sweat The official magazine of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association
Winter Edition 2008
Titans Battle It Out Who will take home the volleyball gold this season?
Top Sweat ClichĂŠs
Jason Burnett: The Silver Flyer
Hot off the Field: Hawks Take Rugby Title
Sweat Winter Edition
Departments 4 5 7 44 46
President’s Note Editor’s Note News OCAA Scoreboard Coach’s Corner Player’s Log
Inside . . . . . . .
Old Games, New Gains
Marvin Atqittuq from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut performs the two-foot high kick while a classmate holds the target at the Arts Alive festival in Ottawa on Sept. 27
8 Invisible Injuries 10 Running Out of Whistle Blowers 12 Tales From the Mini-van 17 Over-the-Counter Penalties 18 Home Court Advantage
27 The Lidstone Regimen
15 Clash of the Titans 30 Silver Trampoline
28 Playing Naughty Or Nice?
Nipissing, Humber and Mohawk have dominated OCAA women’s volleyball over the past three years. Playing each other is more than just a game. It’s war.
Gain a feeling for Jason Burnett, a Seneca College student, and follow the story of an Olympic dream and how his determination helped give the experience a silver lining.
20 Dream Runners
24 Aussie Rules
From the desert terrain of the Great Rift Valley to the flat turf of the Toronto Marathon, Kenyan runners are conditioned to excel in the world of marathons.
It’s football that combines elements from several areas of athletics, and its fans hope it might be the next OCAA sport – Australian Rules football.
This year we had plenty of photos to sift through for Sweats annual photo contest. From canoeing to skiing, soccer to rubgy and golf to kick boxing, it was an endless barrel of entries. A big thank you to every one who entered the contest.
38 An Effortless Workout 39 Pushing for Pan Am 39 Average Joe’s Gym 44 Keeping Your Head In The Game
On the cover Humber’s Andrew “Pudge” Petricca was photographed by Sweat photographer Jason Sahlani during the Men’s Rugby Final vs. Fleming. Read more about the back-to-back championship win on page 7.
Message from the OCAA President The OCAA is pushing the limits, with several new ventures this year. Training clinics for officials are being offered at our institutions. An ad-hoc committee is preparing a proposal to bring men’s and women’s hockey back as an OCAA tournament sport. Our Central Office, along with the Sport Alliance, is moving to a newly renovated, more spacious building. All Millennium teams are also being announced in women’s fastball, men’s and women’s soccer and badminton. The All Millennium teams will be inducted into the OCAA Hall Of Fame next spring in Windsor. In format changes, the OCAA has added more games to the women’s fastball schedule and more regions and games to the men’s and women’s soccer season. As well, rugby will now have Division I and II structures. Congratulations to all the fall sport OCAA champions. When this article went to print, Humber three-peated in women’s and men’s golf (as well as winning the CCAA women’s title), St. Clair
won their second women’s fastball title in the last four years, Algonquin won the OCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, and Humber won the women’s championship, Fanshawe won the OCAA Women’s Cross Country Championships, and Conestoga won the men’s championship. Congratulations also go out to St. Lawrence College, Kingston for being the OCAA host of the CCAA National Cross Country Championships. Of course, I would be remiss not to congratulate and thank all our fall OCAA Championship hosts. On behalf of the OCAA Executive, good luck and “push your limits” to all our varsity athletes and our campus recreation participants. You are the heart and soul of the OCAA. I want to acknowledge and thank the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Health Promotion for their ongoing financial support and our long time partner Bel Air Direct. Thanks to all our partners and sponsors for your support. Lastly, I want to thank our hard working staff at the central office. We would not be able to provide all the services we do without their dedication and leadership. And thanks to the students and staff at Humber College that produce this excellent magazine for the OCAA.
Ron Fearon, OCAA President
OCAA courtesy; Bobbie Tubbs
Check out the Winter 2008 Sweat team stretching towards the finish line.
Note From The Editor
M a g a z i n e
Editor-in-Chief: Executive Editor: Managing Editors: Art Director: Art Assistant: Photo Editors: Section Editors: Copy Editors: Fact Checkers:
Justin Robertson Christopher Fry John Bkila Roselyn Kelada-Sedra Andrea Iseman Rock DeVera Mike Melanson Jason Sahlani Jennifer Conley Kenneth Brown Cecily Van Horn Eric Lo Maglio Evagelos Tzaras David Miadovnik Kyle Baron Kassina Ryder Christina Commisso Navreet Dhillon
A big thanks to:
OCAA Advisory Board:
Jim Flack Doug Fox Lindsay Bax Blair Webster John Sharpe Linda Turcotte
Written and published by the journalism students at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, School of Media Studies and Information Technology 205 Humber College Blvd., Office L225, M9W 5L7 Toronto, ON
Welcome to the Winter Edition of the award-winning magazine Sweat. Each year athletes throw themselves into the core sports offered by the OCAA. They dedicate hours and effort to the sport they cherish. As a college athlete, finding time to balance study, practice and games days – not to mention commitments outside the realm of education – can be an arduous task. In this edition we take a look at how athletes push themselves to the limit not only physically, but mentally and the challenges that go beyond the pitch and right into the bedroom as with “Playing naughty or nice”. These challenges are also reiterated in “Tales from the minivan” and further explored in “Old games, new gains” which stretches into Canada’s frontier. “Clash of the Titans” explores women’s volleyball and the ongoing rivalry between three college powerhouses – Nipissing, Mohawk and Humber. “Dream Runners” takes on a different aspect of pushing the limits, delving deeply into how Kenyans run marathons here in Toronto to improve living conditions back home. Jason Burnett flipped and jumped on the trampoline during the Beijing Olympics and received a hard-earned Silver medal for his effort. Life outside the campus gates as a student-athlete has its demands. It doesn’t matter if it is work, study, practice or trying to squeeze in a social life between hitting the books, a fine balance is required in order to be a success on the court or field. “Home Court Advantage” touches on how an athletes’ bond seems to be stronger when living with another athlete. “Invisible injuries” focuses on the strain and stress athletes can face from their sport. We, here at team SWEAT, pay tribute to the OCAA athletes who take to the field week in, week out and push themselves toward reaching the ultimate prize in sport.
Editorial: 416-675-6622 ext. 4513 Advertising: 416-426-7042 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Online: http://www.ocaa.com
The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association would like to thank The Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion for its generous contribution and support.
Justin Robertson Editor-in-Chief Sweat Magazine Winter Edition 2008
Quick hits Compiled by Cecily Van Horn, David Miadovnik and Navreet Dhillon
Hawks Fly into Gold Humber Hawks women won a gold medal against Algonquin’s soccer team. Seneca Sting Ashley Docking won OCAA Player of the Year. She also scored League All-Star standing, as well as her first All-Canadian nomination. Fourth year Humber Hawks defender Joanna Alexopulos also landed an All-Canadian nomination. Back-to-Back Course Wins The golf season wrapped up with an Ontario triumph at nationals. Defending women’s champions, the Humber Hawks left the 2008 PING CCAA/ACSC Open Golf Championships with a gold. In provincials, Humber came back for another win in the men’s and women’s leagues, marking the first time a college has won both titles in back-to-back years. Falcons Clutch Coach of the Year Fanshawe Falcons’ head coach Paul D’Hollander won the 2008 CCAA Coach of the Year award in men’s soccer. D’Hollander led his team to a 9-1-1 season finish, improving their record for 2007. D’Hollander has been praised for providing a positive role model, regularly meeting and mentoring his players.
Viking Takeover In their first season, the St. Lawrence Kingston Vikings won the OCAA men’s D2 Rugby Championships. Led by Coach of the Year Grant Bradley and Ryan Mallett, League All Star and Man of the Match, the Vikings beat the Loyalist Lancers 58-0.
Leaving the home court Two Mohawk Mountaineers will be leaving home to play men’s volleyball internationally. Jasmin Cull, 2007-2008 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Player of the Year, will be going to the Netherlands to play professionally. Ian Cameron will be heading to Israel next July to play for Canada at the Maccabiah Games.
Algonquin Rules the Field Algonquin Thunder men’s soccer team won the provincial championships for the fifth year in a row. They beat the Sheridan Bruins 6-0, though third year Bruins player Will Beauge won OCAA player of the year. The Algonquin Thunder also made history with the only OCAA athletes ever to earn five championships in a single sport.
Holes in the Nets The Lambton Lions suffered through a zero win season in men’s soccer. La Cité Coyotes followed closely ahead with 11 losses and one tie.The Loyalist Lancers fared no better in women’s soccer. They finished their season with 11 losses, zero ties and zero wins.
Dewey Lords Above the Rest The Durham Lords won a second OCAA championship in women’s fastball this year, beating the Mohawk Mountaineers 2-0. The Lords’ Erin Dewey won OCAA Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and League Batting Champion. Mohawk’s Jenny Koschanow was voted the league’s top pitcher.
Condors’ Wings Clipped In women’s fastball, the Conestoga Condors licked their wounds after enduring a nasty defeat at the hands of the Durham Lords. Despite the leadership of the OCAA’s 2007-2008 Coach of the Year Fawn Day, the Condors lost the game on Oct. 7 with a score of 26-1.
Ontario Teams Finish First Fanshawe and Humber teams dominated the cross country nationals. The Fanshawe Falcons took CCAA Team Gold in the women’s races, while the Humber Hawks took Team Silver. Fanshawe’s cross country men won the CCAA Team Bronze.
More Bogeys Than Birdies The Fanshawe Falcons flew home after trailing behind the Humber Hawks by 58 strokes in Division I men’s golf. St. Lawrence faced defeat twice, as the Cornwall Sharks were 119 strokes behind Div. II leader SS Fleming.. Brockville Schooners scored 757.
Rising Stars at the Tee Niagara Knights’ Danielle Dunlop and Humber Hawks’ Mike Zizak were named the 2008-2009 OCAA Individual Golf Champions. Dunlop was the first Knights female golfer to claim the title. Having turned in rounds of 74 on day one and 77 on day two, she defeated defending champion Maggie Trainor of Humber. Mike Zizak, silver medalist in 2007, won gold by five strokes.
Ensnared Grizzlies The Seneca Sting drove the last nail into the Georgian Grizzlies’ coffin, as the team finished their season in men’s rugby with zero wins, no ties and seven losses. The Sting escaped the last place spot with five losses and two wins. They placed fourth over all.
Humber Men’s Rugby Win Back to Back Titles The Humber Hawks emerged as OCCA Rugby Champions for the second year in a row. The Hawks defeated the Fleming Knights 28-7 in the highly physical gold medal game held at Fletcher’s Field.
