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The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community TAKE A BOW, MR. NEW OLYMPIAN

An improbable prospect just a short time ago, Alaine Chartrand can claim a berth for the Olympics at her home nationals in Ottawa By Dan Plouffe

P. 5

19-year-old Vincent De Haitre recorded a stunning victory at the Canadian Olympic speed skating trials to reach the Games.


P. 4

The Gloucester Rangers Minor Peewee ‘AA’ team was one of numerous local champions at the 2014 Bell Capital Cup.


P. 6

Julie Anne Fiset produced a major milestone for her club as the first Tumblers female gymnast to qualify for Elite Canada.


P. 8

17-year-old Ben Delaney won his second gold medal in two events as a new member of the Canadian sledge hockey team.

It will be the biggest moment of Alaine Chartrand’s young career. And when the eyes of the Canadian figure skating world turn to Ottawa for the Jan. 9-15 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, she’ll be the lone hometown hope to claim a berth for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It might all be a little much to handle for someone who will be missing her high school classes in order to compete, but the 17-year-old enters the women’s competition nothing but confident. “Last year, I was third. Two get to go (to Sochi). I mean, I’ve definitely improved from last year,” Chartrand reasons. “My jumps are more consistent. I have a little more difficulty. I just have to go there and try to skate my best. I think if I do that, then I will qualify.” Chartrand’s status as a strong Olympic hopeful would have been virtually unthinkable prior to her bronze medal performance at last year’s Canadian championships. Her previous nationals results were 13th in the novice division in 2010, 10th in junior in 2011, and ninth in senior in 2012. “Last year was my first year medaling, ever, at a big event,” reflects the Nepean Skating Club athlete. “I was increasing as I was going up, but that was a big jump last year. The whole experience of standing on the podium and getting a big medal was really different. “Medaling and being in the gala and being on the national team, that was all brand new and really exciting.” Chartrand can jump with the best of them, consistently landing the triple-triple combinations in her program, and even attempting quads in practice. “She always liked to jump,” details Nepean coach Leonid Birinberg. “And if you challenge her more, the better she does.” Clean programs of course will be a necessity for a top finish, but an equally big key for Chartrand to achieve high scores will be her per-

Vol. 3, #4

January 2014

Hometown hope A national bronze medalist last year, Alaine Chartrand of the Nepean Skating Club will be the lone local athlete competing in the senior ranks for an Olympic berth at the 100th anniversary Canadian championships Jan. 9-15 at Canadian Tire Centre.

formance marks. That’s an area she’s improved considerably working under choreographers David Wilson and Jeffrey Buttle, an Olympic bronze medalist who won his 2006 Canadian title at the Ottawa Civic Centre in front of a crowd that included Chartrand.

SPECTATOR TURNED COMPETITOR “They’re really talented people, and they helped bring the performance out of me,” highlights the Prescott resident who travels 3-4 times per week to train at the Nepean Sportsplex.


© skate canada / terry hadley-cole

Chartrand is coming off a fifthplace finish at the December Skate Canada Challenge in Regina, where she skated against all her top competitors who will be at nationals, minus 2012 Canadian champion Amélie Lacoste. “I definitely didn’t have my best skates there,” recounts Chartrand, who’d wanted to beat her personal-best total score of 179.59 from an October competition in Barrie. “It didn’t happen, but I’m glad it happened at Challenge and not nationals.” Despite battling injury through

the fall, Kaetlyn Osmond remains the favourite and a virtual lock for Sochi. Osmond won last year’s nationals by 37.44 points and went on to place eighth at the world championships to secure Canada’s second entry in the women’s event. The second spot is likely the one Chartrand is chasing. The Skate Canada board has final discretion, but a silver medal win at nationals a month before the Olympics would send a very strong message that she should be on the team. CHARTRAND continues on p.7



Ravens nordic skiers take on world’s best at FISU

Royals Report & Knights News

Training Tips for Fitness & Sports

--By Luke Baker, Ottawa Royals/Knights nutrition, mental & physical conditioning coach

Peter Biesel (left). photo provided

ski culture in Ottawa,” highlights Purdon, who’s originally from Owen Sound, as is Beisel, while Murray and Hawkings are from Whitehorse. “XC Ottawa provides us with a secondary place to train,” Purdon continues. “All of the other athletes to make the team were former training centre athletes who have a racing pedigree. Carleton really supports its athletes. It’s an excellent arrangement.” Université de Moncton defender Simon Lacroix of Ottawa scored in the Canadian men’s hockey team’s final round robin game, a 4-2 loss to Kazakhstan. That upset was Canada’s lone loss of the six-game tournament as the former Cumberland Grad and Canada went on to down Slovakia 6-0, Russia 2-1 and then the Kazakhs 6-2 to win the gold medal. Others from Ottawa taking part in the FISU Games included Laurier ’s Cheryl Kreviazuk (curling), Cassandra Smith (snowboard coach), uOttawa’s Crissy McPhee (women’s hockey therapist), and uOttawa’s Lia Taha Cheng and Carleton’s Taryn Taylor (mission staff).

There are many ways to train for fitness and sports. Some ways of training are proper and beneficial for results and there are other methods that can be misleading and detrimental to reaching your goals. This article will help you figure out and recognize the important aspects to any good training program, so you can attain the desired results you’re looking for.

START SLOW Whenever you begin a program, you are most likely excited to start and eager to hit the gym hard. This is always a big mistake. When your body isn’t used to exercising often, you should take your time and pace yourself. Your body needs to adapt to the changes you want to make. If you rush in and try to go “all out,” you will find your muscles extremely sore and stiff, which will take longer to recover. This means your visits to the gym may not happen as frequently or may even scare you away completely. Know that your first few times back in the gym should be spent at an intensity that makes the workout seem relatively easy, and your focus should be on proper technique and form. From there, gradually increase your intensity with your visits to the gym. The secret to getting results isn’t in going insanely hard a few times a week, but rather hitting the gym consistently and progressing slowly. You will find it easier on your body and more enjoyable as you see the results of your progress. Remember, you want these changes to last so they aren’t a quick fix.

