NunatuKavut Inuit Spotlight: Andrew Heard
“No matter what’s thrown your way, as long as you keep your head up nothing is impossible,” says Andrew Heard.
Andrew is a NunatuKavut member who spent some of his childhood in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. From a young age, Andrew had an interest in being out on the land hunting and trapping with his dad and grandfather Melvin Heard, who he affectionally calls ‘Av.’
Andrew moved to Bay Roberts with his family when he was seven, where he attended Ascension Collegiate. It was here that he found an opportunity with Football Newfoundland and Labrador, and ended up playing football for the CBN Warriors and fell in love with the sport. Unfortunately, during Grade 11, Andrew was faced with an injury that topples many sports careers – a torn ACL.
“I tore my ACL at the time that I was just getting to the stage of college football. At the point where I was getting noticed and people were saying we should keep note of this guy. It was very hard for me to handle. I couldn’t walk for the first two months after having surgery, and my doctor said a year minimum before I could even think about returning to sports.”
But Andrew surprised everyone, including himself.
“I was able to walk after two months, I was in the gym every single day. I was cleared after eight months. My doctor was shocked. She said it was not common for people to recover from an ACL surgery after just eight months – it’s incredible.
When he felt well enough to get back to playing, Andrew attended a high school combine in Halifax where underwent a series of tests to measure performance and athleticism. It was there that he got noticed by Dalhousie University and later started getting mentions from St. Francis Xavier.
“At the beginning of this summer, I had an online combine workout with Queen’s University, and I ended up receiving a national rank from Queens, being 12th overall. I was the first player from Newfoundland Labrador to receive a national rank for a recognized university or academy,” said Andrew.
“I remember when I had my injury a lot of people wrote me off, coaches, some friends. I never really listened to it, I drowned out the noise. If you have something you truly want, and you work for it, you will get there at some point.”
Andrew now attends the University of New Brunswick (UNB) where he is a rookie receiver with the UNB Red Bombers.