Left: Humber Hawks Rugby Champions winter 20082008
Invisible Injuries Photo Illustrations and Story By Jason Sahlani
NFL legend Terry Bradshaw had anxiety attacks after games. MLB player Steve Sax developed a ‘tic’ that made it impossible for him to throw from second to first base. And NFL-er Terrell Owens’ mental health issues were so severe, he attempted suicide. The relationship between mental health and sports isn’t new; but it isn’t just pro athletes who should heed the warning signs of mental illness.
he stoic tone of Kari Ala- huge drinker and didn’t realize I had a lot “Setting goals in athletics is good, but Leppilampi’s voice doesn’t waver of anxiety and depression issues.” when those goals are near unreachable, when he talks about his past. Unlike Jump to the present day – he’s running the training process is no longer a many who struggle with mental illness or along the beaches on the east side of Toronto, commitment but a sacrifice,” she says. addiction, he speaks openly about what not worrying about keeping up with his dog “They focus only on training, blocking he’s been through, including the moment Sneakers. “It runs like the wind,” he says. “If out what they should be doing in their he contemplated suicide. I’m running about 30 km, it’s . . . probably formative years, and the balance of their His undergraduate career was filled running 40 to 45 km without even trying.” lives gets way skewed.” with heavy drinking and drug use, mixed He’s training for the 2010 World Ala-Leppilampi had set such a high with cross-country running as a crutch to Championship Ironman competition in bar for himself during his first Ironman maintain some form of balance in his life. Kona, Hawaii, an event he’s participated competition that even though he had a What he didn’t realize at the time was that in before, but this time he’s making sure great race, his disappointment was so boozing and drugs were only symptoms of not to repeat the mistakes of his past. severe that his thoughts turned to suicide. a more pressing issue. Immersing himself in the Ironman “I was there for a week after the race His life at that time was emblematic of label during his first competition gave in the most beautiful place in the world, the difficulties that varsity athletes con- Ala-Leppilampi a sense of self-assurance, but for me – I was in a living hell,” he says. tinue to face. He was holding down a full but it came at a price. “I was so tied in to “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I want to course-load, training for and competing [the label] that a lot of other things fell by throw myself into the volcano.’” in varsity crossEventually, Ala-Leppilampi Athletes are in a culture where they repeatedly need to push began to examine his issues country and working a part-time job. through physical pain and not show any weakness . . . that with anxiety and depression, Sleep deprivation idea can be shifted to mental pain. - Kari Ala-Leppilampi forcing himself to rethink what and exhaustion had led to the emotional depths were the norm for Ala-Leppilampi and the the wayside – my socializing with friends, he had reached. Exercise would soon shift stresses that were placed on him – stresses my passion for school. And so, I went [to from the crutch it once was to a tool for college athletes face every day – had an Hawaii] and had a good race by any other stabilizing his life. impact on his mental health. person’s account, but I just felt that I didn’t “I’ve realized it’s about trying to do it “Things began to fall apart. And even have the perfect race I should’ve.” with balance, always realizing that it’s the in that early stage in my undergrad, there According to Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, activity itself I enjoy,” he says. He’s also were underlying mental health issues a professor of the sociology of sport and aware of the consequences if he steps back in play,” says the University of Toronto Olympic studies at the University of over the line: “I’m going to drink myself Health and Behavioural Sciences PhD Toronto, there is a tendency for college into a state where I’ll just be an alcoholic candidate, who is working with the athletes to set unrealistic goals, leading and die in a dark room somewhere.” Canadian Mental Health Association’s to a setback that can adversely affect an He adds that many athletes are unable Minding Your Body program. “I was a athlete’s psyche if goals are not achieved. to simply enjoy their sport due to the
need to perpetually maintain a façade of strength and that this mind-set exists across the athletic board. “Athletes are in a culture where they repeatedly need to push through physical pain and not show any weakness … and that idea can be shifted to mental pain,” says Ala-Leppilampi. “In both [academics and athletics], performance is everything, and not showing any weakness is something that’s promoted in both – making the grade, making the shot. So, both realms synergistically reinforce the idea of dealing with it and not seeking help.” He says that by the time they reach college, many athletes have failed to establish the professional and social skills needed to build a well-balanced life. Without these skills, they are unable to cope when the pressures of academics collide with sports. “It also could be that an athlete has an underlying mental health issue that existed before. But rather than dealing with it, instead of talking about it and seeking treatment, they shift it over to their sport.” An unwillingness or inability for athletes to discuss mental health issues is problematic for college sports, but it is by no means limited to that realm. “[There was once] this image of a man ranting at the sky … as being indicative of mental illness,” says Lisa Brown, executive director of the Rendezvous with Madness film festival from her poster-plastered office. “But people still face an enormous amount of stigma when they admit to their own mental health problems.” She says one in five people will have a mental illness, and one in four will also have an addiction. “Two-thirds of that population will never seek treatment because of the stigma attached.” The silence that surrounds mental illnesses will at times keep Dr. Christine Courbasson up at night. Lying in bed, she’ll think about the number of athletes “closing their eyes” to their eating disorders and body image issues because their focus is solely on performance. “There’s a lot of shame associated with eating disorder behaviour. And so; most will not talk about it, will deny it if it’s brought up and, in most cases, won’t seek treatment,” says Courbasson, the head of the Eating Disorders and Addiction Clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “They feel if they talk about it, even with their coaches . . . their lives will fall apart. So, they stay silent.” She says that while the focus tends to
be on women, both sexes are vulnerable to eating disorders or body image issues. Neither is likely to seek treatment. Ala-Leppilampi notes that in the context of athletics, the performance anxiety that results from the pressures of making that free-throw or performing well in the game can actually lead to misdiagnoses. “People may suggest or assume that it’s just related to the sport itself, whereas it may really be reflective of a more generalized anxiety disorder.” Complicating matters is the fact that many of the drugs used to help cope with mental illness are banned in college athletics, he says, making it more difficult to get help. Despite the difficulties there are preventative measures that colleges can implement. Monique Haan, the athletics academic advisor at Humber, spearheaded a new initiative to help athletes balance their personal, academic and athletic responsibilities to maintain the stability crucial to mental health. “This program isn’t about the mental health of our athletes per se, but it’s definitely here to help them build strong academic skills and learn to manage their time effectively,” Haan says from Humber’s new Varsity Academic Centre. She says by providing academic services “we’re trying to . . . eliminate some of the stressors in their lives.” Minimizing the mental health risks associated with varsity sports is easier said than done. One way to do this is to get athletes talking about these issues. But Ala-Leppilampi says in some cases that means going against years of conditioning wherein an athlete’s health, both mental and physical, takes a back seat to performance. For Ala-Leppilampi, the task now is changing the lexicon dealing with mental health in sports. “I read an article recently where schools . . . are trying to change the phrasing around ‘mental illness’ to ‘mental performance’ so athletes feel more comfortable discussing it openly,” he says. “But no matter the terminology, the athletes themselves need to recognize when they’re going through something, be honest with themselves about it and talk to someone before it’s too late.”
Here are some signs of mental stress athletes should watch for and some questions to ask themselves.
Do you still enjoy your sport? Do you find yourself irritable or distracted for no apparent reason? Do you find yourself binge-eating then feeling guilty? Are you constantly upset about a perceived inability to stay on a diet? Are you training through an injury? Do you find yourself sliding from emotional highs to lows, both during and after your games? Are you exaggerating minor setbacks or undervaluing successes?
Keep an eye open for: People who talk a lot about food but are rarely seen eating. People who use food to cope with stress (e.g. binge eating). Athletes who drink to excess or use drugs to self-medicate. People who eat fast then disappear. Athletes with scars on their hands (tooth abrasions caused by self-induced vomiting). All of these are signs that you may be in need of some help, and while being an athlete doesn’t mean you’re more likely to develop a mental health issue or addiction, it may be harder to ask for help.
Running out of whistle blowers a premium price for a central assigner, and then we’d be looking at mileage for the officials coming from out of district.” Beale says for the time being the Windsor District Soccer Referees Association is doing a pretty good job rotating officials. Mohawk men’s rugby coach, Alex Paris, is very concerned with the officiating situation in OCAA rugby. Although rugby uses panel officials, his biggest concern is having to share those officials with both OUA and other Ontario leagues. For example, Paris says, if both Mohawk and McMaster University have home games on a Saturday, the quality official is going to McMaster. “So there’s a competition for officials,” Paris says. It wouldn’t be such a problem, but there’s “just not a lot of them.” Paris says Rugby Canada and Rugby Ontario do a great job enticing coaches to the game, but they need to be more proactive toward officials. “We’ve had referees that literally cannot run around the field.” Jim Buck, assistant athletic director at Loyalist, says several of their varsity programs are using central assigners. “We wanted to see different officials than just the standard Belleville people because a lot of our kids that end up at our college are local kids,” says Buck. Local players develop relationships with area officials, he says, and that can cause problems. Loyalist women’s basketball captain Sara Maybee recalls the hometownrefereeing incident that stands out most to her. An official called an offensive charge against the home team’s best player, an infraction Maybe says should have been called a travel at worst. “I was pumped,” she says. The player who fouled out was not only the opposing team’s highest scorer, but also the second highest scorer in the league. The game went into overtime where Maybee’s team won by two points. Flack, an OCAA board member, says basketball would benefit from using central assigners. “It’s extremely expensive,” says Flack. “I think that if we can get to the point where we can afford it, we need to move toward the panel of officials based on the OUA model, where we bring in neutral officials no matter where you play.”
By Kenneth Brown
hat should have been a blowout victory for the St. Lawrence Vikings men’s basketball team turned into a slim five-point win because of 20-plus travel calls against them. “We definitely thought that the refs were cheating us,” says Vikings captain Remy Simpson. “Even the coaching staff thought, ‘we’re getting cheated out here’ because they’re giving us these ridiculous travel calls.” OCAA officials are provided through individual provincial or regional athletics organizations and officials boards. The OCAA and Ontario University Athletics share officials from across the province. Marlene Ford, Conestoga’s athletic director and OCAA women’s soccer convenor, says the problem is that outlying areas have smaller pools of qualified officials. “We would like to see all colleges falling under a centralized scheduler,” Ford says. OCAA soccer already has 12 teams working through a central assigner, she adds. “That’s what all the universities are doing now.” She endorses a panel system in which a centralized assigner works with local officiating boards to schedule referees for all OCAA colleges. The central assigner would act as a bridge between colleges, officials and official boards. She says the system ensures referees aren’t doublebooked and enough of them are available on any given day. OCAA soccer is using the panel system successfully, Ford says, but basketball has no centralized system. The provincial governing body for OCAA and OUA referees is favour of the panel. Jaime McCaig, president of the Ontario Association of Basketball Officials says officials are currently assigned through 32 boards across five regions in Ontario. “If they want to set up a panel, that can be done,” says McCaig. “[The OCAA] would have to put a submission in writing to the OABO executives.” With basketball referees, the problem is getting provincial consistency, according to McCaig; “that’s the difference between college basketball right now and university basketball where we have a panel.” Ted Beale, OCAA women’s fastball convenor and athletic director at St. Clair, says the Windsor area lacks qualified officials for basketball and soccer; a centralized assigning system has been pushed for the past several years. “It hasn’t been received too well,” he says. “Partly because of a financial situation our association faces . . . We would be paying
Tales from the Minivan Sports moms of the OCAA
or Wayne Gretzky, hockey moms are an invaluable piece of the youth hockey puzzle – not just for running around to all the games, but for the encouragement, love and commitment they show their children. “The best thing about my mom when it came to hockey was that she was always the same and could be counted on for love and support whether we lost or won, whether I played well or not,” Gretzky responded to a question from Sweat. “She didn’t care – I was still her son, win or lose.” This is one of the traits of a good sports mom. “Kids just want to have fun,” says Diane Clifford, a sports mom from Ripley, Ontario. “The win or lose stuff, that’s the parents’ problem, not the kids. Because in five years, who cares whether you came in third or first in the tournament? The point was that you had fun at the pizza place afterwards, right?” Clifford is the mother of twin 19-year-olds, Julianne and Meighan, who play soccer and badminton at Fanshawe. The girls have been involved in sports since they were four years old. Julianne chuckles as she says that she and her sister had too much energy for their parents to handle at home. “So, they decided to put that energy to good use.” Clifford says she has always directed her children toward positive outlets for their energy, like sports. She says that she has gotten all six of them involved in sports since they were young. “All six of them played rugby, and I hate rugby. But they loved it,” Clifford says shaking her head. “When the first two games you go to, the ambulance comes and picks players off the ground with a dislocated elbow, I’m saying ‘And
we’re involved in this sport, why?’. And my kids are going . . . ‘we love it!’” Although Clifford places little to no emphasis on winning or losing, that doesn’t mean she never gets vocal during a game. She laughs as she remembers a
THE GOOD classic line she gets from her girls before games. “‘Please don’t do anything to embarrass us, Mom.’
