What’s your story?
Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and we’re sharing different ones each week.
People of Georgian: Meet David Coward
You don’t have to look too hard at my picture to notice I have no hair. I have a skin condition called alopecia universalis. Essentially, that means that I have no hair. I’m kind of a blank canvas. You can play with all sorts of different things, so I have. As I’ve evolved over time, I like the look of the bowtie, and I think I’m a pretty beige guy, so throwing in a colourful bowtie and some splashy shoes kind of compensates for that a little bit.
I have some pretty funky Dr. Martens; I have some pretty wild and wacky colours. I probably have about a dozen pairs. I have them in various shades and shapes. I love them; I think it’s a little bit of fun.
Because I am fiercely proud of being at Georgian College, I have a pair in blue and a pair in green, so that I have the Georgian colours nailed down. I have some super white boots. I have some black-and-white brogues. I have a pair of black suede ones.
I like to have a bit of fun, and I think having fun – and cool-looking shoes – is exciting and it’s just a little playful.
Plus, here’s the real story about my fashion. I lost my hair when I was 13, which was pretty tough because it was the early 80s and everybody had big hair and perms and stuff like that.
But I tell young people we’re actually lucky, those of us with alopecia, because we’re actually Homo sapiens 2.0. We actually evolved beyond the hairy ape people that surround us.
Learn more about Georgian’s Human Resources Management program.
Targeting an unexpected passion
I had a motorcycle accident in 2007 when I got hit by a car. Afterwards, I couldn’t run, and I had been really active. Somebody suggested I try archery. I couldn’t move around that much but it would be something I could do with my kids, so I got them bows and arrows and we started shooting together. As they grew, they shot a little bit and I shot a lot, and it became my passion.
Archery is the world’s most inclusive sport – it’s so cool. When you go to a tournament, you line up based on the type of bow you’re shooting, not who you are. On one side of you could be a para-athlete and the other side of you could be a junior female archer. I’m in what they call the Master’s Class. That doesn’t mean you’re good, it means you’re old. Masters is after senior, so you could be shooting with two women, two people in a wheelchair, or with two men.
The cool thing about archery is it’s so mental. There are some physical parts about it but it’s such a mental sport. If you’re looking at the bullseye at 50 metres, and you’re off by one degree, you’ll miss the bullseye by a metre. You need to control your breathing, control your thinking; you need to be completely aware of the target and the wind and nothing else.
I have a pretty stressful job and lots of things run through my mind when I go home, but archery is my Zen place. You’ve got to shut out your thoughts, all the parts of your day that are stressful, and just concentrate on the target.
David Coward, Vice-President of Human Resources at Georgian College