GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Meghan Mutrie, a former UND student-athlete, recently received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her humanitarian work at a February ceremony in Toronto, Ontario.
Mutrie, 29, is a native of Calgary, Alberta, and attended UND as a two-sport student-athlete from 2002 to 2006.
While at UND, Mutrie was a full-time student majoring in psychology, playing on both the women’s hockey and soccer teams while being an avid volunteer in the community.
“I look back on my four years now and am astounded I was able to fit as much in at once as I did,” Mutrie said. “But I also understand that it was because I had the support of my professors, coaches and teammates that made it possible.”
The balance that Mutrie had attained at UND made it possible for her to give back to the community of Grand Forks.
“The fact that UND was willing to help me maintain each area of my life -- not just academically or athletically -- taught me more about life and people than I could ever learn in a course. And because UND was so supportive, it left me with the time and desire to give back to the UND community,” said Mutrie.
In 2006, Mutrie graduated from UND with her psychology degree. She then joined the Canadian national rugby team. During a game at the Women’s Nations Cup in England, adversity struck Mutrie in the form of a traumatic brain injury suffered after she collided heads with an opposing player.
During her recovery, Mutrie fell back on the very life skills and support systems that sport had given her. She became involved with the Right to Play (RTP) organization, which uses sport to educate and empower children.
With her athletic career having come to a premature end, Mutrie channeled her energy into humanitarian work. It was through the Right to Play organization that Mutrie eventually received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, which honors those who have impacted Canada through service.
Mutrie was one of 30 recipients.
“After attending the ceremony and seeing how RTP chose who they nominated, I know that I can do a lot more,” said Mutrie. “It has empowered me, loaded my coiled spring, so to speak. I have zero idea how it will come to fruition but this will be a lifetime relationship with RTP so I've got a little time.”
Mutrie currently lives in New Zealand and is a field reporter and producer for the sports-themed television show The Crowd Goes Wild.
She continues to do humanitarian work with the Right to Play organization. Additionally, she is also in an Adidas-assembled group called #mygirls, which aims to promote healthy living and balanced lifestyles for women, and is involved in a new initiative in New Zealand schools called Sport in Education.
For Mutrie, there’s no time to stand still when you’re busy paying it forward.