“It’s a fine line between being enthusiastic but not too enthusiastic,” she says. “Because if you don’t say anything, you get ‘Hey, we don’t hear you cheering on the sidelines.’” What helps Clifford walk that fine line? Knitting during games. “It keeps my hands busy,” she says. “When I feel it’s getting too rough . . . I get really worried because that’s when injuries are more bound to happen,” she says. “I get scared, especially if the ref isn’t seeing something.” And that’s when Clifford gets vocal. “But I’m not one of the nasty mums that yells and screams,” she declares. “I don’t do that.” Clifford is also a registered nurse. “If somebody starts bleeding or gets hurt, I’m the first one on the ice or on the field,’” she says. Coaches and kids find it reassuring to know she’s there if the need arises. “And often times, it does . . . Often times, it’s our kids.” Clifford says she never lets the sports mom in her see an injury as more severe than it is. “I assess the situation as a professional,” she says, “and decide, ‘yes, you’re ok,’ or, ‘no, you’re off the field.’” Julianne agrees, “it was nice having her there . . . to check it out and say, ‘oh, it’s just a sprain. You don’t have to go to a hospital.’” The twins begin to chuckle, thinking about what happens when they try to play injured. “Yeah, there’d be problems going up against that,” Julianne recalls. The Fanshawe sports mom says one of the most important things any sports parent can do for a child is encourage her. “Especially if they lost,” says Clifford. “You go to the pizza place anyway. It’s not a rewards system.”
Illustrations by Daniel Kirk
By John Bkila
“I’ve been watching your practices, and they’re not up to national calibre.” - Doug Fox quotes a sports mom.
t’s the bronze medal championship for women’s volleyball. Lindsay Bax and the Durham Lords step onto the court. Bax holds the ball in her hand, bounces it a couple of times, tosses it in the air and smacks her open palm to it. Her hand doesn’t make crisp contact, sending the serve to the right. “Is that the best you can do? Have you played this game before?” For anyone else, the yells Bax heard might be off-putting – but not for her . . . because they’re coming from her mom. “I wouldn’t expect anything less of her,” laughs Bax, now OCAA marketing and communications c o - o r d i n a t o r. “Every time I made a mistake, she’d heckle . . . mom in the stands and dad standing far off to the side, that’s how it always was.” Bax has seen her share of bad sports moms in the OCAA. “It’s a handful of diligent parents who call, telling us we’ve miscalculated their athlete’s stats . . . Sometimes, we get some parents who consistently send us e-mails demanding why their child wasn’t recognized.” Sometimes, sports moms can take things a little further than just e-mailing. Doug Fox, athletic director at Humber, remembers a particularly involved
badminton sports mom. “At first, [she] was at every practice,” Fox says. After the team’s first tournament, this mom gave Fox a national training video. “She says to me, ‘I think you should look at this. I’ve been watching your practices, and they’re not up to national calibre.’” At the next tournament, Fox noticed that the daughter kept going to her mother for advice. The coaches informed her that they would prefer that she came to them. That didn’t sit too well with her mother. “She [went to] the coaches and told them that this was her daughter, and she would give her advice whenever she wanted,” says Fox. After that, the athlete quit the team. Gretchen Kerr, sports psychology expert at the University of Toronto says: “The stereotypical sports mom is usually found more at the level of child recreational sports. In most cases, those kids end up dropping out of sports altogether.” “[But] if the sport is viewed from a healthy perspective,” says Kerr, “they’ll perform better.” As for Bax and her mom, she says the heckling didn’t bother her. “I loved it.”
According to The Intelligencer, a Pennsylvania based online newspaper, a soccer mom from the state was charged with stealing more than $73,000 from her son’s youth soccer club, for which she acted as treasurer.
In a Toronto Star article, Sandra Gutierrez, a soccer mom from Pickering, was said to have been arrested during a children’s soccer game. She allegedlly accosted the 14-year-old female referee, punched out a supporter, and scratched and assaulted an off-duty police officer who happened to be watching another game nearby. Although the team did win the game, the coach withdrew his team from the tournament.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, a soccer mom from Lincoln, Nebraska stopped along an interstate highway and left her teenage daughter there after a poorly played game. The article said that after her mother slapped her, the daughter yelled at her mother to stop the car. She did, and her mother drove away. The mother was ticketed on suspicion of neglect.
On the reality show Family Court with Judge Penny, a mother was sued by her 17-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter. The problem? Bernadette Brown had forced her son to play in a soccer game after he had surgery on his ear, which had been bitten off by a dog. Brown said the team couldn’t go on without her son. “It was sewed back on,” said Brown. “He was fine.” Judge Penny ruled in favour of the plaintiffs.
According to an article in the New York Post, a hockey mom in Sloatsburg, New York, would throw parties for her son and his teammates. The trouble was that Beth Modica, 44, a former assistant district attorney for Rockland County, was charged with providing alcohol to, smoking weed with and having sexual relations with her son’s 16-year-old and 15-year-old teammates. She has been sentenced to two years in prison for rape.
Clash of the
Titans Jason Sahlani
by Evagelos Tzaras
A three-team rivalry that’s second to none, Humber, Nipissing and Mohawk have been going at it for the past five years. Claiming top three positions year in, year out, they have become the benchmark of women’s volleyball in the OCAA. Humber defeated Mohawk in the Humber Cup, held in October, but who will take home the silverware come season’s end?
teams finished in the top three spots of their division, but they have also battled for first, second and third at the last three OCAA championships. For the players, the rivalry resonates at a very personal level. They feel the pressure from every direction, whether from coaches, fans or more importantly, from themselves. “The coach can only do so much to push a player,” says Mohawk right Leah Waxman, “and then the player has to push [herself].” Each team brings a different personality to the rivalry. Humber is the model of consistency in OCAA women’s volleyball. The last three years have seen them amass a record of eight wins and four losses in the regular season rivalry and two of the past three OCAA championships. Nipissing are the new kids on the block, having pushed their way through the old hierarchy of women’s volleyball. They hadn’t had a top three finish at an OCAA championship since 1996 before going on this three-year run. Mohawk is always the bridesmaid
The Humber squadmagazine comes together after a rally. 16 sweat
never the bride, finishing third at the past three provincial championships and totalling a record of two wins and ten losses against its rivals in the previous three regular seasons. Mohawk’s Waxman would gladly trade in her OCAA women’s MVP award for top spot in the province, if it meant beating Humber or Nipissing. Waxman prefers to focus on the season game by game, but there’s something about the rivalry that makes her want to go that extra mile. “When I know it’s coming up, I try a little extra harder in practice that week just to get prepped for it. I know we get mentally prepped before we play Humber or Nipissing for sure,” she says. “It’s a different feeling before we go into the game.” Humber head coach Chris Wilkins says, “success breeds success.” Humber has been at the top of OCAA women’s volleyball, and that experience has taught Wilkins what it takes to stay at the top. “A few years ago, they had some success, and you know when you start getting that competitive winning, and you start believing you can win at our level,” he says. “Then all of a sudden, you start recruiting the right athletes. And before you know it, you have a good core of athletes to work with.” Some would say that’s easier said than done. Nipissing head coach Marc LaRochelle has led the program since the 2005 season. He and Wilkins grew up in the same hometown, Blind River, Ont., but they never played with or against each other. LaRochelle knew at the beginning of the three-year rivalry that getting his team over the hump mentally to beat Humber and Mohawk would be the toughest step. “Surpassing the first couple rounds of the playoffs, and to make it to the gold medal games,” says LaRochelle. “I think it’s something you gain through experience and personnel.” Mohawk head coach Brian McEnhill says teams such as Humber and Nipissing drive him to be more competitive. “They affect me in a positive way that makes me want to be better,” he says. The past three OCAA championship tournaments have been owned by these teams. Humber won the 2005 tournament, then lost to rival Nipissing in 2006. A year later, Humber reclaimed the title, with Mohawk third each time. Their playoff records for wins and losses are very impressive. The past two years have seen Humber go six and one, Nipissing five and one, and Mohawk a strong seven and three. No other teams
tephanie Hancock tightens her lips, her eyes open wide. The Nipissing left leaps and spikes the ball with all her strength, as if she will never spike a ball again. In the same gym, Humber’s Michelle Overzet miss-hits the ball, and her eyes reach skyward for any explanation. Outside in an act of disgust, a Mohawk player smashes her hand into a traffic sign. Mohawk will not be going on in the tournament. It may just be an exhibition tournament; but for Humber, Nipissing and Mohawk, it ends up as more of a stare down than a head-to-head show down. This tournament is the opening battle in a long war that ends at the final face off, the OCAA women’s volleyball championship to be played in February. “I don’t know if it’s because we tell each other ahead of time,” says Nipissing middle Laura Hudson. “But we know that that’s our goal, and we are going to do anything we have to do to make that happen.” The rivalry in OCAA women’s volleyball has grown steadily over the years. In the last three seasons, these
Nipissing’s Nancy Barkley leaps to attack during a rally at the Wannamaker Invitational.
have shown more playoff success in any other division. This year features another chapter for this new rivalry. Nipissing will be hosting the 33rd annual Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national championship in women’s volleyball. The tournament host automatically gains entry into the tournament, allowing an extra team from Ontario to slide in. With Nationals on the doorstep, players and coaches remain focused on the OCAA championship. “Nationals isn’t even in our vocabulary now,” says Hudson. “Our number one goal is to win the OCAA championship,” he says. “We won’t be thinking about Nationals until the OCAA season is over.” Her words were echoed by coach LaRochelle. “It’s important for a good seed at Nationals that we fare well at provincials,” he says. “It’s important for us to get that number one seed.” Kris Dowling says of Nipissing: “We beat them last year, and they beat us the year before.” The excited Humber power adds, “for us to do the double championship is something that hasn’t happened in a while. So, we’re really hoping to do that.”
