The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community CANADA GAMES PODIUM PACKED
Always strong grassroots football rising to new heights, poised to grow higher with return of Ravens & CFL clubs By Brendan McConnell
Ottawa athletes were a force in Sherbrooke, bringing home over 50 medals from the 2013 Canada Summer Games.
ROWERS MEDAL AT WORLDS
Cristy Nurse & Sarah Black won silver & bronze medals to lead Ottawa Rowing Club athletes at the world championships.
2014 NATIONALS BACK IN TOWN
When the game clock ticked down to zero and the Myers Riders made history as Ottawa’s first-ever Ontario Varsity Football League champions, quarterback Nick Gorgichuk immediately ran for the stands and gave the game ball to Sandy Ruckstuhl, the club president who’s backed the team for over 30 years. “I’m getting older and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to stay involved,” Ruckstuhl signals. “It was a big thrill to finally win it, and that was a really nice thing for me – those kids were very excited for me too.” The exchange between Gorgichuk and Ruckstuhl was a poignant moment – a current star player honouring a figure who helped build the strong foundation, while bringing local football to new levels himself. And it reflected the state of Ottawa football as a whole in 2013 – a proud past and deep roots worth celebrating, with the potential to grow further to new and greater levels. The Carleton Ravens rose from the ashes and returned to Canadian Interuniversity Sport football on Sept. 2, and the Ottawa RedBlacks are set to do the same next summer in the Canadian Football League. Football has remained exceptionally strong at the grassroots levels in the intermittent years without those two major teams, however – starting with the National Capital Amateur
Vol. 2, #12
Reaching greater ranks
Jaegar Prot and his Myers Riders made club history by winning their first OVFL league title.
Football Association for youth players, right up to the city’s junior football clubs. “The Ottawa area has seen a steady improvement in the quality of football over the past few years,” says NCAFA president Stephen Dean, whose association boasts an enrollment of 4,000+ athletes across all of their programs. “You can see evidence of this in the number of players who come through the NCAFA and participate in high school, junior and CIS programs.
“NCAFA is a critical element in player and coaching development and is responsible for laying the foundation to not only grow the sport, but to improve it as well.”
COMMUNITY ENTHUSIASM HIGH With a strong grassroots presence in Ottawa already established, the question, therefore, is how much the sport will further prosper thanks to the reintroduction of the prominent elite teams.
For the second year in a row, local gymnasts will compete at the Canadian championships in front of a hometown crowd.
PAIR ROCK IN RACQUET SPORTS
Gabriela Dabrowski breaks through in Rogers Cup tennis doubles, while Sam Cornett eyes Olympic inclusion for squash.
The Carleton Ravens have returned to CIS football, and will kick off at their newly expanded home stadium on Sept. 7.
photo: dean joncas
Josh Sacobie, the former University of Ottawa Gee-Gees star quarterback who’s now receivers coach for the Ravens, agrees that the true strength of the Ottawa football community will be seen in the collaboration between organizations at all levels of play – community engagement and a love of the sport, he says, are two things that will benefit everyone involved. “I think it will have a great impact on the sport in Ottawa,” Sacobie says, predicting even more local prospects will move on to play CIS, NCAA and even pro football in the years to come. “People tend to connect more with higher level play, so I think it’s a way to attract more young football players to the sport.” The Ravens, who focused the early stages of their recruitment process during the off-season on locking down local talent, have benefited from the support of a dedicated university as well as a community that’s thrilled to see another team suit up for Ottawa. “There’s a sense of excitement for sure,” Sacobie says on the eve of the first game back at Carleton on Sept. 7. “It’s becoming more obvious now as we get closer to our home opener. It’s been gone for 15 years now so it’s been good to know that people are starting to catch on.” FOOTBALL continues on p.15
Wearing maple leaf is Eagles’ lasting World Series prize By Anne Duggan
For an athlete, there is no prouder experience than wearing your nation’s jersey at the highest level of competition in the world. Imagine doing that at the age of 11 or 12 like the East Nepean Eagles did at the Aug. 15-25 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Coach Mark Keeping, who’s directed the team for three years, cannot name a more heady experience, a higher highlight than the moment the team pulled on those Canadian jerseys and showed them off to the world. “The ability to walk through the gates at the complex and be recognized as some of the best in the world: that’s what they really liked,” Keeping signals. Eagles second baseman Cole Dennison agrees that the Team Canada uniforms made it for him, especially at the Grand Slam parade, an event that must have been a soupedup cross between the Olympics and Halloween for all of the pre-teen participants. “Each team gets their own float and people cheer at you and throw you candy, all different kinds of
candy. We were in our Canadian uni- played well.” forms,” details Dennison, a 12-yearKeeping considers old St. Mark Catholic High School the Nepean Eagles’ perstudent who was most proud of his hit formance at the World against Chinese Taipei – the team’s Series an impressive first in their first game. achievement because East Nepean went on to lose the they had to compete game 10-2. Dennison says the team against teams who play concentrated on playing for fun once and practice 12 months they arrived at the World Series. of the year, rather than “After the Canadian national the four months availseries, we knew the competition was able to Ottawa teams, photo provided The East Nepean Eagles wore Team Canada colours at August’s Little League World Series. going to be so tough,” he indicates. due to local weather. “We started to play to have fun, not “I think this win shows our kids ing, whose club will host the 2015 Little League World Series. “I hope win.” in Ottawa, especially the ones com- Canadian championships for the 11- we see a boost to registration across In the end, the team lost its first ing up, that we can do it,” says Keep- 12 age group that qualifies for the the city.” and last games against Chinese Taipei and FUTSAL IS FIFA’S OFFICIAL INDOOR SOCCER GAME PLAYED IN SCHOOL GYMS ACROSS OTTAWA Panama, 10-0, and won their middle game against the Czech Republic, 4-3. Keeping points to that victory as another team high. “Winning during primetime on a Saturday night was high drama,” he underlines. “What we succeeded at was having fun, giving it our best. When we were playing a similarly matched team, we
3 win rugby national champs By Josh Bell
Three Ottawa teenagers have come home as champions from Rugby Canada’s national rugby festival. John Shaw, Catherine Belanger and Ingrid Krausbar all won gold for their Team Ontario squads at the Aug. 7-11 championship at the University of British Columbia. “It’s just awesome,”
says Shaw, who plays for the Bytown Blues club locally. “I’ve been in the Ontario program since U15 and this is the first time we’ve won. It’s really nice to come away with the gold.” In Ontario’s four wins, Shaw scored two tries, including one in the 29-21 championship win over British Colombia. He attributes Ontario’s success all the way back to team tryouts. “This year, there has been more competition than ever to get a spot on the team,” he notes. “Everyone really battled for the spots and once we made it we were just ready to go.” Shaw isn’t the first in his household to earn national rugby gold; his older brother Billy won as well. His brother is a big reason Shaw began playing, and helped in his success.
