Student recognized by Clara Hughes for message in poster

Frank Gale
Published on April 22, 2014
Six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes poses for a photo with Ian MacArthur just before hitting the road on Monday. She was impressed by a poster that MacArthur had done with the single word “empty.”
Submitted photo

While Ian MacArthur takes pride in the notoriety brought on by Clara Hughes being impressed with a poster he done, he’s more concerned that it might help someone with issues dealing with mental health.

“I’m hoping the message in it will help people gather the strength to go get help,” he said in an interview Monday afternoon, after meeting Hughes in the morning at College of the North Atlantic.

His poster, which was one of hundreds hung in the Lions Club for Clara’s Big Ride on Saturday was empty, with the exception of one word in the lower corner, which was “empty.”

Hughes said that one hit her most because that word represents how many people with mental issues feel and that really nobody should suffer in silence.

“This ride (Clara’s Big Ride) is about ending the silence so many people are suffering,” the six-time Olympic medalist said.

MacArthur, who is 18 years old and a Level 3 student at Stephenville High, said he has a few friends who have challenges with mental health and he does his best to help them out with it.

He said Hughes hit the nail on the head when she talked about breaking the silence and he hopes his message through the poster helps and that people who are suffering will seek help.

When he handed in his poster to his teacher, she passed it back to him saying she thought it should have more in it. He told her what was in it was exactly the message he was trying to get across and is very proud that Hughes recognized it.