Drug Testing in the OCAA By Jennifer Conley
G Daniel Kirk /Illustration; Jason Sahlani
erman paralympian Ahmet Coskun took a drug to counter hair loss. He was disqualified from the 2008 Beijing Paralympics for illegal levels of finasteride in his system. A disqualification can be devastating for any athlete, but they have been warned. The Canadian Centre in Ethics and Sport says prohibited drugs could appear in over-the-counter prescriptions. Rosemary Pitfield, a CCES media representative, says athletes must make sure their doctors know which substances the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibits. In March 1995 at the Pan American Games in Argentina, Canadian rower Silken Laumann tested positive for pseudoephedrine, an illegal substance commonly used as a decongestant. She was stripped of her medal. And Laumann is not alone, despite multiple venues
for athletes to check the ingriedients of medication. Sheridan athletic director Jim Flack explains that statistically, athletes who test positive for performance enhancers in the Canadian College Athletic Association barely register. “To expect that a kid in the CCAA is using an overthe-counter cold medication to mask a performance-enhancing drug to me is shooting flies with a cannon,” he says. These situations can be appealed when they happen in high level sports, according to the CCES. “Their doctors will apply for what we call a therapeutic use exemption,” says Pitfield. Medical personnel submit the patient’s medical history to a panel of doctors, which decides whether the athlete’s drug use is permissible, says Pitfield. WADA and the CCES share classifications of banned drugs, including steroids, stimulants, narcotics and performance-enhancers. The CCES says a substance is banned when the Canadian Anti-Doping Program finds it could potentially cause harm, detract from the spirit of sport or enhance
athletic performance. “As long as two of those criteria are matched,” says Pitfield, the drug is prohibited. The CCES requires all OCAA athletes to submit to random drug testing. OCAA executive director Blair Webster says tests usually happen at championship sites. “On occasion but not very often,” he says, “they will test people outside competition.” Due to expense, however, he can’t see that becoming the norm.
Home Court Advantage Life On and Off the Court By Andrea Iseman
n a small three-bedroom apartment in north Toronto, Kate Weiss, 22, awakes to an argument brewing and the smell of pasta on the stovetop. “Why do you have to cook at 3 a.m.?” she hears. “Because I want to.” Weiss, an athlete, has a routine quite different than her roommates. She wants and needs sleep badly to keep up her energy. Frustrated and angry, she walks into the kitchen in a sleepy haze. 18
Photos by Jason Sahlani
“The one roommate who is in his 40s has to work and he was upset that this young guy was cooking at like two and three in the morning,” she complains. “He came out to confront him and tell him, ‘can you please keep it down.’ And the younger guy got really defensive and was like, ‘I’m not changing my lifestyle for you. If I wanted that I would live with my family.’ It could have easily happened to me too if I went to confront him; his lifestyle affected both of us that night.” For Weiss, training herself to sleep while her 25-year-old roommate is awake and running errands at night is not a way to live. If given the option, living with other athletes would be on the top of her list. And Weiss isn’t the only one who feels this way. For a growing number of athletes, the conflicts that arise between them and their roommates is a frustrating reality. And the likelihood of conflicts increases exponentially when athletes live with non-athletes. Living with other athletes just makes more sense, several sources told Sweat. “Just the certain things we have to deal with would be similar,” Weiss says. “Just having someone there to push us and be supportive, who is saying ‘I’m going through the same thing – we can get through this.’” Vyron Phillips agrees. The 24-year-old Algoma University basketball player says his busy lifestyle is hardly understood by anyone who isn’t an athlete. He currently lives with two other athletes. He has always thought that is the best route to follow. “We are on the same page,” says Phillips. “It just fits together.” For many students, choosing this lifestyle, is a little like being a superhero: Student by day and athlete by night. Moving with the same crowd day in and day out means athletes form a close-knit family all year round. Phillips grew up in urban Minneapolis, so he says he related immediately to his roommate, Andy Haidar, who grew up in Scarborough. “We connected through our struggles,” Phillips confides. “Where I’m from is really, really bad, and there is a lot of stuff in my life I have been through. And my roommate, he has been through similar things too.” Because of many hours spent together on the road and in practice, their bond is now permanently etched onto their skin. “When I got a tattoo on my chest of my little brother, who died,” says Phillips, “[Haidar] got a tattoo of his coach who
Roommates (l to r) Terri-Ann Davey, Krista Metcalf and Ashley Visser died . . . And when I got a Leo on my arm, he put something on his arm too,” he says. Athletes who live together and play together can motivate each other on and off the court. “If you see someone going to work out, even if you don’t want to, you will do it because you are an athlete and a competitor. You want to get better than that guy in front of you,” says Phillips. “You always want to be the number one guy.” For Ashley Visser, captain of both Durham’s women’s basketball and soccer teams, there are many benefits to living with another athlete. “You have someone to lean on when you are busy,” says Visser. “It is like living with one of your good friends. We can hang out and vent to each other.” Like Weiss, Visser has found the lives of non-athletes too disruptive for the structure she and her teammates need. As a result, she asked a former roommate to leave. “One of our roommates forgot that we had to get up early and [they] would have friends over until 2 or 3 a.m.,” she says in a shy, quiet tone. “I felt bad asking her to keep it down because it is her house too, but I had no other choice. How can you say you can’t have friends over?” Toronto sports psychologist Dr. Kate Hays, says athletes’ routines mean they have to put in a lot of practice time.
Hays warns that while relationships with teammates might blossom, other aspects of their social lives might wither away. “Someone who is not involved in that high performance framework might be like ‘why can’t you just blow off practice,’” she says. “They might say ‘come on, chill. Take a night off – let’s watch a DVD.’ And the athlete saying no could cause a conflict.” Phillips’ busy life leaves little time for his relationship with his girlfriend. He has seen many relationships fail because of sports. “I try to explain it to her,” Phillips says. “Basketball helped me get here, and if I wasn’t playing basketball I wouldn’t be in school.” After being together two years, Phillips has figured out a rhythm in his relationship with his girlfriend. Give it time, and things will work out the way they are supposed to, he says. “She might not talk to me for a few days,” says Phillips. “But when she realizes and thinks about it, she will call me.” The Algoma Thunderbirds’ bond has grown beyond friendship and turned into a family connected through their love of the game. “We might have a disagreement, but we die together,” Phillips says. “When I leave Algoma, I know I’m still going to be connected with my teammates. We are brothers.”
Dream Runners By Christina Commisso
For Kenyan runners, winning a race abroad is about more than just glory. The money earned from a first place finish can be more than an entire village sees in a month. But instead of indulging in luxury, these runners are using the money to better the lives of the ones they left behind.
elson Ndereva takes a deep breath – the air is different. It’s cooler, and there’s lots of it. As he looks at the runners around him, he notices how they clutch their water bottles. He thinks to himself, “Forget about the water – just run as fast as you can.” The George Brown student is a world away from his native Kenya – where the dry air would fill his lungs as his feet pounded the rocky mountain terrain. When he’s running, water is the last thing on his mind. Sweat caught up with the world-class runner to discuss Kenya’s dominance in the world of marathons. But Ndevera was quick to point out that not all Kenyans like to run, at least not in his home-town of Embu. “They said, ‘Nelson is born different.’ They have tried running, but they have come with a bad idea,” he explains. “They want to beat me. If you come that way, you’ll never make it.” Ndereva is a running legend. He has qualified for the Olympics twice, the World Championships three times, and the Commonwealth Games three times. He says his greatest accomplishment has been winning the Beijing Marathon twice, once with a world-record breaking time of 2:10:37. Ndereva is one of several Kenyans who come to Canada in hopes of winning marathons. The winner of this year’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon, a Kenyan, won $20,000. These winnings can be life changing for Kenyans. Simon Njoroge, for example, built a house in his hometown of Nyahururu, Kenya with his winnings from the 2007 Ottawa Waterfront Marathon. The structure had a wooden frame, a cement floor, tin walls and a 6 ft. ceiling. He had hoped to win additional prize money to pay for a window and a nice front door to complete, what he describes as, his “Canadian style” house. The project cost Njoroge $1,500. In his town, the structure was exceptional.
“Compared to the mud hut he used to live in, it looks like a mansion,” says Daniel Pauls, Njoroge’s running manager and longtime friend. Pauls first became involved in the Kenyan running community in 1998 through his work at the Runner’s Den, a family-owned running club. There, he met and befriended Njoroge. It wasn’t long before he was driving him to races and helping him get visas. When Pauls asked Njoroge what he had before winning the marathon money, Njoroge replied, “Take away the house, and take away the cows.” Running means survival in Kenya explains Pauls. “Kids run over 10 miles to school, and sometimes they come home for lunch . . . barefoot, over mountains, up and down hills. I remember complaining about having to walk 10 minutes from school [in Hamilton].” Not only is running intertwined in daily life, but because of the natural
2007 Kenyan election left thousands of displaced citizens at the mercy of machete-waving militants. In 2007, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, offices received 75,100 new applications for refugee status and close to 4,800 on appeal or for review. The office in Kenya received by far the highest number of new requests – 19,000. For Ndereva, making his way to Canada was perhaps a more difficult feat than setting a world record. The Canadian embassy requires visa applicants to show family ties, property attachments, bank statements, and applicants must purchase plane tickets before they are considered for temporary visas. “If my father can’t afford to feed me, and I am living on the streets, how can I have property?” Ndereva asks. “The embassy wants to see a bank account with money; if I had money, I would
me to do well, but I did a horrible race,” he says. “The motivation is still there, but my body is saying no.” Both Ndereva and Karanja miss the running community in Kenya. Groups of 20 to 30 men go running up to three times a day. They support each other. “One guy is not going to eat if everyone can’t eat,” says Karanja. These runners depend on temporary exiles such as Karanja and Ndereva to send money to cover basic needs. “Every day, someone calls me to send money – friends or family. They think money grows on trees here,” says Karanja. He sends whatever he can back to Kenya. Most of the money is for his 10-year-old daughter to attend school. When asked how he supports his native community, Ndereva eagerly points out two websites he has created. Using these sites, Ndereva collects used
environment of Kenya these athletes train in conditions that allow them to excel on other continents. “They’re 8,000 ft. above sea level,” Pauls exclaims. “The air is so much thinner; it’s hard to breathe.” Toronto rests 380 ft. above sea level, which makes it far easier for these runners to control their breathing. “All the conditions in Kenya are right to make a great runner,” the manager explains. “Coming here to Canada to run, it’s almost an unfair advantage.” Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya won the gold medal in this year’s men’s Olympic marathon. Lucy Wangui and Evelyne Nganga, both of Kenya, took first and second place in the 10 km run during the 2006 Commonwealth Games. And in 16 of the last 18 Boston Marathons, Kenyans have taken first place. At the 2008 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Kenyan men took eight of the top 10 spots, including first and second. Early in 2008, the Canadian government agreed to accept 85,000 Kenyan refugees over a span of five years. The tribal conflict following the
never leave the country.” Ndereva was granted a temporary visa on his second try. He came to Canada in 2006 and began taking classes at George Brown in hopes of becoming a personal support worker. Despite the luxuries running in Canada can offer, there is one thing Ndereva can do without – stress. “It’s the only thing we fear,” he says. “For 40 years, I never paid a bill. My job was to run and to take care of my body so I could run faster. Here, I work every day. There’s no time to run.” The same sentiment is echoed by David Karanja, a Kenyan runner who has spent the last three months in Canada. “In Kenya, running was a career, but here running is a hobby,” he told Sweat. Karanja was recently granted a temporary work license and is currently a full-time employee at Ashley Furniture in Hamilton, Ont. The transition has taken a toll on Karanja’s running. “I was a greater runner in Kenya, among the top 20, which is amazing. When I competed in the Ottawa marathon in 2006, everyone back home was expecting
shoes and bars of soap to send to children in Kenya. “We recently sent 120 pairs of shoes and 180 t-shirts to Kenya,” he says with pride. Karanja is in the process of applying for refugee status, claiming it is unsafe for him to go home. Ndereva has been denied refugee status and must return to Kenya. Sweat asked him if he would be able to complete his year at George Brown, and he simply shrugged. For every Kenyan that makes it to Canada, there are hundreds more waiting for their chance. “It’s getting harder and harder to bring runners over,” explains Pauls. “I have to send the embassy housing information, banking information. I have tried getting one runner here six times; I keep getting denied.” Pauls says with a smile that he will continue to sponsor runners. “I have no choice.” When he went to Ottawa last May, “I left with two runners and came back with five,” says Pauls. “These guys had hoped to pay their tickets back home with race money.”