RUGBY go to p.4
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OTTAWA AT THE CANADA SUMMER GAMES
40 Ottawa athletes win 54 medals for Ontario at Canada Games By Brendan McConnell
Ottawa came up big at Aug. 2-17’s 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., with nearly three-quarters of the 40 local Team Ontario athletes bringing home medals from the national multi-sport event that serves as a launching pad towards the Olympics. Rideau Canoe Club paddlers Megan Sibthorpe, Maddie Schmidt, Drew Hodges, Brendan Fowler and Alexandra Joy accounted for 17 of Ottawa’s 54 total medals won for Team Ontario, which includes 16 gold. “We at Rideau are very happy,” says executive director Hector Carranco. “Our athletes performed extremely well. There are many younger kids looking at these athletes and what they are able to achieve. The medals give value to the amount of work done; they give the other kids’ work a concrete objective.” Bolstered by a world junior bronze medal performance the previous week on Welland, Ont., 18-yearold Schmidt was the most decorated local Canada Games athlete with five medals – gold in the K-1 (kayak single) 500 metres, silver in the K-2 200 m and K-4 200 m (both in the same boat as Natalie Davision of Carleton Place Canoe Club) and K-2
Maddie Schmidt won bronze for Canada at the world junior canoe-kayak championships a week before earning five more medals at the Canada Games.
5,000 m, and bronze in the K-4 500 m (alongside Joy). Sibthorpe, 17, was the most golden Ottawa athlete, winning the C-4 500 m, C-4 200 m and C-2 500 m events, plus a silver in C-2 5,000 m. The young CANI Athletics club also put in a strong performance in Sherbrooke, as its three trackand-field competitors earned seven medals. Amelia Brohman, who followed up her appearance at the Games with a trip to the Pan American junior championships in Colombia, snagged gold in the 200 m dash and followed it up with a pair of bronze medals in the 100 m and OTTAWA’S 2013 CANADA GAMES MEDALISTS 4x400 m relay. Corey Johnson & Saj Alhaddad Elizabeth Turner “I was Glenn Thelemaque gold track 4x400 silver rowing 8 really happy gold basketball relay, silver 400 hurdles Zacharie Cameron with my perMegan Sibthorpe (Quebec) formance,” gold canoe-kayak Theresa El-Lati silver canoerecounts BrohC-4 500, gold C-4 gold wrestling kayak K-2 1,000, man, who also 200, gold C-2 500, team, bronze 65 kg bronze K-2 5,000 silver C-2 5,000 came home Alastair Keyes Jenny Zhao with a silver Maddie Schmidt gold fencing foil, bronze fencing foil, medal from the gold canoe-kayak bronze team foil bronze team foil K-1 500, silver K-2 4x100 m relay 200, silver K-2 Eli Wall Aaron Wong-Sing in Colombia. 5,000, silver K-4 silver swimming bronze sailing 2.4 “My goal was 200, bronze K-4 500 100 breaststroke, para mix bronze 50 breastto just run Drew Hodges stroke Jordan Lundin, hard, give it gold canoe-kayak Vanessa Gilles & everything I’ve C-1 5,000, silver Matthew Christie Miranda Smith C-1 1,000, silver silver rowing single bronze soccer got and try to C-4 1,000, bronze sculls get on the poC-4 200 Chanel Marion dium.” Evan McNeely bronze track 400 André Pelletier silver mountain m hurdles, bronze A major gold rowing double bike men’s relay 4x400 m relay highlight of the sculls, gold quadruple sculls
Natalie Davison silver canoekayak K-2 200, silver K-4 200
Matteo Dal-Cin gold road cycling individual time trial, silver road race Matthew Ianni silver baseball Amelia Brohman gold track 200, Brendan Fowler bronze 100, bronze silver C-4 1,000, 4x400 relay bronze C-2 200
François Provencher bronze fencing team foil
meet for Brohman was seeing her two other CANI teammates – 400 m hurdlers and Team Ontario 4x400 relay members Saj Alhaddad and Chanel Marion – win medals as well. “They succeeded and did what they had to do in their individual event and then came back and medaled in their relays as well,” Brohman highlights. “It was amazing seeing my teammates succeed like that after such a long and hard season.”
2 INDIVIDUALS DOUBLE-MEDAL Cyclist Matteo Dal-Cin, 21, was a double-medalist, placing first in the individual time trial and taking silver in the road race, finishing with an identical time as the winner. “When I found out I was leading the time trial from my Dad after I finished my ride, I was beyond excited,” recounts the Stevens Racing P/B The Cyclery team member. “And it was all that much more special to be able to
Tom Sherwin (Manitoba) bronze canoekayak C-1 500, bronze C-1 1,000, bronze C-1 5,000
Samantha Klus gold triathlon mixed relay, bronze women’s relay
Alexandra Joy silver canoekayak K-1 5,000, bronze K-4 500
Sara Robichaud (Quebec) bronze beach volleyball
Devin Biocchi gold track 4x400 relay, bronze 400
Joseph Wright silver fencing team epee
Malick Turenne (Quebec) bronze basketball
Megan Sibthorpe of the Rideau Canoe Club won the most gold medals out of Ottawa athletes, with 3.
photo: digital sports photography
share it with my father and sister who were at the event watching.” Dal-Cin narrowly missed out on a second gold in the road race after he and a rider from Team Quebec broke away from the pack for the final stages of the race. “In the end the race was settled in a sprint which he won, and because it was a sprint the timing was close enough that we were shown as crossing together,” notes Dal-Cin, who is currently over in Europe for the final stages of his competitive season, which includes a trip to the Franco-
phone Games Sept. 6-15 in Nice. Eli Wall of the Greater Ottawa Kingfish – the lone local swimmer at the Canada Games – was also a double-medalist in individual competitions, winning silver in the 100 m and bronze in the 50 m breaststroke. “I was pretty pleased,” says the 18-year-old Colonel By Secondary School graduate and future University of Toronto student. “It was a long summer. Usually I don’t go that late into August, so I was happy I was able to keep focused.” Andre Pelletier of the Ottawa Rowing Club was another top performer, capturing double-gold in quadruple and double sculls event. With a gold in men’s foil and a bronze in the team event, Alastair Keyes led the five-member Ottawa Fencing contingent in their parade to podium as his club earned six medals in total. Corey Johnson and Glenn Thelemaque were part of a dominant Team Ontario basketball performance. Johnson hit four three-pointers in the first quarter as Ontario built a 29-10 lead en route to a 93-49 gold medal game victory over Manitoba. See sidebar for the full list of Ottawa’s Canada Games medalists.
