Former College Track Star Shares Advice with Student-Athletes


Former Division II All-American Ivy Watts talked to SFU student-athletes about the importance of mental health during a presentation at the Stokes Center on March 20.

The presentation was part of the Northeast Conference’s 2022-23 Sports Speaker Series.

Watts was a standout middle-distance runner at the University of New Haven and graduated from the Connecticut school with a degree in Psychology in 2015.

Following her collegiate career, she was named the NE-10 Conference’s Woman-of-the-Year and was a finalist for the NCAA’s Woman-of-the-Year award.

Despite all of her success on the track and in the classroom during her collegiate career, Watts said she struggled daily with her mental health and that she kept these struggles to herself for a long time.

After finally seeking help, Watts has since dedicated much of her time to promoting mental health and reducing the stigma associated with mental health struggles by sharing her story.

She opened her presentation at SFU by sharing her story, as well as the “tools” for mental wellness which she also shares on her blog, “Beautifully Simply You.”

Following her career at New Haven, Watts earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University.

Watts encouraged those who attended the event to “speak their truth” and know that they are not alone. She told attendees to learn the beauty of self-love and find the strength to continue fighting for their own tomorrow.

“The most important message that I would like to convey is that it isn’t a sign of weakness to seek out the help you deserve and that if you are struggling, know that it is OK to struggle, but that it is also more than OK to take care of yourself and fight for your tomorrow,” she said.

“I would like everyone to know that who they are in this moment is more than good enough and they are worthy of better days.”

Anoek Pruijmboom, a sophomore on the women’s tennis team, attended the event.

“Ivy Watts provided us with some amazing advice to improve mental health.

“Changing your mindset can improve your perspective on life. Even though something bad happened in the past, it does not mean you are not worthy. Life carries on and good things will follow.”