Ottawa Sportspage

Page 1

the heartbeat of the ottawa sports Community from disaster to the PodiUm

sportsottawa.com

vol. 8

may 2012

Ottawa readies for Race Weekend

P. 12

Sofia Baggio and her family lost their home to fire just before provincials, but the young gymnast still earned bronze.

ottawa Contenders kiCkoff

From the masses...

P. 6

No longer just battling to avoid relegation, many Ottawa soccer teams are eyeing the top of the OYSL standings.

tayler makes olymPiC waves

P. 11

The young phenom shocked the vets at the Canadian whitewater kayak trials to earn an unexpected trip to London.

ramPaging the reCord books

P. 2

Ottawa native Josh Cassidy set a wheelchair marathon world record in Boston and now wants London 2012 medals.

photos provided

1 of 6 events on the May 26-27 Tamarack Homes Ottawa Race Weekend schedule, the Y Kids Marathon challenges Grade 3-8 students to exercise regularly. Full story on p. 10.

Canadian Olympic marathoners-to-be Coolsaet & Gillis to race in Ottawa 10k en route to London By Ian Ewing For Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis, the road to London passes through Ottawa. The Olympic marathoners will compete in the Saturday, May 26 Tamarack Homes Ottawa Race Weekend 10K race in the lead-up to this summer’s London 2012 Games. “If I could choose any 10K to put in my schedule, it’d be the first one,” Coolsaet says, calling the Ottawa event the most competitive road race in Canada at that distance. “Thankfully, it does come at a good time.” Gillis and Coolsaet are training partners in Guelph and form twothirds of Canada’s Olympic marathon team. Joining them is Kingston’s Dylan Wykes, who qualified for his first Games in his final opportunity last month. All three are close as friends and teammates. Coolsaet credits their team dynamic for their faster times. “In training every day, it’s very important. There’s definitely been workouts where I’ve struggled, or he’s struggled, and the other one can set the pace,” the Hamiltonian said of Gillis. “We push each other a lot. That’s what’s really helped us improve and get to the next level.” That level is a tough Olympic qualifying time. Canada hadn’t sent marathoners to the previous two Olympics

in Athens and Beijing, and when the London qualifying time of 2:11:30 was set, many in the running community expected that trend to continue. But once Coolsaet went under the standard at the 2010 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the bar didn’t seem so high. Gillis, the only member with Olympic experience – a 33rd-place finish in the 10,000 m at the Beijing Games – followed suit at the same event in 2011. Wykes did it in April in Rotterdam. Canada will send the full complement of three marathoners for the first time in 16 years, in part because of their mutual support and drive. “It’s a way better atmosphere than when you feel like you’re doing it alone,” Coolsaet explains.

ottawa 1 of 2 Pre-london raCes Marathon-specific training begins this month, 14 weeks ahead of the big day. They’ll compete in only two races between now and the Aug. 12 Olympic marathon. After the Ottawa 10k, they’ll race the Vancouver half-marathon at the end of June. “If you go too long without competing, you can lose a bit of that edge,” Coolsaet notes. All three will head to Germany ahead of the Olympics to acclimatize and participate in a training camp. RUN OTTAWA continued on p.10

... to the elite.


ELITE

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

2

Ottawa Lion world’s new fastest man on wheels

25 seconds entered the record books on April 16. “I don’t know. I feel like there’s more I still need to do. “Nothing really changed in my performance – I’ve been doing this on my own training, so it’s more of an official testament to all the work I’ve put in. It’s great. I’m proud of it and I’m happy for it, but I want to increase it more already and I want to keep the record as long as I can.”

By Dan Plouffe

Arriving back home with a fresh world record from the Boston Marathon in his back pocket, Ottawa-born wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy received the full star treatment when he competed in the 2012 Rolling Rampage on the Hill race on April 26 around the front lawn of Parliament Hill. Youngsters from local schools cheered on the athlete they’d learned all about, asking for autographs, posing for photos and making posters for the 27-year-old Ottawa Lions Trackand-Field Club member. “When there’s kids out, there’s just such a great energy,” smiles Cassidy, who won the 10 km event handily, officially finishing over a minute ahead of his nearest challenger in 23:50.71. “It’s great that our new generation is getting to see this sport.” The men’s field included several top racers from Korea, Japan and New Zealand. Five-time Paralympic medalist Diane Roy repeated as champion in the women’s race. But awareness was the event’s main purpose. Earlier races were held for parlia-

Golden London threat

Fresh off a flight back to Canada after London, England’s marathon, Josh Cassidy was easily victorious in the 2012 Rolling Rampage April 26 on Parliament Hill photo: dan plouffe

mentarians and elementary schools, featuring twice as many competitors as last year’s inaugural event at the Hill. “You couldn’t do this at the White House, could you?” notes Lions club head coach Andy McInnis. “This is one of the great benefits of being Cana-

dian – the freedom that our parliament and government allows for right on the front lawn.”

Cassidy flies to global mark The reality of his Boston performance still hadn’t set in when he arrived

Kidney Fitness Project race a hit By Anne Duggan

In only its second year, Alive To Strive’s 2012 race has risen to promising new heights, attracting just under 500 runners to the Sunday, April 29 event that seeks to promote an active lifestyle for kidney disease patients. The Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project is a non-profit organization co-founded by local high jumper Marie-Eve Chainey, a kidney disease patient herself, and triathlete Nicholas Newell. Participants competed in 1, 5, or 10 kilometre races, with registration fees and fundraising contributions used to support various charities and to supply weight loss and fitness grants to local dialysis patients. Chainey became personally involved with kidney disease 11 years ago, when her kidneys stopped working due to a rare blood disorder called Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. The fourth-year University of Ottawa nursing student continues to be dependent on dialysis since a kidney transplant operation could retrigger her illness. She is waiting for medication that prevents this from happening to be approved by the Canadian government. It is the team aspect of the Alive to Strive event that appeals most to Chainey. Although involved in an individual sport for most of her life, she sees what teamwork can do. “In the 5k Team Challenge, the four best times on each team are combined for a result,” explains Chainey, highlighting the key contributions of local sponsors Fresenius Medical Care Canada, Alexion Pharma Canada, Gambro and Sanofi. “Lots of people are training just for this event as many of the teams are work-related. It brings in people who don’t usually run.” The team challenge is another area where Alive to Strive saw a growth explosion – up

in Ottawa on the heels of an appearance in the London marathon. “The win set in quick, but the record hadn’t, and it still hasn’t. It still sounds kind of strange to me hearing it,” says Cassidy, whose groundbreaking time of one hour, 18 minutes and

With plans to enter the 800 m, 1,500 m, 5,000 m and marathon at the London Paralympics, Cassidy promises that his Boston win isn’t at all a case of peaking too early in the season. “It was a course that was good to me on a good day, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” maintains Cassidy, who enjoyed the help of a tailwind in Boston, but didn’t have the regular advantage of drafting since he led all alone from the 5 km mark of the race. “The goal for London has got to be gold,” Cassidy adds. “Whether it happens or not, you’ve got to do everything you can to try and make it reality.”

52 wks + 52 yrs old = 52 marathons By Anne Duggan

The familyfriendly 1k race is the starting point for many Alive to Strive participants who are battling kidney disease. The event encourages patients to be physically active, and many then tackle the longer 5 and 10 km distances in the future. photo: dan plouffe

from three entries to around two dozen this year. Chainey, who worked five hours a day for the past four months to organize the event, credits the team of nine volunteers in her organization, the Kidney Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Foundation and the Kidney Research Centre of Ottawa for the second race’s success. In the 10 km race, Ottawa’s Josh Karanja repeated as champion, covering the course that began at Terry Fox Athletic Facility and went along Colonel By Drive in 30 minutes, 37.5 seconds, while Kerri LaBrecque won the women’s event in 38:01.8. Fifteen-year-olds Carlos Vervloet and Dylan Caulfield posted respective times of 18:19.3 and 19:19.2 in the 5k event behind winner Kyle Mackie in 18:03.9.