KNOW YOURSELF A basic simple rule for designing a program, or knowing you are on the right path for you, is to assess yourself first. Begin by being honest with yourself. You will do yourself no good if you can’t look in the mirror and write down what you see. You may not like it, but this is one of the reasons you will want to make change in your life. Measure your weight, arms, legs, waist, chest/back and take pictures of yourself. These will be good references later when you’ve stuck to your training regime to see how far along you’ve come.

SET GOALS Goal setting is where every good training program starts. You must first know what it is that you want to accomplish before you can set out a plan of action to attain your prize. Without goals you will not know what to do or what path to take, and you will find yourself lost and frustrated, which almost always leads to failure.

BALANCE A good training program should be well balanced with training, proper nutrition, rest and recovery. Often there is one aspect missing or lacking, which results in a longer period of time to reach your goals. Make sure no matter what your goals are, to stick to this balance always. Missing one element from this equation will stunt your results and leave you wondering why you aren’t reaching your goals as fast as you should. Just like everything in life, it’s about having a good balance. These are just a few pieces of advice that will help you with your training program to make sure that you get the most out of it and will be more likely to succeed. For more detailed information about training programs, fitness consultations and sport conditioning contact us at:

WHY ARE YOU SETTING GOALS? Next you must know Why you are setting these goals? Most people set goals that don’t have a strong enough Why power to drive them through the tough times. If your goal is to just lose weight for the beach or go to the gym 3 to 5 days a week, you will most likely run into days that you don’t feel like going and you will find excuses to not make it. Choose a reason that will drive you to get out of bed on the coldest day – when you don’t have a ride to the gym, or when you’re a little bit sick – and make you go regardless of the circumstance. Success anywhere in any field takes consistent action and hard work. The process may be simple, but it’s not easy.






Raven representation made up a third of Canada’s cross-country skiing roster at the 2013 FISU Winter Universiade, and what they found Dec. 11-21 in Trentino, Italy was a heck of a lot of stiff competition on two skinny boards. Current Carleton skiers Peter Biesel, Leeland Hawkings and Kendra Murray and Raven grad Matthias Purdon took on the world’s best student-athletes at multi-sport competition, as well as some the world’s best skiers, period. “It was cool to compete amongst (experienced skiers who compete regularly at the highest international level),” says Purdon, who now attends Trent University for a sustainable studies masters program. “Sure, they will destroy you, but it’s really neat to be in the same race with them.” The mix of athletes at the world university games can be an eclectic one, the 24-year-old explains. Countries generally send athletes from one of two streams: students who are also athletes, or professional-level athletes who attend some school in their chosen sport. That’s how Purdon, Beisel and Hawkings found themselves in the same race as Italy’s Fredrico Pel-

legrino, who more recently placed second in the skate sprint event of the prestigious Tour de Ski, cross-country skiing’s Tour de France equivalent. “The best thing about this competition was racing against an international field of dedicated skiers,” Biesel concurs. “Each skier was one of the best from their country.” The fourth-year biomedical engineering student pinpointed the early-season date of the competition as the most challenging part of it all. “The Carleton team’s first race is mid-January,” Beisel signals. “They were my most important races of the season but I had no gauge on how I felt.” Both Biesel and Purdon consider the 10 km skate individual start race as their best race of the competition, having earned the top Canadian results in 70th and 72nd in a field of 114, while Hawkings was 75th. Murray placed 52nd in the women’s skiathlon. “The fact that there were so many Carleton skiers (competing at the Universiade) is reflective of the


By Anne Duggan

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Snowboarder set to kick off 1st Paralympic season John Leslie.

Variety in children’s athletic activities key to building Physical Literacy

photo provided

By Michael Lapointe Set to kick off his competition season with a Jan. 17-19 World Cup

event in Colorado, snowboarder John Leslie will make history this year. The 21-year-old Algonquin Col-


The Board of the Ottawa Sports Awards invites you to the 61st annual Ottawa Sports Awards dinner, celebrating the finest in amateur sport in our city in over 60 different sports as well as the top Male and Female Athletes, Coaches and Teams for 2013. Join Mayor Jim Watson and the Board of the Ottawa Sports Awards as they make the following presentations. MAYOR’S CUP ED LAVERTY - TOUCH FOOTBALL LIFETIME COACHING AWARD HUGH CONLIN - ATHLETICS LIFETIME VOLUNTEER AWARD JOHN SMITH - FOOTBALL


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014 Algonquin College, Woodroffe Campus Doors and Cash Bar Open at 6:00 pm Dinner Starts at 7:00 pm Tickets are $55 or table of 8 for $425. Tickets are now on sale on the website Contact 613-795-8111 or


lege student has his place booked to become one of the athletes who will compete in the Paralympic Games’ first-ever snowboard competition, but he has designs on making his name stand out even more in the history books. “With 2014 coming up, I really want to do well,” says Leslie, who was the youngest athlete on last year’s para-snowboard World Cup circuit, posting a sixth-place and two eighth-place finishes. “My trainer came up with a whole bunch of different exercises to work on my weaknesses in snowboarding,” adds the boardercross competitor. “A lot of cardio, a lot of leg stuff, and some work on the trampoline for air awareness – basically learning how to fall and getting used to being in the air.” Leslie has had his ticket booked for Sochi since July when he was named to Canada’s 2014 national team. He’ll join three other Canadians in Russia thanks to the addition of snowboarding to the Paralympic slate in May 2012, following years of lobbying by Canada Snowboard. Leslie got his competitive start on the slopes competing for his hometown high school, Arnprior District. Consistently finishing at or near the top of the leaderboard, it was clear that he had some serious talent. In Leslie’s final year, coach Cassandra Smith from The Akademy snowboard club in Ottawa took the helm of the Arnprior DHS program. That move wound up changing the course of his life forever. “We were just chatting one day on the hill, and she asked if I was going to continue with snowboarding,” recounts Leslie, who lost a leg to cancer at age 11. “I mentioned I was probably going to retire because I have an artificial leg.” That news came as a revelation to Smith, who hadn’t been aware that her athlete