Ottawa Rowing Club women help Canada to 3 worlds medals By Brendan McConnell
In the rowing world, the highest honour that a club can bestow upon an athlete is naming a boat after them. The Ottawa Rowing Club may be a bit busy in the paintjob department this fall thanks to the performances of their athletes at the Aug. 25-Sept. 1 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea. With five female Ottawa Rowing Club athletes on race sheets for the worlds – which made up almost half of Team Canada – international athletes were given a healthy dose of our national capital hometown rowing talent, and they didn’t disappoint, collecting three sets of medals for Canadian crews. Sarah Black, an Ottawa native who began rowing in Grade 9 at Elmwood School, took home silver and bronze medals from the women’s 4 and 8 events, each time trailing the dominant team from the United States. Black celebrated her 24th birthday the same day she won silver in the 4 race, where Canada powered past a strong Australian crew for silver. “We talked about taking it more aggressively off the start in the first 400 or 500 metres than we did in the previous race and I think we ex-
ORC’s Sarah Black (left) and Cristy Nurse (right) won silver in the women’s 4.
Melanie McCann won NORCECA continental bronze and her third national gold in a row leading up to worlds.
ecuted that really well,” Black said in a Rowing Canada news release. “It felt great.” Goodfellow, who got her start in the sport just four years ago with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees rowing club, earned a bronze in the Aug. 31 quadruple sculls event – Canada’s first at the world level in the Olympic
RUGBY: Team Canada in sight
Belanger agrees. “It comes down to the hard “It was always a huge goal work of our coaches,” she says. to be able to do what he did and “They trained us hard and made I did a lot of my training with sure we knew everything we had him,” the St. Peter Catholic High to. They had a huge impact on School product signals. “It’s been how our team performed.” Both women had the same a big factor looking up to him.” Belanger and Krausbar, who comments about how it feels to both play for the Ottawa Irish, win the gold medal, saying that also won at the U18 level. The it’s good to know that all their Ontario team dominated in their hard work can pay off. All three gold medalists have five wins en route to gold, the closest game being the final: a set the same goals for themselves 25-5 victory. Both players credit in their rugby careers: playing for Canada. Krausbar and Shaw their success to their coaches. “Our training is really in- hope to play for the red and white tense,” Krausbar highlights. “We next season, while Belanger is had to perfect everything we did headed to York University to play for the Lions in CIS women’s right down to the little details.” rugby, but is striving to John Shaw dress for Canada within the next two years. Also competing at the national festival from Ottawa were Sarah Hiscock and Morgan Vallati, silver medalists in U16 women’s. Mason Dingwall, playing for Ontario-3, was the leading scorer in the U18 men’s tournament, as his team won the photo provided second-tier Plate final. continued from p.2
Kate Goodfellow won quad silver.
photos: penta press for rowing canada aviron
discipline since the 1990s. “We stuck to our race plan,” Goodfellow said via Rowing Canada. “We knew we had contact with Germany early on but in the end they were just too quick.”
OTTAWA CLUB DRAWS FROM AFAR Apart from Black and Good-
fellow, Team Canada also featured double-silver medalist Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, Ont.), as well as women’s 8 medalist Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK) and 8 alternate Rosie DeBoef (Victoria, B.C.) – all transplanted out-of-towners who moved to the Ottawa Rowing Club in recent years.
“It’s a tremendous inspiration for all the other rowers and coaches,” says Ottawa Rowing Club president Lana Burpee, who already named boats after both Black and Goodfellow last year on the heels of a world record-setting performance at the U23 worlds two seasons ago. Burpee credits the athletes’ incredibly strong work ethic for their success, along with dedicated coaches at ORC and one of the strongest training programs offered in Canada. “I think it’s a combination of a lot of things that are going right at the Ottawa Rowing Club,” she indicates. “Basically we have a history of rowing, we have exceptional coaches that dedicate a lot of their time, we have good water and we have excellent racing opportunities.”
5 Nighthawks players’ nationals triumph a major moment for Ottawa field hockey
(From left) Dylan Singh, Braedon Muldoon, Rohan Chopra, Connor Baird and Marek Chopra.
By Arvind Katyal In Canada, “hockey” always refers to and is synonymous with ice hockey. That’s not the case in most the world, where “hockey” usually means Canadians’ field hockey, a prominent sport in more than 50 countries across the globe. While field hockey is never likely to eclipse ice hockey and claim the singular form of the name for itself in Canada, the game is starting to build a strong tradition in the great white north. Fair-weathered British Columbia has always been the field hockey forerunner since the sport began its jour-
ney in Canada, followed decidedly by Ontario. Similarly, on a smaller scale, Ottawa has traditionally played second fiddle well behind Toronto in Ontario, but a group of five players from the Nepean Nighthawks club have helped to make big changes on both those fronts. Braedon Muldoon, 16, Dylan Singh, 15, Rohan Chopra, 16, Connor Baird, 15, and Marek Chopra, 14, competed for Team Ontario in August’s U16 national championships in Brampton. Ontario Red won each of their preliminary round games minus a tie versus B.C. and then took the gold medal with a 1-0 victory in the rematch
against their western foes in the tournament final. The Nighthawks were a big part of Team Ontario, contributing more provincial team members than any other club in the province – a groundbreaking feat, notes Sandeep Chopra, a passionate former player cum guide cum coach cum backbone organizer for the sport in Ottawa. “Five players from Nepean Nighthawks,” smiles the Nighthawks founder who started with 10 players in the club just four years ago and now has over 200. “It proves that Ottawa is becoming a real hub of field hockey in Ontario.”