Every Sunday of 2012, local runner Sonja Adcock will start her morning at 4 a.m. with two slices of bread, a Tim Hortons coffee, three Timbits and a marathon. That’s because Adcock has discovered, through trial and error, that 42.195 km is her body’s optimal distance. Before embarking on her current plan to run 52 marathons this year, she had completed more than 20 marathons, four ultra-marathons and four ironman triathlons since 1994. Her only injuries throughout this time came as a result of training and participating in races longer than the official marathon distance. So, last December, while contemplating her 52nd birthday, Adcock decided to run her favourite distance for the 52 Sundays of a year, beginning on her birthday. Now, as she nears the halfway point of her year-long plan, she has learned two important things: the power of determination and the importance of friends. “It’s a fact that I am 52. But if you put your mind to something, it can be done. Age is not a factor,” explains Adcock, a director at Public Works and Government Services Canada. Adcock will admit to two difficult mornings when she had trouble getting out of bed. This past Christmas morning was a snowy and lonely one but, she “just knew I had to go and do my marathon.” This was also her mantra for a recent morning when the time change made it extra challenging. Most of Adcock’s Sunday mornings are not so lonely as that Christmas morning. Ottawa’s Arboretum marks the midpoint of her run, and it is where she is joined at 8 a.m. by members of the Sunday morning training group from the

Ottawa Race Weekend is only one of 52 stops for Sonja Adcock, who is running a marathon every Sunday of the year as a personal challenge while also helping fundraise for the Snowsuit Fund.

photo: kronickphotography.com

Run Ottawa Club. “I love the group. They make all the difference,” enthuses Adcock, whose most recent stops were the Two Oceans marathon in South Africa, followed by Milan and Rome. Adcock has managed to include one more 52 in her year of weekly marathons. As part of her journey, she is raising $5,200 for the Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa. She has raised almost half this amount through her website and through personal donations. To read Adcock’s blog and donate online, visit theressomethingaboutrunning.com


Nepean champs: (From left, top row to bottom) Trainer Trina Lepine, Madeleine Lemaire, coaches Chris Armstrong, Ron Lemaire, Dave Gibbons and Clayton Lepine, Tara Lepine, Katrina Caminiti, Mackenzie Erbach, Sierra Kent, trainer Joanne Erbach, Sydney Forbes and Cassie Bohm. Hunter Gibbons, Taylor Rocco, Sarah Stimpson, Leah Mercer, Emily Graves, Sarah Byford, Grace Armstrong and Sarah Moore, plus goalie Marina Martin.

By Dan Plouffe Two local teams that knew each other very well rose to the top of the Peewee ‘C’ crop, as the Nepean Wildcats knocked off the Kanata Rangers 1-0 in April’s Ontario Women’s Hockey Association provincial championships in Toronto. “It was a dream season before we won gold,” says Nepean coach Chris Armstrong, noting that his players progressed from the house league ranks to the bottom of the competitive standings and now to the top of Ontario. “It’s just been a tremendous ride for them these past three seasons.” A similar underdog scenario applied in the Wildcats’ championship game meeting with Kanata. Nepean beat Kanata twice early in the season, but had lost every game since then, including the 1-0 shootout Ottawa league final. The neighbouring clubs met in many tournament finals this season as they outdueled their provincial rivals on almost every occasion. “It was not surprising to meet

them in the finals,” highlights Rangers coach Andrew Smith, whose team had only a two-hour break following Brianna Saumure’s triple-overtime winning goal in the semi-finals. “That was a real challenge, for sure.” Decided by Wildcat Cassie Bohm’s goal, the 1-0 scoreline in the Ontario final was predictable. Nepean’s opponents fired up blanks on the scoresheet in 18 of 20 league games. That stingy trend continued at provincials until the tears of joy streamed down goalie Marina Martin’s face after the final victory. “She was just beside herself, she was just so happy,” recounts Armstrong, who shed a few tears of his own in the locker room. “It’s a long season, it’s very stressful, and you tie yourself emotionally to these little 10and 11-year-old girls. I was happy for them. It was a big moment.” Backstopped by the tandem of Tove Jacobson and Korina Joseph between the pipes, Kanata owned an equally stellar defensive record this year, establishing a new club mark for

shutouts with 38 in 50 games overall. “Our goalies are both spectacular,” notes Smith, also praising the team’s strong skaters for the standout defence. “We just have a very solid and deep team. I don’t think anyone will beat that (shutout record) any time soon. The girls are definitely proud of that. We had a phenomenal season.”

kanata wins midget Crown The Kanata Rangers also won a Midget ‘C’ gold medal at provincials, recording three wins in pool play, followed by playoff round victories over Temiskaming, North Bay and Ilderton. Nepean squeaked through pool play before a pair of playoff round wins landed them Atom ‘C’ silver, while Gloucester-Cumberland beat Kanata for bronze in the same category. The Ottawa Ice claimed Peewee ‘A’ silver and Nepean took Bantam ‘BB’ bronze, while both the Bantam and Midget ‘AA’ Kanata Ottawa Senators played strong defence to reach the medal round, finishing fourth.

Ottawa ices year with national ringette medal By Dan Plouffe The Ottawa Ice National Ringette League

team achieved its pre-season dream by winning a medal at the Canadian championships last month in Burnaby, B.C.

file photo

Doc Hockey Corner

Hurt or Injured? – That is the question.

--By Dr. Shayne Baylis, Doc Hockey You struggle to the bench and you’re out of breath and pain is radiating in the back of your thigh. It feels like a “pulled muscle” in your hamstring when you overextended lunging for the puck. The trainer asks you, ‘Are you hurt or injured?’ You contemplate the question as you walk around on your leg testing if you can balance your weight on it and if you have a good range of motion. You are asked what level of pain is it out of 10 (10 being the worst pain you have ever felt). You wait a moment - ‘3,’ you reply. You make the decision that you are hurt not injured because you can play through the pain without further long-term injury and it will not compromise your play where it might be detrimental to your team. You go out the next shift and while trying to avoid a hit, you end up colliding thigh on thigh and suffer a “charlie horse.” Once again you are hobbling to the bench. You immediately know there is trouble putting weight on your leg while walking. The familiar words come to your ear: ‘Are you hurt or injured?’ As your hockey pants are removed to take a closer look at the injured area, you can see the leg is swelled. You report your pain being a 5 or 6 out of 10. You are advised by the trainer to ice your thigh and to rest for the remainder of the game because playing will increase the risk of myositis ossificans developing in your thigh, and in addition could cause long-term disability.

The first injury is an example of something you can play through and the other incident is not to be played through.

a PrOPer retUrn FrOM inJUrY Often muscle strains in the first situation can be taped to help limit further injury and you can return to the ice. The second injury is more serious because myositis ossificans can result by deep muscle damage and blood pooling under the skin, producing calcium in the muscle because of continual trauma to the area, vigorous exercise, or deep massage. Long-term disability of the muscle can result. Treating the first injury would include a functional assessment of the individual and their range of motion, restoring range of motion through active release technique (ART), chiropractic adjustments, and massage, followed by strengthening isolated muscle (physiotherapy), and whole body strengthening (the CORE). The second injury would be treated immediately with compression, ice, elevation. Stretching would also be helpful after the acute phase of inflammation and pain has subsided. Ultrasound is also beneficial for breaking down calcium and healing injured cells. X-ray or diagnostic ultrasound should be rendered in order to ensure no calcium is present in the muscle. The biggest concern should always be longterm consequences of an injury and if one’s continual play will harm the body further. A concussion is also an injury that should not be played through because of the chance of second-impact syndrome, where the brain swells and can cause permanent brain damage and/or death. Fractures, ligament sprains and disk injuries all need to be evaluated for proper return to play. If the pain is over 5 out of 10, it is often a better idea to sit out and rest. Short-term success is no substitution for long-term health. Most importantly when you have an injury it is necessary to seek treatment to restore muscle, bone and joint integrity. Stretching and strengthening after full range of motion is achieved and the functional motion analysis is improved. When things are not improving diagnostic imaging and diagnostic tests should be ventured. Find a local ART chiropractor provider for those acute and nagging pains and get back to the game faster. Visit dochockey.ca for more information.