David Karanja, second from the left, crowds the starting line of the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon
“I wanted to jump on people’s shoulders like they did when I first saw the game on TV.” - Emmanuel Matata
Football Tackles the OCAA Photos and Story By Justin Robertson
hen Emmanuel Matata was a kid growing up in Quebec, he had dreams of making it big in the National Basketball Association, just like his then idol – Penny Hardaway. Born in the Congo, Matata, or “Manny” to his friends, craved the athleticism and wanted to be able to dunk and do tricks like the goliaths and superstars of basketball. Like most sports fans, Matata spends time on the couch with the remote in hand, watching his heroes on television. Switching channels between breaks, he remembers being awestruck by a game he had not seen or heard of before, at least not in Canada. The game was quick and fast like hockey. The ball would move from one end of the field to the other within seconds. Players would pass the ball to each other by hand and by foot, sometimes kicking the ball 60m long. Every now and then, one athlete would jump on someone’s shoulders and use the body like a stepladder, trying to grab the ball. Matata’s attention was held hostage by this foreign game, and he mused to himself, “I want to do that.” But the game wasn’t rugby. It was Australian rules football. “I wanted to jump on people’s shoulders like they did when I first saw the game on TV,” says Matata. “It looked
like a crazy sport at first, but I just knew I could play it – or at least try it out.” For the past four years, Matata has been playing for the Etobicoke Roos Football Club and says that basketball helped him pick up the game a little easier. “It’s not just the running. The rebounding skills I had in basketball helps me jump and take marks in football. ” The first game of Aussie rules took place in Melbourne during the winter of 1858 between two illustrious private schools, Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. It’s still murky how the game truly evolved, but there is a strong indication that Tom Wills, the initial developer of the game, brought to Australia the rugby influences of his English public school education. Originally, Aussie rules was loosely based on rugby. It incorporated the same attributes such as the oval-shaped ball, the drop kick, the offside rule and starting the game with a kick off from the centre of the field. Over time, the rules changed. The offside rule was the first to go, allowing players to kick the ball further up the ground to a free player instead of passing backwards. The game today is played at a fast and furious pace. The play revolves around moving the ball quickly up the ground by hand and foot to score.
Timeline of the game 1858 1866 1872 1877 1886 1887 1891 1897 1904 1912 1913 1919 1956 1960 1962 1976 1977 1986 1993 1994
» » » » »
August 7: First recorded match of Australian Football, Scotch College v Melbourne Grammar Time limit for matches introduced Field umpires introduced Victorian Football Association established Four quarter games instead of two halves Umpire required to bounce ball instead of throwing it up in the air Introduction of centre bounce at start of quarters and after every goal New scoring system: six points for a goal, one for a behind - previously, only goals were counted. First appointments of boundary umpires Players wear numbers in all matches League independent tribunal instituted Reserve Grade competition formed First night competition First Anzac Day game TV stations permitted to play replays of AFL games but no live telecasts Two field umpire system introduced First live telecast of Grand Final Introduction of 50 metre arc ground markings Introduction of three field umpire system Blood rule introduced
Quick Facts Six points = 1 goal You must bounce the ball every 15 metres Games last 100 minutes A “mark” is when a player catches the ball after the ball has travelled more than 10 metres A regulation playing field is 185 m long and 155 m wide For more information on Aussie Rules football, visit: www.afl. com.au. Also visit: http://www. ontariofooty.com for details on the Ontario football league.
Outside of Australia, the Ontario Australian Football League is the largest organization of its kind and is comprised of 400 athletes playing on 12 teams – 330 of whom are Canadians. The sport has been around the province for the past 20 years, boasting past and present teams in Hamilton, London, Guelph and Ottawa. Over the past five years, the OAFL has been implementing its youth strategy so that it can expand from a recreational league and some day filter up into the college system. Ontario boasts the largest number of Aussie rules competitors worldwide, second to only Australia. Thus, the possibility of Aussie rules becoming an OCAA certified sport is not that farfetched. Darrel Perry, president of the Australian Football League Canada, the governing body of Aussie rules, lists the reasons for integrating the sport. “It’s a low cost sport, athletes get to learn a new skill-set and consider the multicultural population base here in Canada,” says Perry. “Plus, the desire to learn new sports increases the appeal of Aussie rules”. Like soccer Aussie rules has a mass appeal. “Anybody can play the sport,” he says. From the outside looking in, Aussie rules looks more like a game of aerial ping-pong than a national sport, with 36 players running around the field chasing a ball made of pigskin. Endurance also plays a big part in the game, something equivalent to that of a cross-country runner. The Australian Institute of Sport suggests, on average, a midfielder could clock-up 12 to 20 km sustained over 100 minutes of game time. AFL Canada is working with the Ontario Football League to catapult Aussie rules into a collegestructured environment, whether it be in league-play or an extra-curricular environment, so the game can continue to flourish, says Perry. At schools around Ontario, students are currently experimenting with Aussie X, a program that delivers the core skills of Aussie rules. But the game itself has a long way to go before it can etch its name among the core college sports that already exist. Often viewed as an extreme and crazy sport, the game is dubbed “radical” by St. Lawrence professor and former athletic director, Grant Bradley. He says until Aussie rules pays its dues, it will be very difficult to become a college sport. “It would need to start with the community and build on numbers, and that will dictate whether or not it reaches the college level,” says Bradley. “That’s how rugby got in there.”
Matata dominates an opponent as he tries to tap the ball to a teammate Rugby used to be where Aussie rules is now. It faced the same initial setbacks but through persistence and steady growth the sport made its way to the varsity and collegiate level. Rugby went from four teams and 120 players in its first year in the OCCA, 1996-97, to 10 teams and more than 300 players today. Even if Aussie rules garners enough interest and has the numbers to survive as a college sport, it still has several hurdles to overcome. “Aussie rules would be taking resources away from other programs, where resources are limited,” says Bradley. “It depends on the college’s paradigm in terms of involvement,” he adds. Like rugby, it would be a matter of finding sports directors who would be on board with the sport and running with it ,then building the momentum from there says Bradley. Rugby is now considered the token international sport on the college roster but Bradley suggests Aussie rules, a
sport that entails an exotic factor, could perhaps appeal to a new generation someone like Matata. When Matata first saw Aussie rules football on the television he was in his graduating year at Centennial looking for a new sport to fill the void of life after college. He was done with basketball, a sport he loved and dedicated 17 years to playing. He tried American football. That was “too boring,” he says. He was looking for something new and exciting. He was sold on Aussie rules football. The once consistent college basketball player has now been named to the International All-Star team, which was picked during the recent Australian Rules International World Cup held in Melbourne. “It was such a huge privilege to represent Team Canada, and it was a big surprise when I made the world team,” he modestly says. “I’ve come a long way in the last four years to be recognized at that level,” says Matata. “I’m pretty proud of that.”
Training an Olympian By Kyle Baron
he strangest sights line Steve Lidstone’s gym. Instead of bench presses and squats, an athlete, muscle from head to toe, can be seen strolling along in a mini-pool in the inhouse clinic. In fact, Lidstone explains, he is walking on a water-submerged treadmill as a healing exercise. Lidstone, strength and conditioning co-ordinator at McMaster University and former Olympic coach, is the secret ingredient in the Canadian Olympic trampoline team’s success. His innovative training method combines sport-specific exercises with energy system development, recovery and injury reduction. “Number one, injury prevention,” says Lidstone. Once you’ve got that injury reduction through a base line of fitness, he continues. you can enhance performance in most categories that are required for your sport. Karen Cockburn brought home a silver medal in the women’s trampoline finals during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She says Lidstone’s training has made a huge difference to Canada’s five person team. “You have to make small improvements everyday,” Cockburn says, and Lidstone
is there helping them take those baby steps. “I’ve never really had an actual person to train with. I would just make my own program,” she says. At the time, some trampoline athletes weren’t working out once they bounced onto firm ground, “so they were more prone to injuries . . . When Steve came on board, everything became mandatory.” As a result, Cockburn says, “[they] had less muscle imbalances and problems.” Since his early days as a personal trainer, Lidstone says he’s learned a lot from “Olympic coaches, track coaches, speed training coaches and Hockey Canada as well.” Humber athletic director Doug Fox says Lidstone-trained McMaster teams are flattening the competition. He names Humber as one of the many Canadian schools looking to adopt similar programs. The college is planning to build a 14,000 sq. ft. facility designed for Lidstone’s style of strength and conditioning. To flatten the competition in the OCAA, “there’s a lot that has to go right,” says Lidstone. But if it does, “then you’re involved with something pretty special.”
Top 10 Sports Cliches
Appearing In Sweat Compiled by Christopher Fry
“Kids just want to have fun.” - Taken from Tales From a Minivan.
“Make small improvements everyday.” - Taken from Training an Olympian.
“Keep your head in the game”. - Taken from Head in the Game.
“ There’s magic in numbers.”
-Taken from Silver Trampoline.
“Mohawk is always the bridesmaid never the bride.” - Taken from Clash of the Titans.
“The motivation is still there, but my body is saying no.” - Taken from Dream Runners.
“You are the heart and soul of the OCAA.” - OCAA President Ron Fearon
“Success breeds success.” - Taken from Clash of the Titans.
“We die together.”
Courtesy Gary Kuiper
- Taken from Home Court Advantage.