A tale of 2 rising racquet stars Gabriela Samantha Dabrowski Cornett
photo: women’s squash association
photo: tennis canada
Both in their early 20s, tennis player Dabrowski & squash athlete Cornett are strong Canadian Olympic team prospects, but Cornett still needs the green light from the IOC to include her sport By Nick Faris
FIRST CH ICE DIVING
Two local racquet-sport athletes are harbouring Olympic dreams, but they’ll each face unique paths and obstacles to get there. Ottawa native Gabriela Dabrowski, 21, is coming off the biggest win of her young pro tennis career, while 22-year-old Sam Cornett is clambering up towards the top of the world squash rankings. Reaching the pinnacle of international sport would be a landmark for both burgeoning pros. Dabrowski will be vying for a berth at the next Summer Olympics – slated for 2016 in Rio de Janeiro – along with her regular doubles partner, Toronto-born Sharon Fichman. To guarantee their place, they’ll both need to reach the top-60 in world doubles rankings. Dabrowski is currently slotted 67th internationally, while Fichman is ranked 90th.
“If Sharon and I could qualify for the Olympics… you dream of these things,” Dabrowski underlines. “If you happen to be the best team in your country, you can go for your country. We have a few years to get our rankings higher.” Their performance at last month’s Rogers Cup in Toronto was a significant step towards attaining that goal. Unseeded to start the tournament, Dabrowski and Fichman reached the semi-finals and pulled off the week’s biggest upset – a quarterfinal win over Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, the world #1 doubles team and both top-10 seeds in singles. “I honestly felt comfortable in the match,” Dabrowski recounts. “I didn’t feel like they were putting a lot of pressure on us, which means that we were so solid that they couldn’t really hurt us with anything that they had that
day.” Though Dabrowski acknowledged that Errani and Vinci were fatigued on the day of their match, her cohesion with Fichman has been crucial to their recent success. Their physical strengths balance out – Dabrowski has a stronger serve, while Fichman is a better returner. The two have also developed a rapport that extends to all facets of a match. “We work well together. We sense what the other one needs – if they need to be pumped up, or a little bit of time to relax and regroup,” Dabrowski explains. “If we’re out of position, we find a way to get back in the point and sometimes counterpunch and take control, even when we were defending.” A product of the Ottawa Athletic Club, Dabrowski is midway through her third year of full-time competition on the WTA Tour, after starting out as
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It’s great to be a girl. Sisters, mothers and daughters, and friends playing together is what Girls n’ Women and Sport (GWS) is all about. A unit of City of Ottawa Parks, Recreation, and Culture, GWS is mandated to provide fun, safe, and nurturing sport and physical activity opportunities for girls and women in female-only programs. Starting as young as age 4, girls can join preschool FUNdamental Movements programs – a great start to an active life that emphasizes running, throwing, jumping, catching, balance, and more. Are you ready for the next step? Learn to Train programs will help you consolidate your skills and start applying them in a specific sport environment. For adults we offer leagues and programs to suit the needs of the brand new participant as well as the more seasoned athlete. Volleyball, basketball, indoor
a junior in pro tournaments at age 14. For now, she’s hoping to qualify for all four tennis Grand Slams in 2014. Though she’s still somewhat focused on singles play, her doubles career has simply been more enjoyable, she notes, and could offer her ticket to an Olympics. “You can still make a really good career out of doubles,” Dabrowski highlights. Cornett, meanwhile, always competes alone, but her long-term objective is part of a much wider movement. Born in Deep River, she moved to Ottawa at age 9, living and training here until turning pro at 18. Since then, she’s worked her way up the international squash rankings, earning a career-high world ranking of
soccer, and ball hockey leagues are waiting for you to join, whether as a team or as an individual. What sets us apart? Our “Everyone gets to play” philosophy and our leagues have referees! GWS loves to encourage female leadership in sport – that’s why we aim to mentor and train female coaches for all of our development programs. GWS commits to going the extra mile to make your experience one that inspires sport and physical activity participation for life. Get your questions answered by our courteous and friendly office staff who can give you extra information about programs plus help you register. Visit our websites ottawa.ca/sports or citywidesportsottawa.ca or call us at 613-580-2854. Jump into sport with us this fall! All female classes where Everyone Gets to Play!
33rd shortly after winning the Canadian Squash Championships in May. Understanding the physical and mental traits required to excel professionally have been central to her progress, Cornett signals, noting that she’s currently looking to improve her overall presence on the court. “I’m starting to get to a point where it’s taken me up a level in my squash game,” she details. With a long-term objective of #1 in the world in mind, Cornett is more immediately concerned with cracking the top-25. An Olympic berth is another goal – but it’s not as simple as attaining a ranking. On Sept. 7, the Interna-
tional Olympic Committee will meet to add a new sport to the 2020 Summer Olympics. Squash is one of three candidates, along with wrestling and a joint baseball and softball bid. Cornett has played a part in the grassroots “Vote for Squash” campaign, with the intention of catapulting their sport onto the world’s largest athletic stage. “Even if we don’t get into the Olympics, I think everyone has been working so hard to raise the profile of squash that it can’t be ignored,” she says. “If I could work towards an Olympic event, it just takes everything up a notch – everyone’s working that much harder, because we all know there’s such a huge opportunity at stake.”
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Gymnastics nationals to return to Ottawa National Capital’s Sam Zakutney won three consecutive all-around national titles in the Argo and Tyro youth age categories. He’ll now get to make his nationals Junior debut in Ottawa next May.
By Brendan McConnell
With the memory of a successful homegrown 2013 Canadian Gymnastics Championships fading slowly along with the summer sun, Ottawa has reason to be excited again as the new gymnastics season approaches, with the city having claimed its spot as host for the second year in a row. Set for May 26-31, the 2014 national championships will again welcome gymnasts from across the country at Carleton University, a venue that proved to provide an excellent environment for the elite gymnasts, notes competition chair and Ottawa Gymnastics Centre general manager Kellie Hinnells. “Athletes and coaches all enjoyed the facilities, our volunteers were very friendly and organized and the event generated profit,” recalls Hinnells, adding that the on-site housing, training and meal venues all cut down travel time significantly, thus making it easier for athletes to focus on their events. With the familiar Ravens
file photo: steve kingsman
Nest and fieldhouse decked out with top-level gymnastics equipment, spectator bleachers and judges stands, Carleton athletics took on a whole new look during the competition last year – an atmosphere that organizers hope to repeat and improve upon in 2014. One change for the coming championships is the date – they’ll take place one week later than last year so that there is no conflict with Ottawa Race Weekend, explains Hinnells, noting the event will be condensed to a speedy seven days as opposed to last year’s 10 days. The competition will also receive much more advanced
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promotion in the Ottawa and gymnastics communities in hopes of drawing in more curious spectators, she adds. The 2014 Championships will be run by Gymnastics Canada in conjunction with the same four local host clubs as last year – OGC, Tumblers, Gatineau’s Unigym and Kanata Rhythmic. Each of those clubs are expected to have athletes compete in their hometown, says Hinnells. Last year, 10 Ottawa gymnasts competed at nationals, with many earning medals, led by National Capital’s Sam Zakutney, the Tyro high-performance class all-around champion.