@doc_hockey Thigh X-ray showing Myositis Ossificans

“I’m so happy for the girls,” says Ice coach Al Bateman. “It’s a nice progression for these guys. For the last three or four years, they’ve been building towards this. Every year they get a bit more mature and they get more experience.” The Ice opened with big victories over opponents from B.C. and Cambridge, and lost only once in the round robin – against finalist Montreal – to go alongside six wins. With both of their Team Canada players injured by the time they played their eighth game in four days, the Ice “ran out of gas” and fell in the semi-final to the eventual champions from B.C. Katie Lugg trucked through a shoulder injury to score 12 points in seven games – just behind Jayme Simzer’s team-leading 10 goals and five assists – while Jenna McBride had to miss the semi due to injury. “It’s not unlike the Stanley Cup playoffs,” de-

doc hockey

scribes Bateman, saluting his team for playing its trademark hard-nosed game with strong defence and solid goaltending from the league’s award winner for top goalie, Tori Goble. “The longer the week goes, the more tired you get, and if you have any injuries, it’s hard to push through it.”

nePean ravens land bronZe It was a standout week all around for Ottawa teams as the Nepean Ravens matched the Ice’s bronze medal performance in the under-19 ‘AA’ division, while Ottawa and Nepean both tied for fifth in U16, and the Ravens U19 ‘A’ group won the Eastern Canadian championship in Quebec. “There’s a lot of good players coming up,” Bateman adds. “The level of play now at Belle is really good. We even played a few exhibition games against Nepean’s Belle ‘AA’ team, and you can’t put it on cruise against these guys.”

3 OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

COMMUNITY CLUBS Nepean & Kanata battle in OWHA final


OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

4

HIGH SCHOOLS Chase on for home OFSAA rugby spots

FURYNEWS

photo provided

The Ashbury Colts made an early-season trip to B.C. and are fired up to reclaim the national capital title.

centre in Langford. “It was crushing,� describes Boyd, whose squad had won three As the National Capital Secondary OFSAA gold and three silver in Schools Athletic Association gets set the previous six seasons and was to host the 2012 OFSAA girls’ rugby undefeated against Ottawa opponchampionships, there’s a significents since 2002. “This year I’d say ant change in landscape for the local my players are a lot more focused league – predicting the teams to repon it after what happened last year. resent Ottawa isn’t as sure-fire a bet as They’re working harder. They’re it once was. more committed. I didn’t think it was You can thank the Sir Wilfrid Laurpossible, but they are.� ier Lancers entirely for that. Last year, The Colts’ goal is to qualify for the Sir Wil girls did the impossible OFSAA and hopefully win the tourand knocked off the perennial queens nament, although Boyd recognizes of national capital rugby, the Ashbury that the first step isn’t a guarantee Colts. thanks to the improved quality of the It was a monumental upset in the local league overall. “Especially since $O YOU HAVE A TO 2009, our games YEAR OLD WHO are more competitWANTS TO HAVE A ive,� Boyd observes. SOLID TECHNICAL “There are stronger programs. St. Peter’s FOUNDATION IMPROVE THEIR SOCCER SKILLS AND really given us some good games every PREPARE FOR FUTURE time we’ve met them OPPORTUNITIES AT THE recently.� St. Peter has a COMPETITIVE good shot at claiming AND ELITE LEVELS one of the two host "RING THEM TO association berths available for ‘AAA/ AAAA’ schools at the June 4-6 OFSAA. Sacred Heart will be in the mix along with Sir Wil (despite the loss of nearly 20 players from last year’s champion team), and Nepean will also vie for their place in the s -AY TO 3EPTEMBER ‘AAA/AAAA’ provins SESSIONS PER WEEK FOR YEAR OLDS ONE SESSION cial championships. A WEEK FOR YEAR OLDS s FOR YEAR OLDS AND FOR YEAR OLDS The OFSAA-elis 0ROGRAMS OFFERED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF .ATIONAL " ,ICENSED gible ‘A/AA’ ranks #LUB (EAD #OACH 4RAIAN -ATEAS are slimmer, although s 2EGISTER ONLINE WWW FCCAPITALUNITED COM YDP? HTML quality entries can still be expected as two of &OR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Elmwood, Ridgemont and Merivale will represent Ottawa at Twin Elm Rugby Park. Another 25 girls’

By Dan Plouffe

semi-finals for the Lancers, who’d dropped into Tier 2 only two seasons before that after losing “70-something to nothing� to Colts, coach Ryan Hatfield remembers. “It just all fell into place,� recalls Hatfield, whose team went on to beat St. Peter in an overtime city final. “It was absolutely amazing. It was just one of those magical years.� Naturally, it’s not as fond a memory for Ashbury coach Jen Boyd, whose squad recently returned from a preseason tour to B.C. where they visited a pair of alumni – Julianne Zussman and Shannon Kane, who now train at the Rugby Canada high-performance

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teams will participate in Tier 2 this season – an indication of the sport’s popularity despite taking place in springtime alongside girls’ soccer and touch football. “You can’t tackle in basketball and soccer and I got all kinds of foul calls, so I had to do rugby as a way to get rid of that aggression,� Nepean player Maddy Harris laughs as she explains her rationale for trying rugby as a Grade 9. “And Nepean’s team is really great. I found we’re a really tight-knit unit.�

photo: dan plouffe


SPORTSPAGE SNAPSHOTS

5

EAGLES NEST BUILDING

The City of Ottawa and Ontario provincial governments announced a joint contribution of $390,000 towards a legacy project that will see a media building and electronic scoreboard built at South Nepean Park in advance of the 2015 Canadian Little League championships, hosted by the East Nepean Eagles. See SportsOttawa.com for more.

asselin jumps to ravens

Citing burdensome offfield responsibilities such as fundraising and alumni commitments, J.P. Asselin resigned as head coach of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football team in favour of an offensive coordinator position with the soon-to-be-reborn Carleton Ravens program under Steve Sumarah.

riding to top of world

Kanata snowboarder Natalie Allport cracked the top10 at the world junior snowboarding championships at Sierra Nevada, Spain. The 18-year-old was the top Canadian in the women’s slopestyle competition, finishing ninth overall to wrap up a season where she also placed sixth at national senior-level championships.

WATER POLO WASHOUT

Ottawa native John Conway and the Canadian men’s water polo team performed well in front of a home crowd for the lastchance Olympic qualifying tournament last month in Edmonton, but lost the one match that mattered most. With four tickets to London available, the quarter-final was the key game, which Canada lost to Greece 10-6.

paguaga rises back

Entering as an independent after splitting with her Tsunami Academy club, Alejandra Paguaga lost in the national final of the juvenile 56 kg division, but bounced back the next day to win the Canadian team trials and earn her second consecutive trip to the cadet world championships. Benjamin Christopher, Magalie Rondeau and Augusta Eve of the National Capital Wrestling Club, and Jon Cohen, Adam MacFadyen and Torin MacFadyen of Tsunami all won silver or bronze medals, while Tsunami’s Graeme Stewart won greco-roman gold.

raiders one win short

Craig Cowie and Ryan Johnston each scored, but the Nepean Raiders fell 3-2 to the Woodstock Slammers in the Fred Page Cup final on April 29. After missing the CCHL league playoffs, the host Kanata Stallions upset the Raiders in the preliminary round and earned a semi-final appearance, before Nepean won 6-1 to reach the final.

pan am jr. cycling silver

Ottawa’s Ariane Bonhomme helped Canada to a silver medal in the team pursuit event at the Pan American junior track cycling championships in Guatemala. Bonhomme also placed fourth in the 2 km individual pursuit and fifth in the points race, while fellow Ottawa athletes Vincent De Haître and Bailin Xie had top finishes of fourth and eighth respectively.

orienteering festival

Set to host the annual Ottawa O-Fest on the May long weekend, Ottawa Orienteering Club members shone at last month’s U.S. championships in Georgia. Alexander Bergstrom led the way with a pair of first places in the 17-20 age category. Visit OttawaOFest.ca for more.

rhythmic national qualifier

15-year-old Kanata Rhythmic gymnast Lucinda Nowell earned a trip to the Canadian championships later this month in Regina with a fifth-place result in the senior national level category at the Eastern Canadian championships April 18-21 in Moncton, N.B., winning bronze medals for her clubs and ball routines.

gloucester coach earns korea assignment

Gloucester Skating Club coach Cathy Skinner has been selected as an associate coach for the Canadian figure skating team that will compete in the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea. Skinner previously led Gloucester athlete Kyle Mayhew to a 2009 Special Olympics worlds silver medal in Idaho.