“This tournament is the opening battle in a long war that ends at the final face off.” - Taken from Clash of the Titans
Playing naughty or nice? By Roselyn Kelada-Sedra
“Sex makes you happy, and happy people don’t run a 3:47 mile.” - Marty Liquori
merican distance runner, Marty Liquori – the first person to break the four minute mark in a 1,500 m timed race – said that about 40 years back. Jim Popp, former coach of the Montreal Alouettes, is said to have made every one of his players remain abstinent before the 2006 Grey Cup game against the B.C. Lions. Muhammad Ali kept his bed to himself for six weeks before every fight. Then again, some of the greats managed to score big in bed and on the boards. Babe Ruth supposedly slept with an average of one to two women a day for 40 years. Sweat’s sources suggest whether or not he had it right, Babe probably had a better time along the way. These days, specialists say that no empirical evidence suggests sex affects athletic performance at all. Translation: generations have endured seasonal repression for nothing. For an article in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine in 2000, Dr. Ian Shrier and Samantha McGlone researched studies dealing with sex in sports published since 1975. According to Dr. Shrier’s and McGlone’s article, all three studies suggested that sex had no effect on performance – or on the track. Shrier and McGlone looked into the possible effects of sexual intercourse from six days to 12 hours prior to testing. They discovered no significant impact on strength, maximal aerobic power, oxygen pulse, alertness or anxiety. On average, sex showed no noteworthy effects on athletic performance in the control groups that were studied.
Yet most of the athletes who will talk about it say that they’re encouraged to steer clear of sex to make a straight run for the finish line. Humber cross-country runner Andrew Rupoli says, talk of sex in sports is more of an unspoken understanding between him and his coach. “Nothing’s really been said, but if you bring up the subject,” says Rupoli, “you can just tell she’d rather you didn’t.” The only school in the OCAA to have a flat out, written policy against sex is Redeemer. And it’s more about the school’s Code of Ethics, rather than the college’s athletic director and coaches’ own personal philosophies. Redeemer aside, where does the idea that coaches don’t want their athletes getting any game come from? Linda Stapleton says coaches don’t concern themselves with athletes’ sex lives unless it’s a matter of health. “Our jobs are busy enough,” says the 30year veteran of Seneca’s athletic staff. “There are certain things we’re required to manage and certain things we’re not required to manage.” In his New York City office, Dr. Andrew McCollough, a microsurgeon and expert on male sexual health and fertility, dismisses a common suspicion that sex drains athletes’ energy with the curious revelation that “normal sex,” as he qualifies it, is comparable to walking two flights of stairs. “I dare say most athletes can do that without any trouble.” Then, there’s the possibility that sex simply disrupts sleep. McCollough says, the quality of rest one might get on an anxious night before a tournament can’t compete with peaceful, post-orgasmic sleep. So what’s the big deal? OCAA volleyball player Chantelle (who asked not to be identified) says although no coach has ever said anything to her about sex, she’s heard other athletes talk about it. She says the general consensus is that sex before a game is bad for men, good for women. But every male athlete who expressed an opinion to Sweat said he didn’t think sex would affect him at all – though he may not want to risk a race on it. OCAA cross-country runner and fitness instructor Chelsea (not her real name) says that she wouldn’t expect sex the night before a race to affect her either, but she chalks that up to a personal characteristic she considers somewhat masculine. “Men think they’re invincible. They’ve gotta be tough, macho, like
Humber cross country runner Andrew Rupoli gets ready to run. ‘nothing can affect me.’ A lot of men get that in their upbringing,” she says. “I kind of have that attitude too. I didn’t have a female perspective growing up. I think that’s where I get my drive from; I push myself to the extreme.” As a gym attendant and fitness and health graduate from Humber, Jenna McQuillan deals with a lot of athletes. She says she rarely hears them talk about sex. “When you go into the varsity world, you’re going to find people really don’t want to say stuff,” she told Sweat. “A sports team becomes a clique. When an outsider comes in and tries to understand things, there’s the protective response. People don’t want to admit to certain things.” Coaches and athletes were reluctant to accept the invitation to express their views on this age-old hot topic. Laurie Cahill, Mohawk athletic director, says the subject was too invasive to broach with his athletes. Sex may be personal, but its presence is very public. “Media campaigns tend to glamorize it,” Cahill says. “Sex is pretty commercialized.” Maybe that’s what keeps the myth hanging over our heads, hoops, and nets.
Second-year Seneca cross-country runner, Joshua Schrader says his teammates don’t discuss sex with him. “I don’t think their libido ever takes a backseat to the sport,” he says. Schrader doesn’t doubt that sex has some impact on a race, saying “it would be dismissive to think it wouldn’t.” But negative or positive, he doesn’t plan to find out. Married for the past five years, Shrader says sex doesn’t belong in the locker room next to his cleats. “Sex is something special between me and my wife. It’s not something I want to mess around with.” Sheridan basketball coach and athletic director Jim Flack says about the pursuit of sex, “I’ve had guys not just break curfew; they’ve smashed it.” If it’s a matter of 15 or 20 minutes, Flack says most coaches will look the other way. “But if they’re rolling in at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., that’s a different issue,” says Flack. Repeating the words of the former Yankees manager, Casey Stengel, Flack says: “Being up with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.”
Silver Trampoline Photos and Story By Christopher Fry
here’s a definite buzz in the air – a buzz that has been missing during much of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. On this day, the normally mum and wellreserved crowd is anything but. Thousands of fans pack the sold-out Beijing National Indoor Stadium in anticipation of the men’s trampoline final, which promises to be a soaring affair between eight highflying athletes. They cheer wildly, sing enthusiastically and scream incessantly. But Jason Burnett doesn’t take notice. He doesn’t notice his 12 family members with their red and white painted faces, waving large Canadian flags. He doesn’t notice the seven other finalists standing beside him donning the colours of their respective countries. He doesn’t notice the eight judges perched above the floor, all of whom are studying the finalists’ faces, searching for clues to who might be ‘in the zones’. Burnett has one thing on his mind: the trampoline. “I don’t see anything; I can’t hear the crowd . . . It’s all just the trampoline and me. That’s all I can focus on,” says the 21-year-old Seneca fire protection student. This isn’t the first time he would have to bear down and focus during these Olympics. A day earlier, in the first round of the men’s trampoline event, Burnett sat 14th out of 16 competitors after a less than spectacular compulsory routine. He faced being bounced from his first outing in Olympic competition. “As soon as I got off the trampoline after my compulsory, I went and talked to Dave [Ross]; and, he told me I’d have to do a harder routine than what I had planned,” Burnett says. “So, I went back into the training gym while the other competitors were finishing up their compulsories and came up with a routine pretty much on the spot.” Coming out of the impromptu training session, Burnett would nail his new routine. He tied for the highest optional score and secured his place in the final round. He would now have the chance to walk away from Beijing, after 11 years of training, with a coveted medal. Burnett began his trampoline career at the age of 10 at a small gym in Woodbridge called Airborne Trampoline. It didn’t take long, however, before Burnett soared too high for Airborne. “Eventually, the ceilings got too low because they’re only 14 ft. high, so I was kicking the ceiling all the time,” Burnett says. “I knew it was time to move if I ever wanted to advance in my career.” Burnett’s move would eventually land him at his current gym, Skyriders Trampoline Place in Richmond Hill, Ont. At Skyriders, he would become a part of an elite trampoline world, training beside world class trampoline stars Karen Cockburn, Rossanagh MacLennan and Mathieu Turgeon. It didn’t hurt that Burnett’s new coach, Dave Ross, is considered one of the best in Canada. “He’s experienced, and he’s produced some of our top athletes consistently,”
says Traci House, Gymnastics Canada set at Skyriders. trampoline and tumbling program “He’ll just be doing all these tricks we coordinator.Ross coached Turgeon to a call garbage tricks that aren’t things you’d bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Games. use in competitions because they’re He coached Cockburn to a bronze medal just crazy – off your back, stomach,” in Sydney, a silver medal four years later Cockburn told the Canadian Press during in Athens and another silver this summer. the recent Olympics. “His aerial sense He also coached MacLennan to a final is just amazing, and the tricks he can berth in Beijing. perform surpass most people. We’re in He tells them: “He’s a very laid back awe of him.” coach. He just sort of lets you go at your By the end of the men’s trampoline own pace,” Burnett says. “His idea is to final, everyone within the National get you going and teach you all the basics Indoor Stadium would be in awe of when you’re young, but then as you get Burnett, thanks to his spectacular closing older, he lets you go on your own and routine. figure things out for yourself.” Burnett would bounce nine times A key element of Ross’ coaching theory before launching into his ten-skill, 16.8 is to let the self-motivated athletes train rating routine. at their own pace. “Go out there and get He began with the Triffus pike; into a it done because no one else will do it for Miller plus; followed by a Randy-Out pike; you,” meaning if an athlete is prepared and then a Full-Full pike; into a Rudy-Out to put in the hard work, pike; followed by a “I don’t see anything; I Full-Full straight; and then eventually he or she will start to see positive can’t hear the crowd . . . then a Full-Half pike; results, not only at the It’s all just the trampoline into a Half-Rudy pike; practice gym, but in followed up with a and me.” competition as well. Full-in, Rudy Out “You have to be straight; and finally -Jason Burnett willing to repeat the skills closing with a Miller over and over again. There’s magic in in the straight position. numbers,” Ross says. “So, if you don’t do In the moments after his routine, the numbers, you won’t see the magic.” Burnett sensed he had accomplished Burnett wanted to believe in the something spectacular. magic. He wanted it so badly that the “I knew it was a really good routine,” year leading up to the Beijing games he Burnett says. “It was a really good push committed himself to doing the hard for the Olympics,” he says. numbers at Skyriders – no school, no Burnett’s final routine would earn him fulltime job, just trampoline. a silver medal, the highest placing ever by You could find Burnett in the gym, a Canadian male on the trampoline at the often five or six times a week, working on Olympics. every aspect of his trampoline routine: There were some, however, who said Triffus pikes, Rudy’s, Millers and more. he deserved the gold. To paraphrase The Beatles, he had “A lot of people thought he was the a little help from his friends. Turgeon, best,” Ross says. MacLennan and Cockburn were with But Burnett, who finished a mere third Burnett every step of the way. They of a point behind gold medal winner, Lu pushed him harder than he could have Chunlong of China, doesn’t see it that done by himself. way. “When you can train with a lot of other “He deserved to win,” Burnett says. competitors, it helps you push more to Regardless of who deserved the gold, achieve more,” Turgeon says. Burnett walked away from Beijing an Burnett isn’t one to shy away from Olympic icon, an athlete people will pushing the limit to achieve more. He remember for his determination and often tries extreme tricks, like 30 twists focus. or 30 flips in a single 20-second routine, “He made his name at the Olympics,” both in practice and competition, that no Ross says. one else in the world would dare. He also walked away a proud His ability to push the limit has landed Canadian. him two records for the highest degree of “I looked up at my family, and they’re difficulty on the trampoline. The first is all screaming away . . . They had their an official record of 17.5 he set at a World faces tattooed with Canadian flags,” Cup event in Lake Placid last year. The Burnett says. “That was one of the second is an unofficial mark of 18.5 he greatest moments of my life.”
Students in the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program perfrom Inuit Games in Ottawa on Sept. 27. 2008
From the top, clockwise; Hugh John Karpik, Keenan Lindell, Hugh John Karpik From bottom clockwise; Lyla Haulii, Hugh John Karpik, Keenan Lindell.
