Windsor Lancer athletes visited St. Anne's high school in Lakeshore on Friday to make students aware of the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The visit was part of the Succeed Clean program, which started with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport back in 2010 as a way to encourage young athletes to avoid doping to improve their performance.
University athletes talked to students about the different types of drugs typically used by male and female athletes, explained, Liz Vandenborn, the region's community coordinator for the centre for ethics.
"When a lot of people think about doping in sport, they think about males, who are taking testosterone, taking steroids," she said. "But a growing population of females are actually using steroids at an increasingly alarming rate."
Appearance-enhancing doping is also on the rise. Vandenborn said high school students are already exposed to these types of drugs, including over-the-counter supplements, detox pills and diet pills.
Program addresses high school pressures
The Succeed Clean prevention program is delivered by peer mentors from select Ontario universities to educate students in Grades 7-12.
One peer mentor, Mitchell Long, told CBC News about the pressures high school students endure when it comes to feeling the need performing at higher levels.
"That's really where it all begins, especially when you have the younger kids just going through maturity and I think that's where you really start to see those pressures kick in," he said.
Lancers will visit students in both Essex County school boards.
"We hope this program will have a profound impact on our students," said Sharon Pyke, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board. "Hearing this important message from other young people, who are admired for their athletic accomplishments, will make a difference."
Succeed Clean began as a two-year pilot project formed in a partnership between the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
The program has now expanded to 11 communities around the province.