Waterloo Warrior Finds Connection and Support in Grebel Residence

Monday, March 9, 2020

Lukas wormald siwmming toward camera
Photo by Seyran Mammadov

Lukas Wormald of the Waterloo Warriors swim team has called Conrad Grebel University College home for the last two years. Lukas is in his second year of mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo and appreciates how living at Grebel suits his busy schedule. From supportive roommates and staff to the close proximity of classes and the Physical Activities Complex, he said this residence experience is beneficial through “pretty much every factor you could think of.”

While growing up, Lukas was involved in many different sports, including swimming. He first had the opportunity to compete through a swim club. “I thought I would try racing for fun, and I just ended up falling in love with it. I found I had a little bit more natural ability in swimming so I naturally gravitated toward it.” This aptitude and dedicated training (nine times in the water and three gym sessions weekly) have led him to win four silvers and two bronze medals this season, adding to his two golds, one silver, and one bronze of last year. Lukas’s performance last year led him to be named Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) male rookie swimmer of the year and UWaterloo’s male rookie athlete of the year.

Lukas Wormald headshot

Lukas said the encouragement he receives from the Grebel community has been an important part of his athletics. “I have three roommates and they’re all very supportive of me, as well as everyone else here. Kitchen staff have been great with the meals that they make. The food here is amazing!” He shared how the kitchen staff have been accommodating of the busy schedule that comes from being an athlete and engineering student. Whether they participate in intramurals or varsity sports, athletes can expect to be invigorated by Grebel’s delicious home-cooked meals.

This caring community has seen him break three UWaterloo swimming records in the last two years. Lukas now holds the record for fastest 100m butterfly, 50m butterfly, and 50m freestyle. “I actually didn’t know I broke the record the first time – someone told me afterward. The guy on the team whose record I broke just graduated so it was cool to be able to train and learn from him and see how he practices.” Lukas’s favourite event to compete in is the 200m Individual Medley because of its variety. “You get to train all four strokes so if you’re not feeling something particularly one day you have three other options.” Lukas placed 7th overall in the 200m Individual Medley at a U Sports National Championship this year, and has received numerous Warrior Athlete of the Week titles for his competition results.

Grebel’s residence is home to a diverse student body that ranges across faculties, faiths, and interests. Within this diversity is a web of similarities that draws students together in connection with their peers. For Lukas Wormald this support is found with roommates who are also studying mechatronics. “I’m living with other guys from my program which is huge. They provide academic resources so I can ask for help, especially when I’ve been away on competition.” Lukas regularly experiences the benefits of living in community through the relational nature of Grebel staff’s interactions with students and the ways that both staff and students support his athletic performance.

By Elizabeth Robertson