West Ottawa Soccer Scoop

WOSC moves boldly to develop Set to kick off its second season under the West Ottawa Soccer Club banner, Ontario’s second largest club is continuing its strong commitment to Long-Term Player Development through all ages and levels. With the merger of the Kanata and Goulbourn associations in 2010, the new club placed an emphasis on following the Canadian Soccer Association’s model for athlete development from the start. WOSC took another major step in that process with the recent hiring of Gord Macdonald as Multisport Program Manager, an innovative role created to support the principle that younger players should not be focused exclusively on soccer all of the time. “Not only does Gord’s hiring cement us as one of Canada’s premier clubs for LTPD, but it also allows us to do our part to ensure kids grow up healthy in general regardless of their chosen sport,” highlights WOSC head coach Ray Scobie. “Every sports club needs to bear some of this responsibility in terms of offerings and cooperation.” Kyle Washington, one of three WOSC lead coaches, says that in an ideal world, they might be the West Ottawa multi-sport club. “We see value in these players developing through another sport,” emphasizes Washington, whose club is offering a unique soccer and hockey summer camp where participants spend time on the ice and the pitch. Washington works mostly with players and coaches at the mini levels to ensure that each team allows athletes to grow at their own pace, since development does not occur in a linear fashion. “It’s not just about what they’re doing with the ball, it’s looking at the emotional – how do they feel while they’re doing it? What is the mechanism used to help them achieve?” explains Washington, a former University of Western Ontario Mustangs soccer captain. “Those answers need to be clear in the mind of the coach.”

Leading the LTPD charge With an approach that has now been

The WOSC U15 boys’ group is one that’s progressed along the Long-Term Player Development path the club envisions. Competing in a lower division two years ago, the team held their own after being promoted into the Level 3 regional league last season, where they then captured the 2011 ER Cup championship.

widely accepted across Ontario, the Goulbourn-Lanark under-9 division was the province’s first to not keep track of standings and goal scorers. “It got really bad press,” Washington acknowledges. “They completely trashed it – for what they perceived it to be, and not what it actually is. “But if you were going to one of those games, you would see kids putting more value on playing good soccer and trying things that they’ve learned in practice or at home, and not having any fear of failure.” Another objective for the young club is to build better links throughout WOSC, including from the recreational to the representative level, which includes around 90 teams. Washington says that some tension and distrust was evident at last year’s tryouts as players from different clubs combined into new teams, but he’s noticed a change in atmosphere in the lead-up to this campaign. “This year, the kids love each other – they all know each other, they all got to meet each other last year, they know each other’s names,” Washington says. “That alone will boost the spirit of our youth teams, and hopefully their performance as well. “At the end of the day, as long as they’re enjoying what they’re doing and they come back every single week wanting to be at practice, that is the best thing.”

Ottawa wins 2 OVA medals By Dan Plouffe

The Maverick Mustangs earned Ottawa’s top result at April’s Ontario Volleyball Association championships, capturing an 18U boys’ division silver medal. The Mavs went undefeated and won seven of eight matches in straight sets to reach the provincial final, where they faced a “legendary” Toronto Crush team that hadn’t lost a set to an Ontario opponent all season. “The guys were very satisfied,” says coach François St-Denis, crediting improved serving for their 25-21 first-set victory prior to 25-13 and 15-11 defeats. “At least it showed we can play with

them. Hopefully we put that fear into them before nationals.” Grade 12 Béatrice-Desloges high school student Bruno Lortie won the Ken Davies Memorial Award for the athlete who best demonstrates determination, leadership, athletic ability, sportsmanship and fair play – an honour his older brother received three years earlier. “I was so happy to see him – he got to see the whole ceremony on Skype,” details Lortie, who will join Jérémie at Université Laval next year and play for the Rouge et Or along with Mavs teammate Patrick Goulet.

VOLLEYBALL continued on p. 6

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

COMMUNITY CUP COMING to brewer park june 24

The 8th annual edition of a vibrant event that connects and integrates newcomers to Canada is set for Sunday, June 24 at Brewer Park. The Community Cup Tournament and Festival is built around a 7-on-7 recreational soccer competition for age 15+, but also features a variety of multicultural activities, including music and live entertainment, food, other sports, plus activities catered to kids and seniors. Visit communitycup.ca for more.


COMMUNITY CLUBS

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

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Cap U & 2 OSU teams all enter U15 boys’ OYSL Region readies for OYSL start

By Dan Plouffe As local clubs get ready to kick off their Ontario Youth Soccer League seasons near the end of May, a bit of Ottawa history will occur in the under-15 boys’ level as three local squads enter a single division. “It’s great for the region to have three Ottawa teams,” says Capital United technical director Raz El-Asmar, noting the reduced travel schedule is cause for celebration just as much as the accomplishment itself. “We’re always at a disadvantage in a sense with the Toronto teams because obviously we travel a lot more than they do.” It’s an especially unique situation at Ottawa South United as they become the first club from the nation’s capital to enter two teams in a single age level. Moving the club’s second team up to the top provincial league was a decision made largely by the 2011 regional league champs. “These guys are after a challenge – not a medal,” explains OSU Force White coach Doug MacGregor. “Going back into regional again this year would have made no sense because the team is stronger this year and the competition wouldn’t have been there.” Although they are part of the same club, the two teams run their programs largely independently. The top team is carrying a bit smaller roster to give the second team a little talent boost instead of those players sitting on sidelines, and they do occasionally play exhibition games, but they don’t spend much time training together otherwise. “We are competition against each other as well,” highlights Force Black coach Russell Shaw. “There’s no animosity. I want them to do

file photo

Ottawa soccer teams, who had a combined 60-64-36 record in OYSL play last season, are eager to continue the upward swing that has seen area clubs progress from hoping to avoid relegation to seeking division titles.

well – just not against us.” Shaw is unsure of what expectations to set for his team this season since many players may land opportunities with pro team academies, while MacGregor’s crew simply wants to compete. This year’s U15 Capital United and OSU squads both finished with strong 7-4-5 OYSL records last season, which landed them not far from the top of the division, but also quite close to the relegation line in the highly competitive league.

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“This is the deepest age group I’ve ever seen in Ottawa, but it’s also the most talented age group I’ve seen across the province,” Shaw emphasizes. “From top to bottom, every team in the provincial league is strong.”

Many other local squads are also getting ready for the start of their OYSL campaigns. OSU has OYSL challengers in each division on the boys’ side from U14 through to U17, plus three girls’ teams at the U14, U15 and U17 levels. Other clubs entered include Cumberland United (U16 boys) and the Nepean Hotspurs (U18 girls). “Our emphasis is to not play OYSL before 16 and 17 – the stage when the kids have to learn how to win and compete – but before that, they have to learn,” says Hotspurs head coach Boris Bajagic, a member of an Ontario Soccer Association committee that is revising the structure of youth soccer. “The OYSL constantly harms the interests of the players and constantly destroys talent at an unbelievable level because of emphasis on competing – not on performance, but rather in statistical records.” Capital United owns a different view however, taking pride in its club-record four OYSL entries (U16 and U17 girls, plus the U15 and U14 boys). “These are memories they’ll have forever from competing at the highest level,” adds El-Asmar, highlighting the commitment and sacrifice required from kids and parents to compete at the OYSL level. “I’m just looking forward to seeing the outcome of all the preparation we’ve put in with the kids.”