--By SportsCan, Ottawa’s LTAD Leaders We have all heard the term literacy and it is usually referring to school and the core subjects of math and English. We never hear that word used in sports but… all great athletes, and weekend jocks all have literacy, PHYSICAL LITERACY. Physical literacy is the development of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that permit a child to move confidently and with control, in a wide range of physical activities, rhythmic and sport situations. Physical literacy also includes the ability to “read” what is going on around them in an activity setting and react appropriately to those events. Much like learning the alphabet and phonics are the fundamental skills needed to eventually read Shakespeare, or, identifying numbers and learning to add and subtract are the fundamental skills needed to eventually balance a cheque-book, the development of fundamental movement skills, and fundamental sport skills, is critical if children are to feel confident when they engage in physical activity for fun and for health, or for competition and the pursuit of excellence. For full physical literacy, children should learn fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills in each of the four basic environments before the age of 12: On the ground – as the basis for most games, sports, dance and physical activities In the water – as the basis for all aquatic activities On snow and ice – as the basis for all winter sliding activities In the air – basis for gymnastics, diving and other aerial activities Fundamental movement skills are the basis of all athletic movement and sport skills. Learning to run, jump, catch, throw, strike, kick, hop, skip, swim, skate, ski, balance, bike, and trap are so important both for elite athletes to life-long healthy adults. The child has a window to develop these basic skills just as they do with reading and numeracy. A child who misses out on developing physical literacy is at a great disadvantage. On the playground and in the park, children really like to play with other children

who have the same level of skill as they do, and who can “keep the game going”, and, if you can’t keep the game going, you won’t generally be asked to join in. Missing out on fundamental movement skills also means that the child is unlikely to choose to take part in a formal sport activity that requires proficiency in that skill, and this restricts their choice of life-long health-promoting activities. It also restricts their opportunities for sporting excellence. Being unable to perform even a single fundamental movement skill can seriously hamper later opportunities for recreational or competitive activity. It is imperative that the child becomes an athlete first, then moves to specialize in two or three of the sports they prefer after the development of their athletic skills and basic sport skills in a variety of sports. Becoming a hockey player at the age of 5 – where the child only does hockey – has a negative longterm effect. By the time they reach the age of 16/17, they become tired or bored of the sport, or because of the imbalanced training, start to experience overuse injuries. Every child should participate in multiple sports and participate in free play as much as possible from the ages of 0-12. This will give them the basis for whatever athletic activity they want to participate in.

Physical literacy gives children the tools they need to take part in physical activity and sport, both for healthy life-long enjoyment and for sporting success.



SPORTSCAN.CA had undergone an amputation. She then helped Leslie get in touch with Para Snowboard Canada, and he was invited to his first World Cup event in Lake Louise, Alta., in 2011. Earning the top Canadian result, in fifth place overall, Leslie left an impression, and has been a national team member since that year. Now based out of Vancouver and training in Whistler, Leslie has taken the year off from studies towards a business degree at Algonquin to get his body in top-shape for the Games. “Last year I tried to balance school with snowboarding, but it was way too intense,” notes the #8 world-ranked athlete. “This year I just want to focus totally on the team, and I’ll probably go back this summer and finish the rest of

my courses.” Leslie credits his coach and teammates for his development in the past three years, and helping him “go from a kid that shows up with a bag of Pop-Tarts to eating healthy, training regularly, and riding the right snowboard.” While he’s set on gearing up for the biggest races of his life, Leslie says he’s also making sure to fully appreciate the moment and opportunity that lies ahead of him. “I’m pretty focused on just getting there and doing really well, but I take a step back and realize that I’m going to be a part of history,” Leslie highlights. “For the sport in general, this is a pretty cool part of it, and I think I’ll appreciate it more as I get older. I feel very lucky.”



Stittsville Spartans savour last-moment goal & OT win By Anil Jhalli

For the Stittsville Spartans, the 2014 Bell Capital Cup will be an experience the team won’t soon forget. Down 3-2 with just under three seconds left in their Atom House ‘A’ championship game against the Beijing Snow Leopards Jan. 1 at the Canadian Tire Centre, Josh Lapointe tied the game up to force the game into overtime. The bench erupted. Supporters in the stands went wild. “This is something we talked about all year,” smiles Spartans coach Ryan Goodwin. “We talked about having this ‘never quit, never give up’ attitude.” It took two overtime periods, but the Spartans’ “never give up” motto came through, as Stittsville downed their Chinese opponents 4-3 in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion, with Lapointe again playing the hero’s role by scoring the winner. “There was just huge excitement on our bench,” recounts Goodwin, whose team also received goals from Noah Bridgen and Owen Riedel earlier in the contest. “This is like a dream come true. If this was a book, we’d have to write, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

LOCAL TEAMS RACK UP HARDWARE The Spartans played in one of 19 championship games at Canadian Tire Centre in a two-day span. Ottawa teams brought home perhaps their

once again this year, organizers, players and coaches alike agree that the Bell Capital Cup remains one of the best youth hockey tournaments out there. “It is such a well-run tournament and really, what it comes down to, is the fact that it is for the kids and they go out there and they have fun,” indicates Gloucester Rangers coach Kevin Graham, whose team knocked off Richmond Hill 4-0 to claim the Minor Peewee ‘AA’ title. “They work hard and play hard and they get a chance to meet kids from other countries, and get to play on the Senators’ home rink,” Graham highlights. “This is something they won’t forget.”

