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Headshot of Kieran Hayward, wearing a black collared, button-up shirt
Kieran Hayward. Photo by Daniel Ehrenworth

Kieran Hayward

“My dream is to be one of the inspired citizens who shape Toronto for the better”

Fave U of T moment
Truthfully, I loved going to class – partly for the learning and partly for the interaction with other students. But being in phys ed, I got to play basketball between lectures and that was always great fun.

Since graduation
In 2003, I worked on a farm in British Columbia – a big challenge for a diehard city boy. The experience inspired me to start gardening last summer. I worked in Africa twice for a year at a stretch, in Tanzania and Zambia, using sport to support community development. The experience I gained there helps me today in my role as associate director of Athletes for Africa.

A meaningful event
I co-founded GuluWalk ( to raise awareness about child soldiers in Uganda. Both the event itself and the response we received from around the world made me realize that people are looking for inspiration. We need to connect with others to bring meaning to our lives.

Your dream?
To be one of the inspired citizens who shape Toronto for the better. And to play for the Raptors.

Are you doing now what you thought you’d be doing when you attended U of T?
Not quite. I thought I would be teaching. But I have always been very curious, and I knew I wanted to see more of Canada and the world.

What has winning the Gordon Cressy Award meant to you?
Through the stories of the other winners, I’ve learned about different ways to be a leader – by inspiring, organizing and challenging others. I’ve also learned that change does not always come quickly.

See full list of Cressy Award winner interviews

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