Julien resets sights on 2015 World Cup By Brendan McConnell It was a difficult, bittersweet moment, but it’s been a busy year for Christina Julien since she narrowly missed out on a spot with the bronze medal-winning Canadian women’s soccer team at the London 2012 Olympics. Most recently, the former Ottawa Fury W-League player surged with the Laval Comètes to the league finals, defeating her old team for the first time ever in the conference finals before dropping the championship match 1-0 on an own goal. Before the Olympics, Julien was playing with Gothenburg-based Jitex BK in Sweden’s highest league. “There was a lot to do, a lot to see,” recalls Julien, who now splits her time living in Corn-
wall and Montreal, adding that she would be very interested in returning to the team again. “It was my first time going overseas, so it was a really exciting experience.” After playing alongside Christine Sinclair and the rest of Team Canada through the Olympics qualifiers, Julien was sidelined just before the Olympics began. Although she was forced to watch the team win a bronze medal from the bench as a non-playing alternate, Julien says she was very happy to be a part of the Olympic experience. “It was bittersweet sometimes, but that group of girls changed soccer in Canada,” remarks the Fury youth academy grad. “It was an amazing feat and I’m so happy that I was there to witness it and be a part
of it. They made me feel like I was part of the team the entire time; I just didn’t get the chance to step on the field.” Despite strong performances throughout the qualifying matches, Julien was a lastminute cut from an Olympic squad that took only four strikers to London – she was the fifth. “There were a couple of things that led to my non-selection,” Julien explains. “About a week before, I found out that my hamstring was partially torn but I could still play on it. I was also coming out of residency from playing in Sweden so I wasn’t connecting with their goals as much as I should have been. “Looking back on it, there are a lot of things I would have done differently, but it is what
Final Round boxer emerges as world title threat By Brendan McConnell Things move at lightning speed in the Ottawa boxing world. One minute you’re an amateur boxer in Manitoba, the next you’re fighting international stars in preparation for a run at the world title. While it may sound like the plot to a film by Martin Scorsese, this is the reality for local boxing professional Andy Gardiner who, just last May, made the move to Ottawa to train under Final Round Boxing coach Eric Belanger at his gym in Chinatown. “I’m really happy with my progression so far,” says 25year old Gardiner, who started boxing at 16 in Winnipeg. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot.” After meeting a crossroads in his teens where he had to choose between hockey and boxing, Gardiner went the fisticuffs route and now finds himself on the verge of competing alongside world title contenders. A good performance in his Sept. 6 bout during the Fight Club Series event at Casino Lac Leamy could lead to big opportunities. Belanger, who took Gardiner into his house when he first moved to Ottawa, has worked to build off of the young boxer’s strengths to make sure that when his world title shot comes, he goes all the way to the top. “Andy’s strengths are something that I can’t teach,” Gardiner notes. “You can hit
Final Round Boxing’s Andy Gardiner is making quick strides towards a possible world title fight.
it is, and you learn from it, you grow and become a better person and move on.” Following Team Canada’s Olympic run, Julien spent some time in Montreal at a rehabilitation and training center in order to treat her torn hamstring, which led her to join nearby for this past W-League season. With her hamstring now healed, the Olympics behind her and a string of successes in Europe and the W-League in the books, the 25-year-old is now setting her sights on the 2015 Women’s World Cup. FIFA officials visited Ottawa and the other Canadian host cities in August, marking the twoyear countdown to the event Julien would love to be a part of on home soil. “There’s a lot of motivation,” says Julien, who’s set a goal to play in the National Women’s Soccer League for the next three seasons. “I know I have a lot to give there – I’ve spent the past 10 years of my life working towards soccer and bettering my career. So come the next Olympics and World Cup, I’m going to be in
7 The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is just two years away from coming to Canada and Ottawa, and local product Christina Julien plans to be there.
Melanie McCann won NORCECA continental bronze and her third national gold in a row leading up to worlds.
my prime and I’m going to do everything possible I can to get
there. If I’m not, then I know I gave it my best.”
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him in the head with a Volvo not even allow room for a soft and he’ll keep coming. He’s drink, he adds. very dedicated and very tough “The regular life enjoyand he’s in great shape.” ments that most people get to Gardiner, who competes enjoy, he doesn’t,” Belanger in the light heavyweight class, highlights. “Finding someone will be going up against Pol- who’s actually disciplined ish fighter Michal Nieroda, enough to do that is quite rare who recently took on the no matter how much talent photo: brendan mcconnell current world champion. To they have.” prepare, Gardiner has three In the short term, Gardiner workouts per day, six days is setting his sights on a North per week, where he works on American title early next year everything from technique to – the Fight Club Series being power to endurance. a key helping hand in that Apart from his ability to pursuit. But, both coach and take a punch and keep going, athlete agree that neither will Belanger says that Gardiner be happy until that title belt is is one of the most disciplined around Gardiner’s waist. fighters he has come across, “I want to make it to the which is essential to progress- top,” Gardiner emphasizes. ing to the sport’s top levels. “There are several guys with “A big part of it is life- belts right now and I want style,” Belanger explains. them all.” “Being a pro fighter is not Final Round’s Samer easy at all — if you want to Barakat was also slated to make it, you’ve got to make a compete on the Sept. 8 card, lot of sacrifices.” making his pro debut against That level of training does Canadian Denis Martin.