The Nepean Raiders tripped up the Ottawa Valley Silver Seven 6-3 to win the Bell Capital Cup Major Atom ‘AAA’ title Dec. 31 at the Canadian Tire Centre.


largest haul of championship trophies yet. Winners included the Ottawa Ice (Atom & Peewee girls’ ‘AA’), the Stittsville Rams (Minor Atom ‘A’), the Nepean Raiders (Minor Atom ‘AA’ & Major Atom ‘AAA’), the Ottawa Sting (Minor Atom ‘AAA’), the Metcalfe Jets River Rats (Major Atom ‘B’), the South End Capitals (Peewee house ‘A’), the Gloucester Rangers (Minor Peewee ‘AA’), the Kanata Blazers (Major Peewee ‘AA’) and the Eastern Ontario Wild

photo: dean joncas

(Major Peewee ‘AAA’). The 15th edition of the tournament attracted 310 teams for games across the city from Dec. 28-Jan. 1. For Goodwin, it was the first time a team of his took part in the event. “I definitely want to come back and participate again,” he notes. “The way it is organized, everything is just first-class all the way. It was a great experience for all of us.” While overall entry numbers were down

Bell Capital Cup general manager Scott Lawryk says higher travel costs and more available tournaments are some reasons why participation has declined since the record 510 entries in 2007. Feedback remains positive, Lawryk highlights, in particular the new policy of free admission to games this year. “You see more people watching the games. That’s always a good sign,” notes the third-year tournament GM. “In the end, it is about keeping the tradition alive. We hear people telling us all the time how amazing the tournament is and how much of a great time they’ve had. And that is really what it is all about. “For us, as long as people are having fun and watching some good hockey, it is a positive sign for us.”


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ELITE Gloucester pair book Olympic trips


19-year-old Cumberland native Vincent De Haitre shocked everyone by winning the 1,000 m and placing third in the 1,500 m at the Canadian Olympic team trials in Calgary. He’s poised to become Canada’s youngest speed skater to attend the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

By Jamie Shinkewski Ivanie Blondin survived the Dec. 28-Jan. 3 Canadian Olympic speed skating trials and Vincent De Haitre blew them away as the pair of Gloucester Concordes athletes earned their qualification positions for Sochi 2014. The official announcement won’t come until Jan. 22, but expect to see De Haitre on the start line in the 1,000 metres and the 1,500 m, and Blondin in the 3,000 m, 5,000 m and team pursuit thanks to their performances in Calgary. De Haitre, 19, was suddenly being called the rising star of the Canadian speed skating team after surprising everyone, including himself, by winning the 1,000 m, and then out-dueling a Vancouver 2010 gold medalist to the line in the 1,500 m to finish third. “I just wanted to see how close I could get,” recounts the Cumberland native who only skated in his first career World Cup race this past fall. “It’s a tough competition, these guys have a lot of experience. I knew in training I could do well, I just didn’t know I was going to win.” Blondin came in as the favourite in the women’s 5000 m, but struggled mightily at the end of her race in the second-to-last pair. Her time of seven minutes,

18.45 seconds stood up by less than half a second as she pencilled in her name for Canada’s lone entry in the distance. “Sometimes the nerves just get to you and it’s hard to overcome them,” indicates the 23-year-old from Orleans. “I was really nervous and for my (5000 m race) I went out way too fast and I couldn’t calm down and relax. The last two laps of my race were probably the slowest lap times I’ve ever skated.” Along with a second-place finish in the 3,000 m (where Canada has two entries), Blondin finished strong in the standings, but the performance did not meet her expectations. “I think it was probably one of the most stressful weeks in the past four years of my life,” signals the former short-track athlete. “I’m just glad it’s over and done with and I ended up qualifying.”

CONCORDES MATES HIT SOCHI Blondin is excited that she’ll now be able to share the Olympic adventure with De Haitre, who she treats like a younger brother. “I told his parents he would qualify,” chuckles the Garneau high school grad. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.” After feeling the weight and expectations of qualifying at the high-stakes trials, Blondin hopes the experience will serve her well come Sochi. “Qualifying is always more nervous,” says the eighth-place 5,000 m finisher at last year’s world championships who won six World Cup medals last season. “You really don’t have anything to lose once you’re qualified. I think once I’m (in Sochi) it will

photos: dave holland

be a lot less nerve-racking than these past Olympic trials.” De Haitre plans to take the same approach to the Olympics as he did the trials. “This is going to be a learning experience,” says the Béatrice-Desloges high school grad. “I think the Olympics are a big step. It would be nice to have one in the bank so in the future I’m more prepared for it.” A handful of other local speed skaters fell short of Olympic qualification. Leo Landry finished seventh in the men’s 5000m and 10,000m, Lauren McGuire placed sixth in the women’s 3,000 m and 5,000 m, while Isabelle Weidemann was seventh in the 3,000 and fourth in the 5,000.


JUNIOR RAVENS PROGRAM Carleton University’s Junior Ravens program gives young players the opportunity to work with the Carleton Ravens varsity coaches and players in a range of development programs in four different sports. • All takes place at Carleton University’s top-class sporting facilities • All sessions coached by Ravens’ varsity coaches and players

Three other local athletes • 4 different sports: Basketball, Football, Fencing and Soccer were officially nominated to • Focus on age-appropriate graduated skill development as well as the Canadian Olympic team in staying fit, having fun and making friends December. Goaltender Geneviève Lacasse, who made 27 saves ATHLETICS.CARLETON.CA/CAMPS in Canada’s 3-2 fourth-straight 613-222-4353 exhibition game loss to USA on Dec. 30 at the Air Canada Centre, was named to 2 the Canadian women’s SPRING SESSION & MARCH BREAK CAMP: K ND hockey team, bobsledAN LOC REGISTER NOW! ( 9 der Cody Sorensen 3 H ATA AT T learned he’ll make his O IN NOION OP ES Olympic debut in Sochi EN RO RTHIN before posting a fifthFE AD B. ) place result at a World 1! Cup event in Germany, and Dawn McEwen, the lead for Jennifer Jones’ Winnipeg-based rink, won the Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic team curling trials, ahead of Rachel Homan’s Ottawa Curling Club rink, the thirdplace finishers.