Hotspurs combine training & cleaning

photo provided

The Nepean Hotspurs U13 Level 3 soccer team extended their training session into a cleaning session in April after determining Mooney’s Bay beach could use a hand. With supplies from the City of Ottawa’s Cleaning the Capital Campaign, the girls and their parents collected six bags of trash. “I was so proud of the girls as they were dressed in their team track suits and displayed great community and team spirit,” coach Joe Martello said in a Hotspurs media release.

VOLLEYBALL: Most participants of any Canadian sport event at nationals continued from p. 5 “It’s always been my dream to play with my brother,” Lortie adds. “We’re really close.” Ottawa’s next best result came from the Fusion 16U boys, who won bronze. “Their work ethic and at-

Bruno Lortie. file photo

tention to detail was very good all the way through,” highlights coach Colin Walker, who was impressed by his players’ maturity and professionalism. “I’m really proud of the way they dedicated themselves to the weekend of volleyball.” Walker also coaches the Mavs 15U Stampede girls, who won Tier 2 gold – a notable achievement for an injury-riddled group that lost Alina Dormann midway through the event when she had to have her appendix removed. “They really had to gel and bond,” Walker notes. “They learned a lot about themselves.” The Mavericks also placed fourth in the 17U boys’ event,

and were quarter-finalists in 16U boys and 16U, 17U and 18U girls’ categories. Local teams will now head to the national championships May 17-22 in Toronto for what is being billed as the largest event in Canadian sports history, with 10,000 athletes from the 14U to senior levels set to play on 80 courts at Exhibition Place’s Direct Energy Centre. Team Canada’s Adam Simac of Ottawa will also line up in Toronto for World League play against Finland, Brazil and Poland from May 18-20, which comes just days after the NORCECA continental Olympic qualifier in California. See SportsOttawa.com for more.


By Dan Plouffe

It’s a day at the beach, but with a greater purpose than lounging around and soaking up some rays. On top of the workout required to run in the sand chasing a ball, the Lose the Shoes II 3v3 beach soccer tournament will support the Ottawa Police Athletic League, a program run by the Ottawa Boys & Girls Club that opens up sport opportunities to 400 youth per year at no charge. “Some of these kids don’t have the money to afford these competitive leagues nowadays,” notes organizer Julien Edwards, who operates Pro+ Soccer, a new soccer program focused on developing youths’ technical skills. “The idea behind it is to give all aspiring soccer players the chance to participate and train like a pro. You have to make sure everyone has the chance and you never know what could happen.” The De La Salle high school grad – who

After working with kids at the Boys & Girls Club during his time playing NCAA soccer for Drake University, Julien Edwards wanted similar opportunities to be available in Ottawa.

grew up in Gloucester playing for the Hornets and then the Fury – is living a bit of the dream at the moment. Capital City FC’s withdrawal from the Canadian Soccer League closed a door, but Edwards has instead spent time training with the Guyana men’s national team for their World Cup qualifier – an opportunity available thanks to his grandparents’ birthplace.

photo: dan plouffe

But Edwards is keen to get back to Mooney’s Bay beach for the June 16 event that he hopes to see grow in its second year. On top of other fundraising initiatives, the tournament will collect a $20 fee per participant over age nine (which includes a hotdog, pop and team T-shirt) and give those funds to the Boys & Girls Club. See proplussoccer.com for more information.

photos provided

Parmar Development Leagues In the summer of 2011, Parmar Sports Training started their own development league with the simple concept of providing professional high-level coaching for the very youngest age groups in order to develop the stars of the future. They developed a three-phase program: summer, winter and spring. The summer league program runs from June – August at the Kanata Wesleyan Church, the winter league is October – February and the spring league March – May. The concept behind each session is to provide players with as many touches as possible through skill development and small sided games in a fun filled environment. Each session begins with a fun warm-up game which gets the players activated to participate by integrating the ABC’s (agility, balance and coordination) with a ball. The warm-up games start simple and become more complex with progressions. The second phase of training is small stations that cover the four R’s (Receiving the ball, Retaining the ball, Running with the ball and Releasing the ball). The third phase of the session includes Small Sided Games from 1v1 – 4v4 in which players are randomly split up into small groups and sent to their fields.

WHY SMALL-SIDED GAMES AND NOT OPEN SCRIMMAGES: 1. Each individual becomes more skillful through more touches on the ball 2. Tactical development by making more quality decisions during the game 3. Reduced field size allows players to be more physically efficient 4. More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents 5. More exposure to attacking and defending situations 6. More opportunities to score goals (PURE EXCITEMENT) The “Small-Sided” environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the player. The development program is based on the WELLNESS TO WORLD CUP - LONG-TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT (LTPD) MODEL by the Canadian Soccer Association. All Parmar programs have been structured with the long-term vision of THE 10-YEAR RULE. Scientific research has determined that it takes at least 10 years and 10,000 hours of training for athletes in any sport to reach elite performance levels. To learn more about the LTPD Model, and for more information on the Development Leagues, you can visit WWW.PARMARSPORTSTRAINING.COM

High school-aged boys from various local clubs and schools strut their stuff for a Montreal Impact youth academy scout during an exhibition game on April 24 at Louis-Riel Dome. It was an opportunity for the players to explore a new development path that now exists thanks to the rise of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact pro teams in Canada. Academy members move to residences in those cities and train under the watch of the pro club’s staff. “That’s great for soccer,” says Louis-Riel sports-études coach and event organizer Joé Fournier. “They’re not doing it to make money, they’re doing it to develop players.” Cleats for Kids Helping to run the show was Parmar Sports Training, who are also busy with their own initiative called Cleats for Kids, a drive to collect 1,000 pairs of cleats for un-

photo: dan plouffe

derprivileged kids in Northern India. “Everyone can participate, young to old,” explains Sanjeev Parmar. “Brand new or old cleats – as long as they’re able to be worn.” Cash donations are also encouraged in order to purchase cleats at a lower cost in India, or through Parmar’s arrangement with Disalvo Sports, where cleat drop-boxes are also located at their Bank St. and Bells Corners stores. Contact admin@parmarsportstraining.com

for more information.

7 OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

COMMUNITY CLUBS Beach soccer tourney to help Boys & Girls Club Searching for an Impact


HIGH SCHOOLS

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

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CW girls soak up west coast soccer exchange By Dan Plouffe An “experience of a lifetime” was the way members of the Cairine Wilson Secondary School senior girls’ soccer team summarize their April trip to B.C., where they participated in an exchange with Parkland Secondary School on the outskirts of Victoria. “It was fantastic,” recounts Wildcats coach Stu Barbour, who did the bulk of the planning along with assistant Sarah Hurley through Society

for Educational Visits and Exchanges Canada. “For kids from a land-locked part of Canada, it’s pretty exciting for them to do that. It’s really eye-opening for the girls to see another lifestyle.” One shining example of the different west coast life was when the Wildcats played an exhibition match against Gulf Spring Islands. Around half of the students live on other surrounding islands and take a ferry to get to school each day. “If you miss your boat, you liter-

ally miss your boat,” cracks Barbour, whose team also trained at the University of Victoria with the Vikes’ varsity head coach. Count the marine experience as a favourite highlight for Grade 12 centre midfielder Emily Major. During a hike, the girls went to a rocky shore where they interacted with starfish, crabs, sea cucumbers and seals. “It was just so different from here. It was really neat,” describes Major, a Gloucester Hornets club player.

“And seeing the mountains pop out of nowhere when it got clear outside was really cool.”

strong team Unity bUilt For Grade 9 Wildcat Megan Foy, the trip was a great bonding experience for the team that already feels like family to her. One moment that sticks out for Foy is when she was honoured by her teammates with the construction hat that usually goes to the hardest-working player.