FURY FC ACADEMY TRYOUTS Fury FC Academy Teams, under the guidance of new Technical Director Phillip Dos Santos (UEFA A Licence), will hold tryouts beginning Sept. 16
Prospects Academy – Boys & Girls U8-U12 Youth Academy – Boys & Girls U13-U17 Professional Academy – Men & Women U20
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Mother’s aneurysm challenges hammer thrower Frizell By David Karp
When there’s turmoil at home, it’s hard to make sports a priority. That’s the challenge facing 28-year-old hammer thrower Sultana Frizell, who continues to compete on the world stage while helping care for her mother. Frizell was enjoying some down time after a successful 2012 season. In March, the Ottawa Lions athlete from Perth shattered the Canadian hammer throw record by almost three metres, with a 75.04 m throw at an event in Arizona. And in August, she competed at her second Olympic Games in London. But in October 2012, Frizell’s world changed forever when her mother suffered an aneurysm. She fell into a coma and was hospitalized for seven weeks. Suddenly, hammer throwing, which had been Frizell’s passion since she discovered the sport at age 15, was the furthest thing from her mind. “It really looked like she wasn’t going to make it,” Frizell recalled. She left the national throws training centre in Kamloops, B.C. to move back to the Ottawa area to be closer to her parents. As an only child, Frizell wanted to support her father as they made difficult decisions about her mother’s care. Given how tough things were at home, Frizell questioned whether she would ever return to the sport she loved. It seemed inappropriate to train full-time when her mother was
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The Ottawa Lions’ Sultana Frizell placed 16th in the women’s hammer throw at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
fighting for her life. “I had a pretty good heart-to-heart with one of my mom’s girlfriends,” Frizell said. “She was like, ‘Do you know how much time and effort your mom put in taking you to all these f---ing track meets and being there for you? Do you think she would want you to quit sport?’” “That’s true. She’d probably kick me in my ass [if I quit].” Frizell decided around Christmas last year that she would return to serious training. But not without major adjustments – Frizell now
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practices on her own in Ottawa, thousands of miles away from her national team coach and Canada’s other top hammer throwers. “Trying to figure out how to juggle training and family and the emotional roller coaster that was happening – and is happening – with my mom was quite difficult,” Frizell noted. She wasn’t sure if she’d make the Canadian team for August’s World Championships, but she did. Frizell’s performance at the Aug. 10-18 event in Moscow may have been underwhelming – her 69.06 m throw was well off her personal-best to miss the final round by 1.41 m and place 16th overall. But given her personal situation, and the fact that she injured her back
while training in Sweden before the worlds, her performance was understandable. “You’re not really going in there thinking all your hopes and dreams are based on these three throws,” she said. “But at the end of the day, there is really only one meet that really counts in the year. Unfortunately, that’s the name of the game, and I guess that’s what makes it exciting as well. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but I gave it all I had.” Four other athletes with Ottawa connections represented Canada at the World Championships. Melissa Bishop finished 23rd in the 800 m and Alicia Brown was 30th in the 400 m. After a heartbreaking disqualification where the Canadian men’s 4x100 m relay team briefly thought they’d won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, the tables were turned at the 2013 worlds. It looked as though Canada had placed fourth until Great Britain got DQed and they were elevated to the podium. “I’m so ecstatic, especially thinking back to last year and what happened,” Gavin Smellie, who recently began training with the Lions, said in an Athletics Canada news release. “To come back and get bronze, I’m just so happy. (...) This isn’t just for us, it’s for everybody, we’re going to take these medals home and show them to our families, share them with all of Canada.” Ottawa native Segun Makinde was a relay alternate in both London and Moscow. At the Aug. 9-11 Canadian Youth Trackand-Field Championships in Langley, B.C., Alexandra Tierney of CANI Athletics was the capital’s top performer, winning double gold in both the 100 and 300 m hurdles.
Major redemption for Nepean in Cup win The Nepean Hotspurs erased the memory of a 24-shooter penalty kicks championship final defeat two seasons ago with a 6-0 triumph over the West Ottawa Warriors to win the U17/18 girls’ East Region Cup.
By Dan Plouffe Any team that’s lost a game in penalty kicks knows there isn’t much else that’s more heartbreaking in sports. But how about going through 24 shooters before finally falling in the championship final? That’s the type of cruel fate that can stick in your mind for a long time, says Brooklynn Seatter. For the Nepean Hotspurs U17 Level 3 striker, the memory from the U15 girls’ East Region Cup final two years ago was still present when her squad returned to the championship game at the U17/18 level on Aug. 18 at Walter Baker field in Kanata. “I don’t know if everyone else remembered that, but for me at least, I knew we had to score some goals from the beginning so we didn’t have to worry about doing that at the end,” Seatter explains. Add to that the fact that their opponents, the West Ottawa Warriors U18 Level 4 girls, had won their two previous games in penalty kicks to reach the final, and the impetus was
strong not to let the game reach the shootout. So, the Hotspurs flew out to a 4-0 lead by half-time against a shortstaffed Warrior side that also lost their goalkeeper to injury in the first half, and cruised on to a 6-0 final victory. Seatter netted three goals, Marisa Seary scored two, and Cassandra Yanez-Leyton got one. “I’m so excited. I’m so proud of us,” smiles Seatter, noting it was particularly special since the team’s core group, which includes numerous U16 age players, has been together for three years. “We all work together and we know each other really well,” she adds. “We’re like one big group of friends. It’s a lot of fun to be on the team.” Another motivator for the Hotspurs was to perform well for several players who went down to injury earlier this season. “The girls were playing really, really hard for some of their teammates,” notes Nepean coach Francis Onyalo, whose 7-6 squad placed in
Warrior men & women carry on winning tradition into adult years
photo: dan plouffe
league play. “They’re a really closeknit group. They all work together, and they spend a lot of time together. They’re not just friends on the field, but off the field as well.” Despite the sound defeat, winning three knockout games to reach the Cup championship was a nice accomplishment for the Warriors in their last season of youth soccer. “I’m still proud of them. They did well to get there,” signals West Ottawa coach Bruce Hartill. “They’re going to miss each other and playing together. They’re all going off to university, but hopefully when they come back in the spring, they’ll want to get together and play women’s competitive.” It was an all-Cumberland affair in the boys’ U17/18 ER Cup final, as the U18 Level 4 Cobras prevailed 1-0 over their U17 Level 3 clubmates thanks to a goal by Justin Tilley. The Cobras counterparts went tit-fot-tat in Round 2 and the semi-finals, both earning 3-0 victories in each case. The ER Cup finals for the U13 to U16 groups go Sept. 15 in Kemptville.