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The Ottawa Sportspage is printed on the first Tuesday of the month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locally-owned and operated publisher of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper & Local sports news from high schools, universities, community clubs and elite amateur sport is the name of our game. We’re at The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community.

City Councillors Tim Tierney, Rainer Bloess, Bob Monette, Peter Hume, Jan Harder, Katherine Hobbs & Mark Taylor, Members of Provincial Parliament Grant Crack & Madeleine Meilleur, and Photographer Dean Joncas.

1st Tumbler girl reaches Elite Canada By Dan Plouffe

Julie Anne Fiset wrote a little piece of history for the Tumblers Gymnastics Centre in December as she became the first female gymnast from the Orleans club to qualify for Elite Canada, which will take place Feb. 6-9 in Gatineau. “I was surprised and very happy,” recalls Fiset, who posted an Elite Canada qualifying standard score and finished fourth allaround in the Novice National category at a December Ontario qualifying competition in Burlington. “I used to watch (Elite Canada), and now I’m in it, so I’m excited about that.” The 12-year-old is looking forward to competing the event close to home “because my parents can stay and watch me,” she adds, “and I like better sleeping in my bed.” Along with Fiset’s ground-breaking result, the Tumblers’ Avery Rosales and Juliette Chapman qualified for January’s National Stream Cup in Montreal with their respective second- and fourth-place results in the prenovice event. The Tumblers enjoyed strong results in provincial categories as well, including Alex Cameron’s double-gold medal performance from the vault and floor events in the Level 8, Age 11 competition. “I was really happy,” signals Cameron, who’s quickly learned to enjoy earning success on the competitive provincial circuit. “It’s always a challenge and I like

Combined with men’s gymnasts who have also stepped onto the national stage in recent years, the accomplishments are also a feather in the cap, or perhaps a parting gift, for Tumblers general manager and coach Karl Balisch, who will begin a new job in mid-January as Gymnastics Canada’s Program Director – Artistic Gymnastics. “I’m proud of everything the club has achieved,” says Balisch. “There are so many good, talented kids in this club. I have all the faith in the world that we’re going to see them competing at national championships and Elite Canadas.”

Julie Anne Fiset.


photo: dan plouffe

challenges.” Having athletes excel at national and top provincial levels represents a major milestone for the club and is “very rewarding” in the eyes of Tumblers women’s artistic program manager Alina Florea. “From zero and low-level provincial kids, we now have a national-level athlete who qualified for Elite Canada,” marvels Florea, saluting Tumblers coaching staff, parents and athletes for their commitment. “It takes years – we’ve been trying to develop this program for three years, and now it’s our fourth year. It was shorter than I thought it would be.”

Ottawa Gymnastics Centre athlete Sarah Stacey was the allaround champion in the National Open class, while OGC’s Mackenzie Capretta also earned a National Stream Cup position by winning the Pre-Novice Aspire competition. Other all-around champions at provincial championships qualifiers included Olympia’s Emily Urbisci and OGC’s Amanda Henderson and Catarina Musca. Both competitors in high-performance categories at last year’s national championships, Jaroslav Hojka of OGC and Sam Zakutney of National Capital are also expected to compete at Elite Canada, while OGC’s Taylor Jackle Spriggs, Bruno Webster and Matthew Frosst qualified to represent Team Ontario for their Feb. 19-23 tour competition in Las Vegas.

New trampoline digs in Kanata North & Gloucester

Two new trampoline facilities are set to open in Ottawa on opposite sides of the city, with Olympia Gymnastics opening a second location in Kanata North and Spring Action moving to Gloucester. “The demand is so big in North America for trampoline,” says Olympia executive manager Dezso Mesko. “It’s very popular.” Olympia’s new digs on Hines Rd. will be exclusively a trampoline and tumbling facility, featuring multiple trampolines, related sport-specific equipment, and a tumble-track, which is currently en route from the U.S. in anticipation of a February start to programming. At 3,000 square feet, the space is about half the size of Olympia’s Iber Rd. location between Kanata and Stittsville, where the club’s artistic gymnastics programs will continue to be housed. “(Kanata North) is a growing area,” Mesko indicates, noting many customers from Kanata North now have an option a bit closer to home. “There are lots of new developments.” Sport and recreation opportunities don’t always keep up with the home construction, so the plan for the Kanata North trampoline facility is to again fill a community need where there was previously

file photo

a void, he adds. There are no immediate plans for competitive trampoline programs, states Mesko, who plans to bring in participants first and then grow step by step. “If there’s demand for competitive programs – like there was at Olympia Gymnastics – there will be a stream for those kinds of activities,” he underlines. “The big goal is to train the kids to stay safe on this equipment and to carry on the benefits of exercise on the trampoline.” More details about trampoline programs and the new location will be unveiled at Olympia’s open house on Jan. 19 from 1-4 p.m. at 93 Hines Rd. Meanwhile, Gloucester

North will welcome Spring Action Trampoline to the Canotek Business Park in the new year, as the club moves out of its long-time basement gymnasium in Lowertown, which was sold by the building owners and is now slated for demolition in favour of new condominiums. “We’d been in that location a long time and we’d kind of outgrown it,” says Sean McManus, who runs Spring Action along with his wife, Heather Ross-McManus, a former Olympian and now trampoline coach. Neighbouring the GCGC artistic gymnastics club, Spring Action’s new space is roughly the same size as its old location, but offers an improved layout, which will permit the addition of a foam pit, most significantly. “That’s really going to enhance our program, especially for the high-end athletes, but also for the younger ones too because it’s a lot of fun,” McManus indicates, noting the value of the foam pit for athletes such as freestyle skiers, snowboarders and divers trying new skills. “I think the location is going to be awesome,” McManus highlights. “It’s just a beautiful site with big windows and natural light all in the building.” —Dan Plouffe




Boasting a modern look, an awe-inspiring entranceway and bright open sports facilities, the $43 million Richcraft Recreation Complex in Kanata North officially opened to the public in December. The 90,000-square foot building includes a 25-metre, eight-lane indoor pool, two full gymnasiums, a fitness centre and studios, plus a water pad, basketball court, skate park and an artificial turf field with lighting outdoors. The facility, which received several upgrades thanks to a $1.2 million fundraising effort led by Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, offers a wide range of programs such as swimming, badminton, cheerleading and yoga.