“It was my first time on an airplane. It was pretty rattling at first,” smiles Foy, also a Gloucester Hornet. “When the flight ended, they gave it to me for hardest-working passenger.” The Wildcats were hosted at the homes of Parkland players during their eight-day stay. On top of the bond between their own team, the CW girls built connections with their B.C. counterparts as well. “Right off the bat, we weren’t super comfortable, but when we got home that night, her family was super welcoming,” recounts Major, who previously went to Texas with her school team in Grade 10. “When they dropped us off at the ferry that last day, I started to cry, and then Emma started to cry, and her mom started to tear up a bit.”

retUrn eXChange on taP

photo provided

From traveling to B.C. for a soccer exchange to raising funds for Right to Play through a pre-season tournament – which surpassed the $10,000 mark with its eighth edition this season – it’s been a busy year already for the Cairine Wilson Wildcats, who are now chasing after a return trip to the OFSAA provincial championships.

The Wildcats will get to see their friends again soon when they welcome Parkland for the return portion of the exchange starting on June 26, which happens to fall on the same date as CW’s senior prom. Already on the agenda for the visitors are shawarma and Beavertail stops, day trips to Calypso water park and Montreal and backyard pool parties.

Tumblers Gymnastics Summer Camps With the weather beginning to get warm, it’s not a surprise that we are all starting to think about summer. In fact, for many, this has become the perfect time to plan for all the great activities for your child’s summer. Tumblers Gymnastics Centre in Orleans offers ten weeks of camp that will excite your child with differently themed activities each week. If you have ever caught your child bouncing on the bed or swinging from the banister, then you can be sure that gymnastics will be a sport for them to try. Gymnastics at Tumblers provides a healthy outlet for these activities in a fun and safe environment. In addition, it will help your child build strong bones and muscles, improve flexibility, develop good posture and balance, improve fitness and build confidence and positive self-esteem. It also provides a great opportunity to meet new friends, try new things, and most of all to have fun! The camp experience at Tumblers is the perfect opportunity to give gymnastics a try for the first time, or

to keep your child having fun and working hard at their gymnastics skills through the summer. A new theme will be introduced every week, and each day will offer over 3 hours of gymnastics, along with a variety of different activities such as crafts, games, special visits from local ‘heroes’ and local experts, inflatable obstacle courses, water slides and much more. The camp provides healthy snacks every day with options for full week camps, single days or half days only. Registration is now open. Visit the Centre’s website at www.tumblers.ca for more information.


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Hinse was an alternate for the Canadian team in Beijing four years ago, but he says that won’t compare to this summer. He will be one of thousands of athletes parading through Olympic Stadium on July 27 at the Opening Ceremonies. “I really want to live it fully,” Hinse adds. “It’s an experience I’m never going to forget.”

By Braedon Clark Pierre-Luc Hinse’s Olympic dream has been 15 years in the making. The 24-year-old first picked up a table tennis racket when he was only nine. Now, thanks to his performance at April’s North American Olympic qualifier, Hinse is set to compete at this summer’s Olympic Games. “It felt amazing,” Hinse says of the moment when he defeated American Timothy Wang and booked his ticket to London. “It’s kind of hard to believe. I felt relieved from all of the stress and pressure.” Currently ranked 311th in the world, Hinse expects to face a top seed early in the Olympic competition. To overcome his underdog status, Hinse hopes to train abroad in the months leading up to the Games, which he did for three months earlier this season. Austria and China are potential destinations. “When you go to China, it’s very difficult, but you gain speed and you become so much faster,” Hinse explains. Difficult might be an understatement. China is a table tennis superpower. On both the men’s

Ottawa pair miss guaranteed berths

Pierre-Luc Hinse.

and women’s side, Chinese players occupy each of the top five spots in the world rankings. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Chinese athletes swept the podium in the men’s and women’s competitions and won both team events. Hinse believes China’s complete domination of the sport comes from a relentlessly disciplined training regimen that produces an army of table tennis terminators. “At the beginning, they don’t even play

file photo

matches, those guys. They just hit the ball with the racket for months,” details Hinse, who is based out of the national team centre near Gladstone and Bronson Ave. “They train like machines and eventually you become a machine to kill.” Even if he faces off against one of the best in the world, Hinse says there’s always the potential for an upset, especially in a sport where the difference between winning and losing can be as narrow as the rackets themselves.

Turner takes title to delight of local MMA crowd By Ian Ewing

It was an unforgettable moment for “Relentless” Randy Turner. The hometown favourite fought his way to victory in front of 1,500 cheering fans to become the new Wreck MMA bantamweight champion on April 20 at the Hilton Lac Leamy. Turner earned the belt with a win over Winnipeg’s Eric Perez in the main event of an exciting Wreck MMA: Road to Glory card filled with local Ottawa talent. “It’s incredible. It’s a huge accomplishment. It lets me know I’m getting better and better with every fight,” Turner said, thanking coach and manager Pat Cooligan for his guidance from the start for his MMA career. “There were a lot of people out there supporting. It was overwhelming, really.”

The Ottawa Academy of Martial Arts product earned a unanimous decision to win the title belt. But it was close. The fight was scored 48-47 by all three judges after five rounds of brutal ground-and-pound. The 33-year-old Canadian Forces soldier, who teaches unarmed combat in his day job, did notice the tight scorecard. “I thought there were definitely some areas highlighted for me to improve on,” acknowledged the man who has “Lest We Forget” tattooed across his chest. For Perez, the result wasn’t the only disappointment. He forfeited 20% of his purse for missing weight prior to the event and wasn’t eligible to take the title should he have won. In another heavily anticipated match, Mark “Boots” Holst returned to the ring in style, winning his first fight since coming out of retirement. He beat

local combatant Stephane Lamarche of N-1 by kimura in the second round. “Last year, I fought here in my hometown for Wreck. I told myself that’d be my last fight,” the 10-year OAMA veteran recalled. But coaching other fighters from the corner for a year reminded him of what he was missing and sparked the hunger again. Holst said that when he decided to come back, he’d be fighting for the right reasons. Now, he indicated, he’s fighting for himself – for fun.

Fighters from near & far Seven of the athletes on the 11-fight card hailed from the Ottawa area. Their opponents traveled from as far as Lethbridge, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro. The three Brazilian fighters – with cameras in tow filming a documentary series – were added to the fight card after an event in Sudbury fell

Canada’s top-ranked player internationally did not get to compete at the Olympic qualifier. Ottawa-based Eugene Wang did not receive his Canadian citizenship papers in time for the event. Sixteen-year-old Hongtao Chen – who moved to Ottawa from Toronto on his own to pursue his table tennis career not long after his family came to Canada from China – came within two points of earning an individual Olympic berth. Chen dropped the last two sets of a 4-3 final match by heartbreaking 15-13 and 14-12 scores, although the Glebe Collegiate Institute student still has a chance to earn the third men’s Canadian Olympic entry for the team event. Mo Zhang of Ottawa had already booked her trip to London thanks to a Pan Am Games gold. B.C.’s Andre Ho also earned an Olympic berth.

through. They went 2-1 against their North American opponents, though none faced Ottawa fighters. The biggest cheers and most memorable mo- Ottawa’s Randy ments did all in- Turner clude locals, and reacts to news of not just the bigger his Wreck names like Turner MMA title win by unand Holst. animous Fans were on decision. their feet early for photo: dan plouffe Ottawa native Andrew Walters, who won his first-ever professional MMA bout. Another member of the OAMA contingent, Walters endured an explosive start by Montreal’s Robert Seres before turning things around and forcing his opponent

to tap under a rear naked choke. “After that first punch, it was like survival mode for me,” described Walters, who savoured his parents’ presence at the fight. “They’re more proud and excited about me fighting than I get.”