Old Games, New Gains Photos and Story By Kassina Ryder
Canada’s northern athletes combine traditional and modern sports to reach new heights. The skills learned from training for an event like Inuit Games can be incorporated into more mainstream sports - like hockey.
ain drips from the leaves of the maple trees as 18-year-old Hugh John Karpik steps into the middle of the crowd. He pauses, readies himself, and then leaps. The audience holds its breath while he kicks the 6-foot high target in midair, lands on the same foot he kicked with, then bounces three times to show balance. This is the One-Foot High kick, one of the traditional sports played by Inuit people of the polar world. Traditionally, these sports were performed in igloos or on hunting expeditions, not beneath lush, green trees on a rainy afternoon in Ottawa. And the target is usually a frozen piece of seal fat, not a drumstick held aloft by an incredibly nervous-looking girl in blue jeans. Watching the games invokes thoughts of dimly lit igloos and shrieking Arctic winds. But Karpik didn’t learn the skills
needed to perform Inuit games in an igloo, he learned them playing basketball. Originally from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Karpik is now a student at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, enrolled in the Nunavut Sivuniksavut program, an eight-month course designed to help young Inuit get ready for employment in the territory. Karpik and his classmates often perform traditional sports at cultural events in Ottawa, and many of the students learn the games upon their induction to the program. Participants in ArtsAlive, the Inuit arts and culture event in Ottawa, told Sweat that some of the participants were athletes in their home communities and have mixed old traditions with new. Having played basketball for eight years, Karpik says the sport taught him the split-second timing needed when performing Inuit games.
“I know for me, after playing basketball, Inuit games have a lot to do with timing,” says Karpik. His classmate, 18-year-old Keenan Lindell, plans to incorporate the skills he learned while training for Inuit games when he plays more conventional contact sports, such as hockey. “My goal for the end of the year is to learn the airplane,” Lindell says. “That would work for any contact sport.” In this game, an athlete’s arms are held straight out on either side while two others hold each hand. A third person holds the legs together so that the body is in the shape of a cross. The athlete is suspended face down in that position about four feet from the ground while being carried in a wide circle. The game ends once the participant loses control of his shaking arms, admitting defeat. Johnny Issaluk, an Arctic Sports coach in Iqaluit, Nunavut, says Inuit games are
difficult to perform and require stamina, not to mention a high tolerance for pain. “Inuit games use different parts of your muscles a lot – because of the awkward positions you have to do sometimes. It strengthens different muscles that you don’t normally use even if you’re working out all the time in the gym,” Issaluk says. “It’s good for jumping, like if you’re a volleyball player or a basketball player, and 100 m dash; it makes you jump faster forward.” Heather McCrimmon, an athletic therapist from Centennial College in Toronto agrees, saying certain Inuit games, such the One and Two-Foot High
the animal and carry them home. “They had to run with their dog teams and even just walk on the land for miles,” he says. “So they couldn’t just stay dormant when they couldn’t move from their camp, that’s what I’ve learned. Now, we play these games also to stay in shape or to compete, and also to keep our tradition alive.” The Arctic Winter Games, held in polar nations every two years since 1970, feature teams from Alaska, Russia, Canada, Greenland, and northern Scandinavia. In Arctic Bay, Nunavut, recreation coordinators have begun incorporating
because there’s going to be territorial tryouts every year. And we’re trying to improve our players so they can compete at different levels.” For athletes in Nunavut, participating in sports also provides opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach, says Levi. There are no roads between Nunavut communities, and most travel is done by plane. Simply visiting another town can cost thousands of dollars, especially in the northernmost communities. Sports teams often get funding in order to travel to other towns to play against rival teams, giving young people a chance to travel.
Sea ice on Hudson Bay outside Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. kick, help improve flexibility. “Perhaps some of the types of events could be used as a training regime,” McCrimmon says. “It could help with power kicking, like power training; you could use that, that would increase flexibility.” Naturally, Inuit games served an important role in an evrionment where staying in shape meant the difference between life and death. Issaluk explains that Inuit had to chase caribou and crawl distances while hunting for seals in order to get close to
traditional sports into the regular schedules held in the community school’s gymnasium, says Thomas Levi, an Arctic Winter Games coach in Arctic Bay. The goal is to get young people interested in traditional games in order to put together a solid team for the next Arctic Winter Games, held in Grand Prairie, Alberta in 2010. “At our gymnasium we’re trying to make it one of the regular sports instead of just basketball or floor hockey or anything like that,” says Levi. “We’re trying to include the Inuit games as well
“Just to try to go to Iqaluit. It will cost $2, 000 return,” Levi says. “For them to participate in certain sports, all they have to do is register $150 to Sport Nunavut for certain events like soccer or basketball. And that’s all they have to pay for a return flight to another community.” When asked what special skills are needed to perform Inuit games, Issaluk’s answer can be applied to every sport. “A lot of it is practice, so you need a lot of focus, a lot of balance and knowing your limits, which are limitless. You can do as much as you want.”
An effortless workout?
problem within the athletic community,” says Narkar. “I feel it is our responsibility A new drug might make to somehow provide a way of correcting it.” exercise obsolete The World Anti-Doping Agency has recently added the drug compounds into By Rock DeVera its list of prohibited substances. Gary Wadler, chairman of the WADA’s Prohibited List and Methods Subcommittee, says that Evans’ actions are a monumental step in controlling banned substances in the sports world. He says that instead of developing new ways of testing for banned substances, Evans’ actions promise to create a substance with “a fail safe device.” For a change, drug testing will be at the forefront of ensuring athletic integrity. “I think it is a conceptually important step because what we’re trying to do as the WADA is really develop an ongoing relationship with genetic scientists, gene therapists, genetic laboratory experts, combined with the sports medicine anti-doping experts of the world,” adds Wadler. “This relationship has really enabled us to be proactive in addressing the potential abuse of gene therapeutic initiatives that have come down on the pipes.” Also on the lookout is the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, the Canadian voice in the WADA. “These substances might not be dangerous to health but . . . certainly . . . the ability to enhance performance he sound is clear – dumbbells San Diego study. “But what we didn’t and are to some extent against the spirit hitting floor, metal slamming expect was the amount of attention of sport,” says Doug MacQuarrie, the against metal, heavy breaths, we had garnered from athletes. These Ethics and Anti-doping services director and the treadmill turning as though it drugs have been developed to mimic the for the CCES. “They fit into that class of were a pinwheel. This is the boisterous benefits of exercise in various diseases aspects that we describe as cheating.” soundtrack of the George Brown MacQuarrie says that using workout room with the men’s “I know we’ve potentially created a problem drugs such as AICAR, “short outdoor soccer team drifting within the athletic community.” changes people from the from one machine to another. - Vihang A. Narkar challenge of human excellence Strive to stay with the pack, that’s and from the natural pleasure the goal. But sometimes the that comes from human workout becomes too much to handle. such as diabetes, obesity and muscular exercise.” And sometimes the athletes find answers dystrophy,” he says. “There was and The two drug compounds are not in the wrong places. is no intention for developing these yet FDA-approved and are still being A pill that can simulate exercise is compounds for athletic use.” tested on animals, despite disheartening already in the works, as scientists from According to published reports, lab feedback from the athletic community. the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in mice injected with AICAR showed a 44 “We can anticipate that sports is the San Diego have found a drug compound per cent increase in endurance. GW1516 most likely place where we’re going to see that promises a new way to stay fit. The yielded a 75 per cent increase when abuse,” Evans tells The Daily News. “That compounds, AICAR and GW1516, could combined with exercise. could happen very quickly. Preventing it offer a chance at better health; but, they AICAR tricks the body into thinking will require diligence.” could create a new high-tech doping that it burned energy. So, the body Seneca and George Brown athletes vessel for athletes. produces more energy, heightening don’t have a problem with that. It’s all “When we first released this endurance levels, mimicking the effect of about exercise. So, the collapsed Seneca information, we knew we would be exercise. GW1516 does the same with the athlete got up and kept running drills. under heavy scrutiny,” says Vihang A. addition of physical activity. And George Brown exercise machines Narkar, a scientist and author of the “I know we’ve potentially created a continue to bustle with noise.
John Courtney Little
Jagoda Pike, president and CEO of the Pan Am bid and former publisher of the Toronto Star, says if the GTA were to win the bid it would have a significant positive impact on the economy and tourism, as well as leave a fabulous sports development legacy. “As we build these facilities,” she says, “you build infrastructure that’s available after the game for athletes of the community.” In the meantime, the expansion of athletic centres has become a shared interest among several Ontario colleges. Niagara’s athletic director Ray Sarkis hopes the renovations to their athletic
centre, which include new fitness centres, will be completed in two years. Doug Fox, athletic director at Humber, says that the construction of an additional level to the college’s 29-year-old Gordon Wragg Athletic Centre will commence next summer. Fox adds that the GTA doesn’t have training sites for amateur sports. “We have probably the worst athletic facilities for amateur sport,” he says. “We only have one 50 m pool in the whole city!” Trent’s athletic director, Bill Byrick, says building new infrastructure in the GTA won’t be the only opportunity the Games would bring. “It will help utilize existing infrastructure, [create] opportunities for sport tourism in generating revenue, role modeling, elementary and high school athletes competing and probably create some job opportunities for students studying sports administration.” Stapleton says bidding for the Pan Am games will heighten Toronto’s profile as a sports centre. “You have to do these events incrementally,” Stapleton says. “As you show that your city will support it and you’ve got the facilities and the people to support it, then you’re more likely to get bigger events and more events.”
you’re usually by yourself, and there’s less chance of you being motivated.” Ajay Dhamrait, fitness manager at GoodLife Fitness Club in Richmond Hill, says the advantage of a home gym is that the athlete will not have to compete for exercise machines. In addition, professional gym users are often more receptive to personal trainers’ advice than those who exercise at home. And, he says professional gyms psych people into working out. “Personal trainers . . . can give some advice and tips, maybe give you a spot as well,” says Dhamrait. “That way, you know you can be pushing yourself to the limit.” He adds that a five-star workout doesn’t require high-tech bells and whistles. “Plyometrics [repetitive stretches and muscle contractions] get you the same results as the most intricate gym,” he says.
David Dummitt, manager of a Fitness Depot in Thornhill, agrees. The price or quality of the home gym doesn’t always make the difference. “The quality of the product will sometimes make your product last longer,” he says. “But those things don’t actually make for a better workout.” He says that home gyms trump professional gyms for three reasons. First, there’s the convenience factor. Also, home gyms are cheaper in the long run. And they allow people to workout in their own homes. Former George Brown student of exercise physiology, Nick Lakhan says that when it comes to training varsity athletes, convenience is everything. “A commercial gym would have more variety,” says Lakhan, now the head coach of the women’s volleyball team. But those athletes just don’t have the time to go, he adds.
for Pan Am By Eric Lo Maglio
he recent attempt to bring the 2015 Pan American Games to the Greater Toronto Area could boost both the reputation of college athletic facilities and the overall reputation of the area, says Linda Stapleton, Seneca’s athletic director. “Whether we’re used as game sites or practice sites, there are several positive things that will come out of that. One is just the resurgence in general interest of sport and increased energy of people wanting to be active,” says Stapleton, noting an event like this could either refresh or add to current athletic facilities.