The 2nd-annual Do It For Daron Hockey Day in Kanata took place on Dec. 21 at the Bell Sensplex. An alumni game was held prior to the Ottawa Senators vs Nepean Wildcats Provincial Women’s Hockey League main event. Nepean shut down the Sens and scoring machine Rebecca Leslie in the hard-fought contest to earn a 1-0 win, with goaltender Kira Bombay recording her fifth shutout in 12 starts to improve her league-leading goals-against-average to .71. In November, Leslie was Ontario Red’s leading goal scorer en route to a gold medal win at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Calgary. The Sens’ Amanda Titus and Wildcats’ Sam Cogan also celebrated gold at the event, while Nepean’s Josiane Pozzebon and Lindsay Eastwood won silver for Ontario Blue. The Wildcats (15-1-4) own the PWHL’s top winning percentage. Ottawa is 11-7-2.


Nepean Nighthawks club members will occupy a full third of Canadian roster spots for the Feb. 4-8 Pan American men’s youth championship in Puerto Rico, which serves as a qualifier for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China. Forward Rohan Chopra, goalkeeper Liam Manning and midfield/defender Braedon Muldoon were amongst nine players chosen from 20 athletes who were identified at selection camps to play at the competition that will feature a modified “Hockey 5s” game.


The Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club won the right to host the July 19-20 2014 Athletics Ontario championships in December. Now dubbed “Athletics Week in Ottawa,” the event will come on the heels of the July 16-18 Panamerican Combined Events Cup, which will also serve as the Canadian combined events championship, and a July 16 high-performance twilight meet. Over 700 athletes and coaches are expected to attend the competitions at Terry Fox Athletic Facility.


Three players connected to FC Capital United made some noise aboard to close out 2013. Geneviève Gignac and Arielle Kabangu – who was also named Sunshine State Conference player, offensive and rookie of the year – both received all-region honours in their rookie years at St. Leo University in Florida, while Cap U’s Hayden Simmond-O’Grady, a prospect to join Toronto FC’s academy, was invited to the Canadian U17 national team’s training camp in Qatar.


Ottawa native Jennifer Leak and uOttawa masters student Jared Kope will head to Zambia and Mozambique respectively as part of Commonwealth Games Canada’s SportWORKS program. They will each spend a year helping the African nations’ Commonwealth Games Associations. The project’s ultimate goal is to change lives through sport.

Capital Wave host new league By Dan Plouffe The Capital Wave Water Polo club hosted a set of weekend Canadian Women’s Super 8 League games in mid-December for the first time ever in Ottawa. It was their third weekend of action against eastern conference opponents from York in Toronto and Dollarddes-Ormeaux and CAMO in Montreal. While the scores haven’t always been pretty for the Wave – who own easily the youngest roster in the 18-and-under developmental league – head coach Celso Rojas remains quite pleased to see his second-year club included in the new league. “It’s tough, but I like it,” Rojas signals, noting the team tries to focus on 2-3 key areas

each game. “Our goal is to get experience. And they are improving.” Even if their best opponents sometimes wind up on top by a double-digit margin, Wave player and Canadian youth national team athlete Megan MacCormack values the experience nonetheless. “It might get frustrating, but you’ve got to keep your cool and focus on the game,” says the Grade 11 Holy Trinity Catholic High School student. “This is really helping me to achieve my goal of making a higherlevel national team.” MacCormack is one of just five Wave players who are even within two years of the league’s targeted 18U age range. “There are a lot of young kids, but they’re progressing really well,” she highlights. “In

OSU Force Academy Zone

OSU coaches rise along with players

Strong coaching from top to bottom has long been a signature ingredient in the rise of Ottawa South United Soccer Club, and the club is now executing initiatives to lift the coaching bar even higher to aid players exceling at greater heights. “Society and culture for football is changing,” signals OSU Club Head Coach Paul Harris, who previously coached at Everton FC’s youth academy. “The players are craving more now. They want more coaching and more hours and more opportunities. Before it was twice a week and a game, and they didn’t really see anything coming from soccer. “To see (former OSU and now Millwall FC academy player) Kris Twardek go and make it with the Czech national team, and Vana Markarian going to play for Canada’s national team, it seems more achievable for our aspiring players. “But if you’re going to hit those heights, you’ve got to practice more, and the level of our coaches has to be able to cater to them. We have to keep on being progressive and better ourselves.” In that pursuit, all OSU Force Academy staff coaches for the coming season, a group of around 20, are now certified with a minimum of Pre-‘B’ provincial licenses – a distinction few other clubs in the province can claim for their competitive programs. Included in that group are Tracy Vaillancourt and Stefanie Lynch, who will take part in an Ontario Soccer Association’s mentorship program designed to encourage more female coaches to participate and progress in coaching. OSU’s Craig Stead recently reached an impressive certification level as well, earning his national ‘B’ license at age 22. Stead works with many of the club’s younger players in the Force’s pre-academy. “That would also be quite unique having someone of that qualification working with that younger age group,” highlights Harris, explaining that many clubs sometimes overlook this important developmental stage for players to learn fundamental skills and place their top coaches with the older groups.