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

Ottawa player to live Olympic table tennis dream


EDITORIAL

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – MAY EDITION

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Canada will miss its best sports reporter, Randy Starkman

The first time I met Randy Starkman was at the 2007 Pan american games in Rio de Janeiro. I didn’t know the face behind the byline, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned the main voice of amateur sport in Canada had just introduced himself to me, the kid reporter from Canadian University Press. In the days following his sudden passing from pneumonia at age 51, Canadian athletes spoke of the toronto star journalist’s kindness and caring nature just as much as his work. I didn’t know him well, but I’d have to agree. We were sitting in the stands watching the Canadian women’s water polo team try to earn an Olympic berth against the U.S. when Randy got frustrated that the crowd

RUN OTTAWA cont’d from cover

of Canadian supporters wasn’t cheering enough to motivate their team. “C’mon, this is a major event! It’s the Olympic qualifier for goodness sake!” he said before starting his own “Ca-na-da!” chant. “The thing about Randy is that he didn’t just file the facts,” four-time Olympic speed skating medalist Kristina Groves of Ottawa wrote on her blog. “He didn’t rely on web searches for information and he never asked basic, superficial questions. He took the time to get to know every single athlete and developed a relationship with them far beyond the call of duty. “I’ve never met another journalist who cared like he did.” The last time I met Randy Starkman

was just a month ago in Montreal at the Canadian Olympic swim trials. I can’t say there was any sign of the illness that was about to come. Every person working in the press centre had to say hi to Randy – to chat, and also because he was the go-to guy for knowledge on the amateur sports beat. He again said hello to me, and I asked how things were going these days. He told me he loved doing his job, but was frustrated that his media company kept asking their reporters to do more and more. That’s a story i was familiar with from my time at community newspapers, I said, but my solution was to create my own publication instead of resisting. Randy was interested, and took a copy

Get in the summer mood with a Baseball-themed Word Search

N E A G L E S T H G I N K G

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On July 30, they’ll head to London for three days to get acquainted with the city and the athletes’ village before returning to Germany until Aug. 9. The final 10 days prior to the Olympic race is their taper time – running every day, but at distances only about half of those they normally would. “So far this year has gone really well,” Coolsaet says. “Good workouts, good races, I’m healthy.” The 32-year-old first-time Olympian hopes that trend lasts, with an eye on claiming a top-10 position in London if training continues to go well. With the full field of elite runners still to be confirmed in mid-May, Coolsaet says his main goal in Ottawa is to run a decent time and feel good. Expect the Canadian training partners to stay close on the Rideau Canal course. They often run very similar times, and running together constantly ball base runner bases helps keep them competitive with each catcher ball bunt baseCanadians runner bases other. And competitive they are. CoolEagles Fat Cats bunt dugout Canadians catcher saet predicts Gillis’ result at Ottawa grand slamEagles home run Fat infield dugout Cats Race Weekend with a grin. Lynx outfield grandKnights slam home run infield “He’s going to be one second bepitcher Royals Knights LynxRed Sox outfield hind me.” slide steal strike

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of the newspaper to read in his hotel room later. He praised me for having the courage to leave my job and start up something like the Ottawa Sportspage. I can’t possibly explain how much those words meant coming from him. Print reporters with a true passion for covering amateur sport like Randy Starkman and the ottawa Citizen’s Martin Cleary are few and far between in Canada. We now have one less. He is absolutely irreplaceable. But he doesn’t leave without having provided inspiration to another generation of writers, and endless examples of the gold standard in Canadian sports reporting. Thank you Randy. —dan Plouffe

902 Pinecrest rd. Ottawa, K2B 6B3 dan Plouffe editor 613-261-5838 editor@SportsOttawa.com larry ring director of Business development 613-293-1730 larry@SportsOttawa.com the Ottawa Sportspage is printed the first Tuesday of every month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locally-owned and operated publishers of the Ottawa Sportspage and SportsOttawa.com.

SPORTSOTTAWA.COM APRIL STARS OF THE WEEK

Name: Jamie lefort Sport: Gymnastics Club: Nepean-Corona School: Mother teresa CHS Grade: 8 About: After earning all-around victories at each qualifying meet, Jamie LeFort completed a perfect run in the Level 5, Age 13 division against a full provincial field as her Nepean-Corona club hosted the Ontario gymnastics championships.

Name: Emily Urbisci Sport: Gymnastics Club: Olympia School: franco-Ouest Grade: 8 About: Emily Urbisci’s quiet determination, strong work ethic, positive team spirit and loyalty have allowed her to excel rapidly in the competitive gymnastics world. The Olympia athlete recently became the club’s first-ever provincial champ, earning floor gold.

Name: Washington dorneval Sport: Hockey Club: OeMHa Giraffes School: fern Hill School Grade: 1 About: At age 4, Washington Dorneval couldn’t stand up on the ice. Now an energetic 6-year-old, the IP player has become a speedy skater, strong stickhandler and supportive team member who is now ready to take on the Novice ranks.

Y Kids Marathon helps fight obesity epidemic, can inspire parents to be active: Stanton By Dan Plouffe

photo: dan plouffe

The Grade 6s were the runaway winners of the “Are You Faster Than a Sixth Grader?” relay challenge against a team of local celebrities at the Y Kids Marathon official launch event at the Ruddy Family Y in Orleans.

Canada is facing a youth obesity crisis, but organizers of the Tamarack Homes Ottawa Race Weekend Y Kids Marathon are hoping their event can play a part in reversing that trend. On the Race Weekend calendar since 2008, participants between Grades 3-8 are encouraged to perform a half hour of exercise regularly, which counts as the equivalent of running one kilometre. The goal is to reach 41 km prior to the Sunday, May 27 race day, when participants will set out at 8 a.m. to complete the final 1.195 km of the marathon on the Run Ottawa course. Riley Stewart is a keen first-time entrant. The W.O. Mitchell Elementary School student already enjoyed

swimming and fencing at the Y, but has now discovered that running is a great activity as well. “It’s fun,” says Stewart, who’s been spending a little extra time with friends at Kanata Y inside Scotiabank Place in the lead-up to the race. “We go on the treadmill more than we used to, and we also run around the track.” Although his team of local celebrities got their you-know-whats handed to them by a group of 10-year-olds in the “Are You Faster Than a Sixth Grader?” relay challenge, Running Room founder John Stanton had some inspirational words for the Ruddy Family Y crowd during the official Y Kids Marathon launch on April 14 in Orleans. “What’s happening is we’ve got

kids suffering from Type-2 diabetes and who are suffering from cardiac problems,” Stanton states. “This has never happened before – it’s the first generation of children that for many of them who are inactive won’t outlive their parents. “What you’re doing by being out there is motivating not only yourself, but motivating other kids, and hopefully some of the parents standing around will participate in Race Weekend, or other events throughout the year. “Being an athlete means being an athlete for life. You’re making a big contribution to yourself, to your community and to your family.” Visit runottawa.ca for more information.


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By Anne Duggan

He shocked the whitewater world by knocking off five-time Olympian David Ford and besting veteran Ottawa River Runners teammate John Hastings. But securing Canada’s only Olympic berth in the men’s K1 for the London 2012 Games was definitely part of local paddler Michael Tayler’s plan. “My run wasn’t out of the ordinary, just like practice. It felt like what I had done 100 times before,” recounts the 20-year-old Nepean High School graduate who won April’s four-race Canadian Olympic trials in Charlotte, NC by .11 seconds over Hastings. “There were five guys who could have taken it with a winning run. It was close, but that’s racing.” Still, Tayler’s journey to the London Olympics is not going to be completely smooth water. “It’s such an honour to represent Canada, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” notes the second-year University of Ottawa political science student. Part of that work includes fundraising, since Tayler’s previous summertime plans didn’t include the type of racing and travel schedule he’s now earned. “My season has just changed a lot now,” he smiles.

OSU Force Academy Zone

Ottawa South United Certified Gold by Ontario Soccer Association

After training independently along with sister Kathleen Tayler, American Tyler Hinton and New Zealand paddler Mike Dawson, Tayler now suddenly has the full attention of Canoe-Kayak Canada’s national team coaches as the only Canadian representative in all whitewater slalom disciplines. After his first career World Cups in France and Spain, Tayler hits the London Olympic course July 29 & Aug 1.

