When Jamie Bone went to visit his friend at Western forty years ago, he had no idea that the university would have such a large impact on his family for the rest of his life.
Bone was a quarterback for Acadia University for the first year of his university football career. After the school year, his friend Bill Robinson told him to come visit Western. Upon arriving on Western's campus, Bone fell in love with the school.
"I really enjoyed it here. It is a great place of history and academically was a great school and I just thought I could see myself coming here," he said.
Bone immediately moved to Western and became the starting quarterback for the Mustangs. In his football career, he led the team to national championships in 1976 and 1977 and won the Hec Crighton Award for being the most outstanding player in the country. The fondest memories for Bone, however, were not the results of the football games.
"It’s not about the championships,"he said. "It's about the people you get to play with. We always had a very close team ... I don’t think we necessarily were the most talented, we just liked each other and we trusted each other."
These days, Jamie is proud that his two children, Robin and Stevenson, decided to attend his alma mater and compete for his beloved Mustangs. Robin is currently the captain of the track and field team and Stevenson is a backup quarterback for the football team.
Robin has been particularly impressive as her track and field career has already surpassed her father's distinguished football career, despite a late start to the sport. Early on in her childhood Robin had a strong passion for gymnastics but in grade nine she had to retire due to too many concussions.
"It was very hard for Robin to give up gymnastics," said Jamie. "If I had to pressure her about it and I said 'what's your favourite sport?' I still think she might say gymnastics."
Robin quickly forgot about the abrupt end to her gymnastic career when she began to pole vault. At first, she struggled with pole vault and she came in last place in her first few competitions. After one of these first competitions she heard people making fun of the helmet she has to wear while pole vaulting to protect her head from concussions.
"I overheard some people talking about me in line laughing at my performance and my helmet and how stupid I looked in it...that was when I thought to myself 'okay I’ll show you' and it was that moment when I started to become serious with it and really start competing and becoming competitive with pole vault," she said.
Once she began training seriously she had immediate success in pole vault. She set state records in high school in Connecticut and was one of the top pole vaulters for her age group in the United States. At Western, Robin has continued to dominate the sport by becoming a national champion in pole vault.
Stevenson has not had the same success as Robin, as he has constantly found himself as the backup quarterback throughout minor football, high school, and university. Despite limited playing time, Stevenson has never given up on the sport because of his love for the game. Eventually his patience paid off when he had the opportunity to start some games at quarterback last year after an injury to Will Finch.
"He has a really unique story of perseverance because a lot of guys would’ve packed it in along the way, but he didn’t" Jamie said. "He liked it so much he just kept playing and wanted to try and do his best and things actually worked out for him."
Jamie never pressured his children to play sports but he's glad they did and hopes their athletic careers will have an everlasting impact on their lives just as it did on his.