CHARTRAND from p.1

photo: dan plouffe

the next couple years, I think we’re going to get a lot better.” With age and her national team pedigree, MacCormack is one of the team’s leaders who have taken on mentoring roles with the younger players. “They’ve got a lot more experience, so they can tell me what to do,” explains 14-yearold Wave prospect Emma McGinnis. “They’re kind of like my older sister in a way.” The Super-8 league finals will be April 11-13 in Calgary.

Gabrielle Daleman ranks a step ahead of Chartrand at the moment based on her silver medal win at last year’s nationals, her sixth-place finish at the world juniors, and bronze medal performance on this season’s ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. “I try not to look at people in Canada,” Chartrand explains. “I try to look at the Grand Prix circuit and world competitions, because that’s where I want to be. I don’t want to be on top of Canada, I want to be on top of the world.” In the fall, Chartrand was fourth at a Junior Grand Prix event in Latvia, and seventh in Belarus, which came on the heels of nightmarish travel. “I had really tough luck in Belarus. It was just bad all around really. The travel was

Already accomplished at the top provincial level, OSU’s Abe Osman and Widdgin Bernard plan to upgrade to national ‘B’ certification to coach future OSU sides in the new Ontario Player Development League.

REC/DEVELOPMENT ENTHUSIASM HIGH OSU has also enacted numerous initiatives to “reach out to the masses” and provide coaching development through all levels of the 6,500-player club. OSU’s Coaching Development Program recently finished a successful first season of formal operation. The CDP allows OSU’s older youth players to get their first taste of coaching through classroom sessions, learning and developing session plans at the Force Academy’s Centre of Excellence, and getting paired up with more experienced coaches to call the shots for teams from the sidelines during the season. The club now owns three learning facilitators who can deliver an OSA course for coaches to obtain their first credentials locally. And OSU is working with world-class software to produce further online materials for coaches featuring training session plans and documentation broken down into age ranges, developed with input and ideas from around 100 leading coaches. All in all, “it gives thousands of players a better experience for the summer,” indicates Harris. With a record turnout for pre-season recreational and developmental coaching clinics, the UEFA ‘A’ license holder has witnessed a widespread desire for improvement throughout the club’s coaching ranks. “I think I’m very lucky. I think I inherited a very good, committed, tight-knit staff,” Harris adds. “(The club’s leaders) have gotten a good group of coaches together that are on the same page and want to be part of something special. But there’s always room for improvement, and the club doesn’t want to stand still.”

bad, the jetlag was bad,” recalls Chartrand, who experienced delays on every flight, flights being rerouted mid-air, and lost luggage on both legs of her trip. “I was really lucky that I’d carried on my skates and my competition dress and music.” She’s thankful there’s no chance of a similar scenario come nationals in Ottawa. “I hope Alaine will feel more comfortable,” Birinberg says. “Everyone will support her and cheer for her. It will be different. I hope it helps, but there’s pressure too, to skate in front of the audience who love you.” Chartrand will be the lone athlete out of 13 nationals competitors with Ottawa roots to compete in the senior-level events. Nepean’s Josh Allen and Andriyko Goyaniuk, Christian Reekie of the Gloucester Skating Club and

Cameron Hines of the Minto Skating Club will compete in novice men’s, Minto’s Alexis Dion in novice women’s, Minto’s Vanessa Chartrand and Reekie in novice dance, Minto’s Hugh Brabyn-Jones in junior men’s, Minto’s Zoe Gong in junior women’s, and Minto’s Samantha Glavine/ Jeff Hough will take part in junior dance, along with former Rideau Skating Club athletes Melinda and Andrew Meng. The senior competitions – featuring the star attractions of Vancouver 2010 Olympic ice dance gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, reigning men’s world champion Patrick Chan, and 2013 pairs world bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford – are Friday and Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre, with the novice and junior athletes taking centre-stage early the next week.



17-yr-old carves out Canada sledge spot in time for Sochi By Josh Bell Ben Delaney has tasted nothing but gold in his short career with the Canadian sledge hockey team, and the 17-year-old has no plans for that to change as he sits poised to make his Paralympic Games debut in Sochi. Delaney scored in his senior international debut back in August en route to winning the Four Nations Cup, and most recently earned gold at Canada’s final major event before the Sochi Paralympics, Hockey Canada’s World Sledge Hockey Challenge, which took place Dec. 1-7 in Toronto. “It was awesome to win that medal,” recounts Delaney, who celebrated a 3-1 victory over USA in the tournament final alongside teammate Marc Dorion of Ottawa. “Beating the States was just an incredible feeling,” he adds. “I’m still really new to the team, so winning with the group was really special. It was great to win that, and in Canada too.” Delaney, the youngest member of Team Canada, has enjoyed a remarkable rise to the national team. The former Orleans Barbarians player is barely two years removed from ‘C’level competition with the Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario association, but quickly attracted attention thanks to his offensive talents.

Still a high school student at St. Pius in Nepean, Ben Delaney’s winter break plans now include a trip to Sochi, Russia. The 17-yearold talent has emerged onto the Canadian sledge hockey national team just before the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

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“I never thought that I would get this far, this early,” details Delaney, who lost a leg to bone cancer when he was 12. “I was hoping to make Team Canada at some point, it’s always been my dream, but I never thought I was going to get as far as I have.” Now 26, Team Canada veteran Dorion serves the perfect role model for Delaney, having made his debut with the national team at age 15.