2012 ontario gymnastiCs ChamPs & aa medalists

tUMBLerS Paolo Nera Philapateer Faltas Brendan Lee Eric Gauthier Sophie Paquin

nePean-cOrOna Samuel Zakutney Jamie LeFort Manisha Blasketvitch Anna Meech LeS SitteLLeS Julina Benjamin OLYMPia Emily Urbisci Meghan Heer Ogc Bella St George Mathieu St. Denis Sebastien Baranyi-Nicholls Nicholas Mikhail Kelsey Won Taylor Pyefinch Kati Dobrei Samantha Prosper Bruno Webster Rebecca Richardson Meaghan Smith Sofia Baggio Sarah Hu Adrianka Forrest

Summer camps begin June 25th

Registration begins April 1st

Ottawa S o u t h United Soccer Club (OSU) is honored to receive the coveted 2012 Gold Level Club Excellence Award by the Ontario Soccer Association; Ontario’s soccer governing body. OSU becomes the very first soccer club in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario to receive the Gold level award, joining a very small group of other clubs in Ontario which also received the gold designation. “Everyone associated with OSU should be very proud of this outstanding achievement,” said Bill Michalopulos, Ottawa South United’s President. “This Gold Award is not just about the quality soccer program we offer, but just as important, also recognizes the strong foundation of quality governance, community involvement and forward thinking upon which the club is built. ” The Ontario Soccer Association’s Club Excellence Award is a province-wide recognition program for soccer clubs that are run efficiently and offer a safe, healthy and

enjoyable environment for anyone involved in soccer. The program requires Clubs to demonstrate development and execution of long term plans, strategies and policies in 4 key areas: Personnel, Governance, Community Involvement and Technical. Three different levels of Excellence were awarded for 2012: Gold, Silver and Bronze. These designations are not mandated or required by the OSA but are aspirational in nature. “As one of Canada’s leading and largest soccer clubs we strive to demonstrate leadership in all areas of operating a soccer club,” Michalopulos added.

StriVing FOr gOLd Since Birth

“This prestigious award from our highest governing body is another example of Ottawa South United’s long term strategic approach to developing soccer in the community for all players,” said OSU Board member Stephen Campbell. “Since forming in 2003, we have constantly strived to improve club practices to better serve our membership and players while ensuring OSU and its staff and volunteers are a big part of the Ottawa community.” There are approximately 1,150 Soccer Clubs in Ontario, serving more than 375,000 outdoor players and 85,000 indoor playOSA President Ron Smale presenting OSU President Bill Michalopulos with the club excellence gold award. ers each year.

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Hometown gymnasts storm provincial podium By Dan Plouffe Call it a case of home-course advantage. Numerous Ottawa athletes outperformed their pre-event ranking to earn a spot on the provincial podium at the April 19-22 Ontario artistic gymnastics championships. “This morning, I don’t know why, but I was so calm and not nervous at all,” recounts Jamie LeFort, a member of the host Nepean-Corona School of Gymnastics, who welcomed over 1,100 competitors to the new CE Centre. “It didn’t really feel like ‘provincials.’ I’m not sure if maybe it was because we were at home, but it just felt like another competition. It was fun.” LeFort was ecstatic to follow up her “hat trick” of victories at provincial qualifier meets with a clean sweep of the Level 5, Age 13 category this sea-

son to earn her biggest medal yet (literally). “It looks like a cookie,” laughs the bubbly Grade 8 Mother Theresa High School student who also won smaller gold medals for placing first on uneven bars and floor. “It doesn’t taste good though – don’t try to eat it.” Ottawa gymnasts savoured the additional hometown support they received from a larger number of friends and family who could attend the event locally. “It’s really great before you’re competing to hear all the cheering from your club and everyone rooting for you,” highlights Grade 8 Franco-Ouest high school student Emily Urbisci, an original member of the competitive team at Olympia Gymnastics, which opened between Kanata and Stittsville in 2005. “It’s really helpful.”

Samuel Zakutney of the host Nepean-Corona club finished second all-around in the Tyro high-performance class. Turn to p. 11 for a list of local OGF event champions & all-around medalists. Visit SportsOttawa. com’s Facebook page for more photos.

photos: dan plouffe

Urbisci now owns a piece of history as she became the first provincial champion in Olympia’s short history thanks to her gold medal in the Level 5, Age 14+ floor competition. She also

11-yr-old escapes house fire, wins bronze

Many athletes overcame adversity at April’s Ontario artistic gymnastics championships, but maybe none moreso than Sofia Baggio. Less than a week before she was to compete at provincials, her family’s Kanata home went up in flames. “It was crazy,” recalls Baggio, who escaped unharmed along with her family and pets. “It was stressful. We had to figure out where we were staying, plan what we were going to wear for the next day because we lost most of our clothes. It was hard.” With heavy smoke and water damage from the fire caused by a short-circuited patio light, the Baggios didn’t have much left besides the clothes on their back. Emotional toll aside, the 11-year-old Ottawa Gymnastics Centre athlete lost everything she needed to compete at provincials, but club members quickly stepped up to provide leotards, track suits and competitive gear. It was especially natural for teammates to help out Baggio, OGC coach Tobie Gorman notes, because she is

“always on the lookout to help people” herself. Baggio would even put an arm on the shoulder of teammates who are several years older when they had tough moments, and was the recipient of club sportsmanship awards in back-to-back years. “That normally doesn’t happen,” Gorman adds. “And she’s been here (at provincials) the whole time cheering for everybody.” On top of her kindness, Baggio also displayed remarkable composure throughout the ordeal, and nowhere was that more evident than when the

#4-ranked gymnast pulled off an allaround bronze medal win in the Level 8, Age 10-11 category. “I tried to just clear it out of my head for the meet,” explains the Grade 6 Holy Redeemer Catholic School student. “I didn’t think I was going to place in top-3. I thought I had a consistent meet, but when I saw the other girls’ scores, I was like, ‘Woah – they’re scoring high,’ but I came third. It was really good. I wasn’t expecting it.” Baggio’s coach also wasn’t anticipating that type of performance, nor were her parents, who decided to get a hotel room so it would feel like an out-oftown meet for their daughter, Gorman describes. “They were thrilled (with the medal win). It’s a real highlight of a very, very sad week for them,” notes Gorman, who was filled with pride for her athlete. “For an 11-year-old to handle that upheaval, and for her family to handle it, I don’t know how you do that – that’s such resolve. “She’s one special little girl.”

won silver on bars. “We didn’t even have a spring floor a year ago, and now she wins floor,” beams Olympia women’s head coach Nausikaa Muresan, noting provincials was a pinnacle moment for the club as Meghan Heer also earned a vault silver medal and Sara Miller cracked the top-8 on bars. “I have to wake up and realize what just happened. It’s a really great result, and I’m hoping we’ll just do better and better and better.” The gymnasts’ constant quest for improvement involves 4-5 hours training per day, five times a week for many – higher for some others. After so much preparation, it can make for a pressure-filled atmosphere on the big day. “I was pretty nervous, but I was also really excited and I couldn’t wait for it,” recalls Tumblers Gymnastics

Emily Urbisci became Olympia Gymnastics’ first Ontario champ.

OGC’s Adrianka Forrest (right) and Sophie Paquin (Tumblers) finished 1-2 in the all-around standings.

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Centre’s Sophie Paquin, who placed second all-around in Level 7, Age 11 just behind Adrianka Forrest of Ottawa Gymnastics Centre. “I was surprised to get second. I wasn’t really expecting it, but I’m really happy.” Forrest was one of four all-around champions from OGC – a list that also included Rebecca Richardson, Nicholas Mikhail and Sebastien Baranyi-Nicholls. “I am thrilled to death,” smiles OGC coach Tobie Gorman, who also had numerous athletes qualify for the Eastern Canadian championships May 11-14 near Quebec City. “This really surpassed my expectations. I’m so proud of the kids and the coaches and the parents for their support – it’s all about the team, and that’s what we are.” The host club also enjoyed its fair share of success – to the delight of Nepean-Corona coach Agnes Laing, who watched Samuel Zakutney take gold on floor and parallel bars en route to a second-place all-around finish in the Tyro high-performance class. Also, Corona’s Anna Meech tied for the Level 6, Age 11 all-around crown. “It’s a very special feeling that only another coach can understand because you feel bonded with them,” explains Laing, who was very impressed and thankful to her crew of 200+ volunteers that helped organize the largest provincials ever. “Everybody was involved. I think it was a very special competition.”

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