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Zahir Chapman: Why I Became a Campus Captain

As The Hidden Opponent kicks off the July 2024 Campus Captains application cycle, a few of our current and former Campus Captains share their experience in the program!

Zahir Chapman holding graduation cap wearing a THO shirt

Zahir Chapman was a member of the Track and Field Team at West Chester University. Mental Health Advocacy is very important to him as his family was always passionate about mental health growing up. One of the biggest reasons he became interested in mental health advocacy was seeing Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady emphasizing how maintaining a good mental health was key to their success as athletes. Additionally, his friends helped develop his passion for mental health, and he cites how without those friends he would not be the person he is today.

Why did you join the Campus Captain program?

I joined the campus captain program because it seemed like a great way to advocate for mental health in sports and meet new people. I saw how reputable it was and how much notable athletes praised it, so I wanted to be a part of something special, educate myself further on mental health, and learn from others. 

What has been your favorite part of the program?

My favorite part of the program was working with many other talented mental health advocates, learning from them, and, more importantly, growing as a person. I had a great opportunity to help turn the Hidden Opponent into a club on campus along with three other fellow campus captains. I am so thankful and happy that we successfully got more athletes involved on campus as we had a lot of support for our first year. 

Can you elaborate on some activities or events you participated in or hosted this year, whether that be at your school or through the THO community? 

Back in 2023, I brought the idea up to my coach about starting an annual mental health meet for the track team, and we have now hosted it for two years now. This past year, we wore THO-themed shirts, implemented tabling for the meet, and brought the community together. We even had a member of the team table and sell meatal health shirts from his clothing brand (CLRMIND). It was cool seeing everyone's passion for mental health, and it was a very successful meet. I am thankful that the team enjoyed it. I hope this is something that can continue for many years.

Zahir and friends holding a THO/WCU poster

What has been your biggest accomplishment as a CC? What positive changes have you seen on your campus through the program?

I think my biggest accomplishment as a Campus Captain has been helping grow our THO club on campus. We had a lot of interest, and I feel like we have had a huge influence on other teams hosting mental health games and events and just spreading awareness about mental health. A lot of people expressed their happiness about THO being an official club, and I am glad that student-athletes have gotten a chance to advocate for mental health through THO. I really enjoyed seeing everyone grow as a mental health advocate this past year. There have also been a lot of employees who praised our clubs' efforts, so it definitely feels good, and it serves as a reminder that people are always watching. 

What has been your biggest takeaway from the CC program? 

My biggest takeaway from the Campus Captain program is that many people cope with their mental health in their own way whether that be through meditation, religion, and so on and that's completely fine. Everyone has ways they balance their mental health and it has been really insightful to learn about how people navigate their health. 

What advice or recommendations do you have for athletes who are interested in applying to the program?

My biggest piece of advice to athletes interested is to remember that mental health is a big deal to a lot of people and a lot of athletes have a lot to offer and share when it comes to their mental health. As a mental health advocate, the most important thing we can do is listen. Use this opportunity to learn about mental health and educate others. As a CC you’re seen as a role model on your team when it comes to mental health. Remember that somebody is always watching so please always do the right thing and act like a leader. 

West Chester THO club



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