Fury U16 boys settle for Super-Y Finals silver

“Because Marc lives in Ottawa, I get tips from him all the time,” says the St. Pius X High School student who’s known Dorion well for about three years. “He teaches me tons, I’ve learned so much from him. I probably wouldn’t be on Team Canada if it wasn’t from him.” The mentor says the key to Delaney’s early success is his drive. “What’s really allowed him to stand out is

Nepean stands up to Finland’s best at ringette worlds By Dan Plouffe

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By Jose Colorado The Ottawa Fury under-16 team became only the second Canadian boys’ team to reach the championship game of the USL Super Y-League Finals, but the distinction wasn’t much consolation after falling 1-0 in the big game in early December. “It was really disappointing losing in the finals,” says coach Jason Da Costa, who was nonetheless pleased with his team’s efforts at the North American league’s championship tournament. “The boys’ focus all weekend was unbelievable,” he adds. “Off the pitch, everything was structured around being ready: eating right, receiving physiotherapy, getting enough sleep – I was blown away. “A lot of teams were there on vacation. You

could tell we were there led offensively by Jacob to win a championship.” Powell and Michael The Fury beat Flor- Rouleau with three ida, Maryland and New goals apiece. “The game Jersey teams in the before our semi-finals preliminary round and game went into penalthen advanced to the fi- ties. Then we went into nal match after a hard- penalties for our semi-fifought penalty-kicks nals game. We were out victory over Ontario in the hot sun for close rival Toronto Lynx in to six hours the day bethe semis. fore the finals.” file photo “The semi took a The team should lot out of us and the take pride in its silver first half (in the finals) medal win, their coach showed that,” Da Costa emphasizes. notes. “We were slug“When we look back gish.” at this in a few years, The Fury conceded we’ll realize it was quite the only goal of the an achievement,” Da game against Washing- Costa signals. ton, DC’s Real MaryAnother local team land towards the end of also won a sliver medal their lackluster first half. in Florida this past The Fury came back in month. The Ottawa the second half with a South United 1999 girls better effort but couldn’t beat New York and Tenfind an equalizing goal. nessee, tied Florida and “Honestly, I feel fell 1-0 to a Virginia like the difference was team in the final of the they just had a better U15 girls’ championship schedule,” maintains Da red division at the DisCosta, whose team was ney College Showcase.

that he’s young and he has the energy,” Dorion signals. “He’s an absolute workhorse, you ask him to work on certain things and he’s willing to try it. He’s a hard worker, he has the speed and he’s getting a little bit bigger. I think all of that combined, for him will all play to his advantage.” Dorion, who registered an assist in the Challenge championship game, is enjoying his relatively new role as a team leader. “It’s my time now to give back to the program,” highlights the Bourget, Ont. native. “I want Ben to be as comfortable with it as possible. Just sharing my experiences with him will hopefully ease the nervousness that he might have going into something brand new and something as big as the Paralympics.” Both players feel very confident heading into the Paralympics. They’ll play three exhibition games against USA in January and then it’s the big show. “I truly feel that we are the best team in the world,” indicates Delaney, who picked up an assist while playing in three of Canada’s five games at the Challenge. “When we play our ‘A’ game, no one can beat us,” he adds. “We have an amazing team and we have some incredibly talented players. We have great chemistry. If we go out there and give 110%, we’re going to win gold, no doubt.”

Numerous Ottawa players had to taste the sting of silver at the Dec. 31Jan. 4 world ringette championships in North Bay, but nevertheless experienced playing in a pair of thrilling championship contests against powerhouse Finland. “It was almost as exciting as we could have hoped for,” says Lary Allen, coach of the Nepean Ravens who acted as Team Canada’s under-19 entry. “The only thing more exciting would have been a reversal of the score.” The Canadian U19s lost 9-4 to U19 Finland in their round robin meeting, but very nearly turned the tables in the U19 gold medal game. Nepean’s signature Karli O’Brien to Sarah-Lynne Bégin play struck for two goals in a row to give Canada a 3-1 lead, but Finland then counted five consecutive markers towards the end of the third period and the start of the fourth and went on to win 6-4. “We couldn’t have hoped for a better effort,” Allen signals. “We were tremendously pleased,” In the senior-level competition, Ottawa native Kelsey Youldon led the way offensively for Team Canada with a goal and two assists in the second game of their best-of-3 world championship series against Finland, but it wasn’t enough to push them past the four-time champs as Canada fell 7-5 on the heels of an 8-4 Game 1 loss. Allen identified two key reasons why the Finns were a step ahead –

geography and money. It’s possible to pick the best players in Canada to play at the event, he explains, but if they can’t get together because they’re at different ends of the country, it makes their task more difficult. “When you make the national team in Finland, that is what you do,” Allen adds, unlike Canadian players who balance full-time school or work commitments with their ringette aspirations. In Finland, it’s easier for players to centralize in the smaller country, and they hold tryouts to be part of a national program that starts at age 14, Allen details. The deck was especially stacked against his Nepean Ravens, with players from one club and one corner of the city taking on all of Finland’s best. Usually Canada enters a U19 team made up of players from across the country, but with the irregular timing of the U19 event to run alongside the senior worlds, Ringette Canada couldn’t assemble a national team, so allowed the reigning Belle ‘AA’ national-champion Ravens to enter. “We received the invitation with trepidation,” Allen recalls. “We were

Karli O’Brien (right).

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a little concerned with how we’d be able to compete, but as it turned out, we were able to adjust and be competitive.” The Ravens will carry the worlds experience forward this season, their coach pledges, while holding lasting memories and silver medals from their moment wearing the maple leaf. “They were totally appreciative of the opportunity and the honour that was given to them,” notes Allen, a ringette volunteer of 25 years. “For oldtimers like myself, being in the birthplace of ringette for the sport’s 50th anniversary in North Bay was special for us too. “The enthusiasm was unbelievable. There were times when you couldn’t hear what your players were saying because of the excitement in the stands. “It was extremely, extremely exciting to be there and be a part of it.”

Ottawa Sportspage  
Ottawa Sportspage  

The January 2014 edition of the Ottawa Sportspage. Featuring: +Canadian Tire National Skating Championships +Sochi 2014 +Bell Capital Cup