Home vs. Pro
Courtesy Hamilton Spectator; David Miadovnik
By David Miadovnik
ince the dawn of time, certain questions have nagged human kind: what is the meaning of life? Are we alone in the universe? And the greatest riddle of all – what provides a better workout, a home gym or professional gym? “I think professional gyms are better because you have . . . people that can help you,” said 21-year-old Daviau Rodney, a second-year fitness and health promotion student and Humber Hawk basketball player. “Home gyms,
Keeping Your Head in the Game Compiled By Sweat
gor Vuckovic, 19-year-old power forward on the Algoma men’s varsity basketball team, lives with five teammates who often spend their nights battling it out on NBA 2K9. Sheridan athletic director and men’s basketball coach Jim Flack warns that while games may be fun, they don’t help athletes’ studies. He and many other OCAA coaches face the same issues, seeing athletes spend hours gaming. “You can speak to them about it, but it’s obvious that the video game is providing a quicker fix for their attention than their homework.” The Algoma men’s basketball coach, Thomas Cory, used to play NBA Live ‘95 back when he was in college. “It’s something for them to do as teammates,” says Cory. “It helps our chemistry.” According to research conducted by Iowa State University psychologist Douglas Gentile, playing video games can improve perceptual skills and cognitive abilities such as problem solving and hand-eye co-ordination. “If the game requires you to figure
out three-dimensional navigation, even though you’re just looking at a flat screen, you will get better at translating two-dimensional information into threedimensional,” says Gentile. “And if the game requires that you co-operate with other people to be successful, then those skills of working with a team will get better.” Cory agrees: “The more that they’re immersed in basketball, the more they’re going to learn,” he says. “They know what to do because they’ve kind of done it in the video game.” Gentile told Sweat that the games improve athletic prowess, “to the extent that a basketball video game helps players to really visualize what would be good technique . . . how to make those quick decisions that you have to make as you’re running down the court.” Cory says all the players on his team performed well academically last year, so he isn’t concerned about their gaming habits. “When it’s time to play, they play, but when it’s time to do work, they’re actually doing their work.”
PHOTO CONTEST WINNER Congratulations to Julie Clifford from London, Ont. who took this shot of Joel Kowalski, age 19, kayaking on the Buseater, a rapid on the Ottawa River.
Thanks go out to our other submissions, including runner-up Sebastion Montoya who caught this knee in mid-flight.
3rd Brianna Elyse Hillier for her picture of a rattling tackle.
An honourable mention goes to Elana Saimovici, from Mississauga Ont. for her picture of a mid-air header.
And finally Elia Koolsbergen for his picture of two rivals going head to head.
SCOREBOARD RUGBY Team Division 2 St. Lawrence K Loyalist Fleming L George Brown East Fleming P Seneca Georgian West Humber Mohawk Conestoga
Wins Losses Ties Bonus Pf
6 6 6 6
6 4 1 1
0 2 5 5
0 0 0 0
3 4 1 0
7 7 7
4 2 0
3 5 7
0 0 0
7 7 7
6 6 3
1 1 4
0 0 0
OCAA Rugby Championships
157 146 59 46
59 65 139 145
27 20 5 4
5 1 1
175 94 66
146 174 240
21 9 1
5 5 4
204 188 138
69 87 149
29 29 16
GOLF OCAA Championship Individual 1. Mike Zizek, Humber 2. James Castle, Humber T3. James Hoffman, Durham T3. Rob Lewis, Durham T3. Brett Pearl, Humber T3. James Dorian, St. Clair 7. Mike Gonko, Georgian 1. Danielle Dunlop, Niagara 2. Maggie Trainor, Humber 3. Shauna Wilde, Humber 4. Bev Peel, Humber 5. Kathryn Corbiere, George Brown 6. Amanda Milward, (alt) Humber 7. Vanessa Coupar, Fanshawe
OCAA Championship Team
1st – Humber Hawks 2nd – Fleming Knights 3rd – Mohawk Mountaineers
Wins Losses Rf
Durham St. Clair Mohawk Conestoga Seneca
12 10 10 12 12
12 7 5 3 2
37 53 39 106 98
24 14 10 6 4
120 73 53 41 46
Division 2 SS Fleming - 656 SLC Kingston - 668 Boreal - 668 Confederation - 671 George Brown - 720 SLC Brockville - 757 SLC Cornwall - 775
Men Division 1 Humber - 588 Niagara - 606 Durham - 609 Georgian - 616 St. Clair - 626 Conestoga - 628 Fanshawe - 646 Women Humber - 303 Niagara - 347 Fanshawe - 387
0 3 5 9 10
Men 70 - 71 - 141 70 - 76 - 146 76 - 73 - 149 74 - 75 - 149 73 - 76 - 149 76 - 73 - 149 74 - 76 - 150 Women 74 - 77 - 151 76 - 76 - 152 80 - 73 - 153 78 - 76 - 154 91 - 87 - 178 94 - 89 - 183 95 - 91 - 186
SOCCER OCAA Soccer Championships Men’s 1st – Algonquin Thunder 2nd – Sheridan Bruins 3rd – Seneca Sting Women’s 1st – Humber Hawks 2nd – Algonquin Thunder 3rd – Seneca Sting
Team Central East George Brown Seneca Durham Centennial Central West Sheridan Humber Redeemer Mohawk Niagara East Algonquin Fleming P St. Lawrence K Cambrian La Cité West Fanshawe St. Clair Conestoga Lambton
Wins Losses Ties Gf
11 11 11 10
6 6 6 3
1 3 4 6
4 2 1 1
30 30 17 13
13 15 13 23
22 20 19 10
12 12 12 12 12
11 9 3 3 1
1 3 6 7 8
0 0 3 2 3
29 31 14 25 12
7 17 16 40 25
33 27 12 11 6
12 12 11 12 12
11 5 4 2 0
0 3 7 8 11
1 4 0 2 1
43 19 14 11 7
2 18 27 39 34
34 19 12 8 1
11 11 11 11
9 6 5 0
1 4 6 11
1 1 0 0
25 24 17 5
5 22 15 35
28 19 15 0
Team Central East Seneca Durham Centennial Loyalist Central West Humber Redeemer Mohawk Sheridan East Algonquin Fleming P Cambrian St. Lawrence La Cité West Lambton Fanshawe Conestoga St. Clair
Wins Losses Ties Gf
11 11 11 11
9 7 3 0
1 1 7 11
1 3 1 0
49 50 11 3
4 7 39 47
28 24 10 0
11 10 10 10
9 5 2 0
0 3 7 8
2 2 1 2
36 9 9 10
2 13 24 27
29 17 7 2
13 12 12 12 12
11 7 6 3 2
1 4 6 8 10
1 1 0 1 0
51 27 19 6 5
7 26 21 30 42
34 22 18 10 6
10 10 10 10
6 5 5 2
3 2 2 8
1 3 3 0
16 17 12 7
11 4 6 27
19 18 18 6
OCAA Championships Men’s individual – 8 km 1. David Sharatt, Conestoga (28:19:00) 2. Josh Bujold, Cambrian (28:36:00) 3. Sean Sweeney, George Brown (28:58:00) 4. Jacob John, Confederation (29:30:00) 5. Mike Scipio, Fanshawe (29:32:00)
Women’s individual - 5km 1. Dawn Martin, St. Lawrence-Br (20:55:00) 2. Tineke DeJong, Fanshawe (21:36:00) 3. Becky Pieterson, Fanshawe (21:42:00) 4. Amanda Pryde, Humber (22:17:00) 5. Christine DeBrouwer, Redeemer (22:27:00)
Men’s Team Overall Gold – Conestoga Silver – Fanshawe Bronze – George Brown College
Women’s Team Overall Gold – Fanshawe Silver – Humber Bronze – Redeemer
Coach’s Corner with Tim Baulk
ver wonder why certain teams that have tremendous skill and talent fail to win championships when they are expected to? Teams like the Canadian Olympic Hockey team from Nagano or the men’s USA basketball team in Athens failing to obtain gold medals are perfect examples. How does this relate to OCAA teams and athletes? Simply put, team cohesion or the lack thereof can lead great teams to subpar performances and average teams to reach goals they never expected to grasp. Having spent my time researching team cohesion while completing my master’s degree, I found a few simple strategies could be implemented to achieve that championship status, provided the skill and talent are present. The first concept, found in a meta-analysis by Brian Mullen and C. Coppers in 1994, relates to the effect of team cohesion on performance. Success breeds a strong cohesive unit more than cohesion increases performance. Simply put, your team will bond faster when they win than when they lose. When making a schedule, teams are better off playing games against weaker teams early on, so the athletes can achieve early success and begin to build cohesion. That is to say, teams would benefit from playing against the lower-ranked teams from the previous year. However, league schedules do not allow coaches to pick their opponents, no matter their motives. So, pre-season games are the only venue for building team cohesion through victory . . . playing alumni or high school teams. Because the league makes the schedules, coaches must
provide the environment to generate cohesion. Proper leadership styles, based on democratic principles, in both coaches and captains enhance cohesion. Specifically, female athletes prefer to participate more actively in decision making than males do. Player selections and team sizes play a tremendous role in fostering cohesion. For example, the ideal roster size in basketball is 11.9. The research suggests that 15 would be too big, and nine would be too small to function as a team at all. So, coaches with large rosters may, in essence, be destroying their programs instead of building them up. Integrating social events into the training schedule is essential to nurturing a spirit of unity. For example, a team bonding weekend at a ropes course encourages communication amongst teammates. In order for the team to successfully complete the course, they must encourage each other through a number of tasks. Finally, the implementation of team rules is vital to a spirit of unity. Research has suggested that team norms are built through the consistency of rules. When there are set standards regarding fair play and respect as well as punctuality, athletes know what to expect. So, everyone knows those who are late and skip practice are really hurting the team. In most single game match-ups, anyone can beat anyone on a given day. But perhaps by having a cohesive team, you will end up with a W more often.
team is a group of individuals that comes together in pursuit of a common goal. Each person adds to the collective perspective. Combining the talents of each individual, the team works toward success. And it is their level of co-operation that determines the team’s quality. The longer athletes play together, the more unified their actions. All college sports have in common the short time they have their players on the team. As a third year player in the OCAA, I am considered a mentor to younger players. This role is considered useful and, in some situations, necessary. Two seasons ago, Mohawk’s coaching staff was reduced. Things became more laborious, as one man shouldered the responsibility for the whole team. As a veteran player, I accepted an informal coaching role to help guide new players. It was a general consensus that if our team was going to improve, there had to be more co-operation. It is somewhat difficult to act as mentor for a group that is
just getting to know each other. The first step in gaining my teammates’ trust was showing them what I have learned from my experience. If we didn’t learn by watching, there would be no such thing as armchair quarterbacks. Then, you introduce others to skills you’ve learned. This can be a daunting task, as everyone learns differently. It is a skill in itself to pick up how much constructive criticism a player can take. But the key to passing on new skills is persistence and patience. Besides being a mentor, I am a teammate. No one player can make as big of an impact as the actions of each individual in unison with the team. In this light, I now see my role as integral to the team. The best measure of how well I have coached someone through the game is meeting him on the field one day, when we play on different teams. When I run into a teammate down the road and he still plays rugby, I know I’ve made a difference.
Courtesy Al Fournier; Courtesy Mohawk Athletic Centre
with James Cumpson