is excited to support and give back to WolfPack athletes. Having gone through this experience herself, she can relate to the unique experiences and challenges athletes face as they navigate student life.

Between classes, labs, group projects, studying, writing, taking exams, travelling, training and game days, student-athletes face full schedules and experience unique challenges. It’s critical to balance academic and athletic responsibilities, and that’s where the Pack Academic Edge (PACE) comes in. This program provides peer-to-peer support, campus resources and a sense of belonging, while also acting as an informal study hall.

Led by upper-level varsity athletes, Monday night sessions set the tone for the week ahead and keep athletes on track with a strategic, planned approach. PACE leaders provide coaching and learning strategies which improve study habits and time management. They receive ongoing training, professional development and educational opportunities to grow their mentorship skills to become well-equipped, multi-dimensional, community-minded and collaborative support systems within the WolfPack community.

Corbin Ockerman, a middle blocker on the men’s volleyball team, says: “PACE supports student-athletes by providing a safe space to seek help with any subject. It’s also a space where people can get their studying done in a quiet environment. The sessions also provide a social space where student-athletes can meet new people and create lasting relationships.” 

Above all, the people make the PACE program special — the leaders are dedicated athletes and exceptional students who can relate to the demands of being a full-time student-athlete. While a key focus of PACE is to provide a place for first- and second-year students to stay on top of their academics, it’s also an on-campus space for senior student-athletes to use as a resource to increase accountability and access assistance.

PACE leader and women’s basketball shooting guard Kelsey Cruz says the program provides a comfortable environment for student-athletes to seek help from their peers in social, academic and athletic challenges they may be facing. “PACE holds students accountable for getting study hours in. The best part is getting to know other student-athletes and sharing stories.”

Witnessing PACE in action has been a privilege. The leaders continue to excel at their roles. They are willing to step in and assist students, whether answering course-specific questions, providing general study tips or recommending various resources on campus and beyond. In a broader context, teams can be siloed in the world of their own sport, so a particularly positive aspect of PACE has been seeing teams interact with one another, whether to study together, chat about the game the past weekend, their training session that morning or about different events on campus.

This program will continue supporting first- and second-year students while the mission challenges the perception that PACE is only meant for new or struggling students. PACE is a place for community, somewhere where all student-athletes can feel connected to their peers and welcome beyond the start of their post-secondary careers.  

Student-athletes can connect with Erin on a one-on-one basis. Through appointment-based meetings, students can get on top of their schedules, receive coaching on various learning strategies, learn time management and study techniques, and explore on-campus resources. 

To learn more about PACE, check out and get to know the TRU WolfPack at

Related Posts