OSU U16 boys near OYSL & Ontario Cup double
photo: dan plouffe
West Ottawa Soccer Scoop
The Ottawa South United Force U16 boys’ team’s remarkable undefeated record against provincial opponents in Ontario Youth Soccer League and Ontario Cup play remains intact heading into mid-September. “Not necessarily undefeated, but being able to compete for first” was definitely something the team anticipated, says coach Russell Shaw, whose squad sits two points up on second-place Toronto FC with a game in hand thanks to nine wins and five ties. Including his current group last season, Shaw’s two most recent teams have been in position to take the division crown with a victory in their final game, only to fall short in back-to-back years. He’d rather not wait until the last game to nail down first place this time. “That’s the hope,” he smiles. The Force U16s also advanced to the Ontario Cup championship game, as did the OSU U13 girls. —Dan Plouffe
The West Ottawa Warriors’ top men’s and women’s competitive teams are both 2013 champions in the Ottawa-Carleton Soccer League’s first divisions and have earned berths in the Premier league next year. The Warrior women secured their title with a record of 10 wins, one loss and three ties, while the men wrapped up their championship with a 2-0 victory on Sept. 3 to win the crown by two points. “To be honest, I felt a lot of pressure because I knew the women’s team had clinched,” says men’s player-manager Gord Macdonald, also WOSC’s multi-sport program coordinator. “It’s been a little bit competitive in the office.” Many West Ottawa Soccer Club staff play on the men’s and women’s sides. After four wins, three losses and a tie to start, it didn’t have the look of a championship season early on for the Warrior men, but with some daily encouragement from his female colleagues, Macdonald’s men posted nine wins and a tie the rest of the way. “We added a bunch of new, young players to our group. It took a little time to gel and get to know each other,” notes Macdonald, highlighting support from the club and the U21 side led by Wade Washington as major keys to winning the title. “This was our best team to date,” he adds. “The future looks bright, and we are excited about the opportunity to represent the western half of Ottawa next year in men’s Premier.” The Warrior lineups feature a number of players with highly impressive soccer resumes. The men’s leading scorer was Rob Murphy – a former Canadian university player-of-the-year who missed part of the season while competing for Canada at the FISU World University Games – while former Australian professional academy member Corey Herrington recorded five shutouts in goal. WOSC representative and winter coordinator Heather Ambery gets to boast that she was level in goals scored with former Canadian women’s national team player and
WOSC head coach Kristina Kiss at four markers, behind women’s leading scorer Sophie Lecot-Hearn’s seven. “To be honest, I think three of those four goals were crosses from Kristina directly onto my head and I did not have to move an inch,” Ambery laughs. “But if we both had four goals, I will be sure to tell her about that.” More than clowning with co-workers, both squads were fueled by a desire to give future players a chance to play at the highest level locally once they graduate from youth ranks. “It gives the youngsters something to look forward to,” highlights Ambery, who didn’t know her current Premier league existed when she was younger. “I think it’s really important for our players to see that there are opportunities after youth soccer. WOSC is building a great program for its adult players that not only prepares them for university-calibre play, but it also allows them to play at a competitive level long after their youth soccer days.” Other notable WOSC staff contributions came from WOSC Micro Program Coordinator Cathy Briggs, one of three women’s goalkeepers to record a shutout, while Club Lead Coach Kyle Washington was an asset to the men’s side with his coaching wisdom. Reaching the Premier division was a special moment for Macdonald’s father, Ian, who coached the team from its roots before it even wore Warriors colours up to last year. “It’s been a long journey since the team commenced with the Fitzroy SC,” he notes. “Those who brought us here will not be forgotten.”
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Team of the Month: Rideau Canoe Club Trillium Championships Team About: The Rideau Canoe Club earned earned the overall Trillium Championships title when they hosted the under-15 and under-13 provincial canoe-kayak championships in midAugust. Numerous athletes won medals in their individual and crew boat events, although a major highlight was seeing three Rideau Canoe Club war canoe teams take off from the Mooney’s Bay docks in the same race, which involved a total of 42 14- and 15-year-old boys and girls, plus three coaches/coxswains. Maddison Darcyl’s crew were the provincial champs in the C-15 200-metre mixed bantam event, while Andres Carranco’s boys’ crew also won a medal, taking silver by less than half-a-second in the bantam boys’ 500 m. To nominate Stars of the Month, go to SportsOttawa.com and follow the link on the right-hand bar under the Stars of the Month feature. Courtesy of the Ottawa Sportspage and the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, the selected Athlete of the Month will receive a free one-week Family Pass to the Y, while each member of the Team of the Month will receive free one-visit passes.
photo: dean joncas
Athlete of the Month: Nick Gorgichuk Sport: Football Club: Myers Riders
About: Myers Riders quarterback Nick Gorgichuk was game MVP, throwing 3 touchdown passes and 434 total yards as his team beat Niagara 42-20 to capture the club’s first-ever Ontario Varsity Football League championship Aug. 17. Gorgichuk rewrote the record books this season, earning the highest QB rating in league history (258.6), highest pass completion rate (76%), most total yards in a season (2,981) and in a game (580), and most passing TDs in a season (44) and a game (7). The St. Mark Catholic High School grad also appeared in the Carleton Ravens’ first match in his new school’s return to university football.
Byway on highway to top of Canadian cycling By Brendan McConnell
Putting in the hours of training is the key to success in any sport – a lesson 15-year-old Connor Byway, who walked away with two firstplace finishes in the cadet division at the Aug. 27-Sept. 1 Canadian track cycling championships, learned quickly just two years into his competitive cycling career. “The main thing is to just train and never stop,” explains the Grade 11 Earl of March Secondary School student. “If you don’t, then other people that are training almost every day will start beating you.” Byway won gold medals in the omnium and individual pursuit under-17 nationals events at the Dieppe Velodrome in New Brunswick. “It felt really good,” Byway adds. “I put in all the training this past winter – I was in the basement pretty much every day (on my bike). It wasn’t very fun but it was good because I was looking forward to doing well during the season.” The national track championships — where he also won silver in kilo event — added an extra touch on an already impressive season for Byway. The Ottawa Bicycle Club’s 15 km time trial record holder
OSU Force Academy Zone
Three young OSU Force players train at Real Madrid academy
Ottawa’s Connor Byway leads his race at the Canadian track cycling championships in Dieppe, N.B.
smashed several benchmarks this season, including the London Velodrome’s 1 km cadet track record previously held by fellow Ottawa cyclist Alex Cataford, now a member of the Garneau-Quebecor pro cycling team. Byway’s blistering 1 minute, 5 second mark also surpassed the London track’s junior record previously held by 2012 Olympian Joe Veloce. The summer of 2013 also saw Byway place third at the national road cycling championships in Lac Megantic, just weeks before the now
infamous train disaster that ravaged the town. Byway closed out the competition on the last day by taking first place in the final stage.
RIDES SISTER’S BIKE TO PODIUM
To top it off, Byway also placed third on points at the 5-stage Tour of Rimouski — the largest competition for the cadet level in North America — and first amongst Canadians. That despite the fact that a fender bender on Hwy. 401 en route to the competition damaged his bike, necessitating the use of his sister’s in its place. Byway, who turns 16 in September, began his cycling career the opposite way that many athletes start theirs – he began as a triathlete and then switched his focus to the one sport. “I wasn’t doing that well at triathlon but the cycling part I Fall and Winter programs for players was doing really well born from 2010 and up at, which kind of defeats the purpose of doing triathlon,” Byway Free Advanced Program laughs.
Take your game to the next level this winter!
A trio of Ottawa South United Force soccer players got to live out a young player’s dream in August as they spent a week training at the fabled Real Madrid academy in Spain. David Chung, Ryan Massoud and Matteo de Brienne were three of 30 players who made the trip with the Dallas Texans, OSU’s affiliate club in the southern U.S. “To say they were in awe would be an understatement,” says OSU General Manager Jim Lianos. “They were training on the same pitch where people in the academy trained to be in the Champions League, in a professional environment. It’s unbelievable.” The OSU players were identified for the opportunity by the Texans’ director – Chung and Massoud while playing at the Disney Jr. Showcase, and during visits to Ottawa in the case of 11-year-old de Brienne, who is two years younger than his Force counterparts. “I was so glad they picked me,” de Brienne highlights. “It was a big opportunity. I was very fortunate to have this experience. The training was really amazing.” de Brienne received some pointers from Chung on what to expect playing soccer in Europe since Chung had been to Poland the previous summer to play for Canada at the Danone Nations Cup. “He told me there was going to be a lot of tough competition down there in practices, but he said, ‘Just try your best to get better, and work hard,’” recounts de Brienne, who was happy to have a pair of familiar faces join him for the trip. “It was amazing being
there with my good buds and practicing with them. They’re older than me and they help me get better.” Spending eight sessions with the same coaches who direct Real Madrid’s youth academy and facing some elite talent was also highly beneficial, de Brienne points out. “The players there practice more and they’re amazing. They’ve got a lot of skill,” adds the Grade 6 Jean-Robert-Gauthier French Catholic elementary school student. “The players were really good down there and they gave me a lot of competition, which helped me a lot. I enjoyed it so much.” Another major highlight was getting to see the big-league team play its season-opening La Liga contest at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in front of a crowd of 90,000 fans. “Everybody was there,” says de Brienne, who’d only seen the storied Madrid franchise play on TV previously. “I never thought I’d get to see them until I was older, but I got the chance at a young age. It was just amazing.” The OSU trio have already made a big mark locally – each were high-scoring stars for teams that went undefeated in league play – but the chance to see what goes on at one of the globe’s grandest soccer factories helped provide incentive to push on further. “This was a unique and exclusive opportunity from any player from Canada to be inside the house of the famed Real Madrid soccer club,” Michalopulos notes. “It was a tremendous learning experience for our players, one that they will hopefully use as a motivator for further development. “We expect that other similar opportunities will become available to OSU players as our plans and actions to develop the best possible soccer players in Ottawa continues.”
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photo: dean joncas Playing in the national championship tournament in just their first year of existence, the Capital Region Axemen opened their Presidents Cup competition with a 13-12 victory over Onondaga, but were defeated in each of their next 5 matches at the Aug. 26-Sept. 1 event. Nepean minor lacrosse grad Callum Crawford opened the scoring for the host Kahnawake Mohawks in the championship game and assisted on all of his team’s other 4 goals, but fell short 8-5 to St. Catherines.
SPECIAL FEATURE - OTTAWA SPORTS FACILITIES
Private partners push sports facility projects ahead RICHCRAFT RECREATION COMPLEX
The Richcraft Recreation Complex, set open late this year on Innovation Dr. near the Morgan’s Grant community in Kanata North, will include an 8-lane, 25-metre pool, two full-size “high school” gymnasiums, a cardio and weight room, a group fitness studio, an outdoor lit artificial field, basketball courts, play areas, a skateboard plaza and connecting paths to surrounding trails in Trillium Woods. “When I came back on council in 2006, I had a couple things I wanted to see happen, and the recreation centre was one of them,” signals Kanata Councillor Marianne Wilkinson. “There have been no recreation facilities built in Kanata North since the early 1970s, despite a significant population increase. It was overdue to have this.”
MINTO RECREATION COMPLEX
The Minto Recreation Complex, slated to open in fall 2014 near Greenbank Rd. and Cambrian Dr. in Barrhaven South, will feature 2 NHL size rinks with spectator seating, a 6-lane, 25-metre pool, a full-size gymnasium, multipurpose rooms and studios, fitness facilities and change rooms, and a walking track, plus an artificial turf field outside with lighting. The $52M facility was funded almost entirely from development fees in the surrounding areas. “It’s truly an amazing project,” says Barrhaven Councillor Jan Harder. “It’s going to absolutely be a community hub.” Another project coming up in Harder’s ward is improvements to South Nepean Park’s baseball facilities, including construction of a media centre in advance of the 2015 Canadian Little League championships, to be hosted by the East Nepean Eagles. “We really stand out when it comes to families and sports,” Harder notes. “I think the fact that we have the variety of sports inside and outside in this community helps explain why more people are moving here than any place else in the city over all of these years.”
Slated to open in time for the 2014-15 hockey season, the Richcraft Sensplex on Shefford Rd. in Gloucester North will bring three additional much-needed ice surfaces to Ottawa’s east end. Ice time is so scarce in the east that the construction schedule was built around keeping Potvin Arena’s existing ice surface open this winter. “It’s really hard to get ice,” says Beacon Hill/Cyrville Councillor and house league hockey coach Tim Tierney, who got to know the problems well when his daughter played in Gloucester. “They couldn’t expand their teams. They had more girls than available ice and teams.” Tierney is thrilled about the prospect of hosting tournaments at the Sensplex, having the NHL Senators practice there, and bringing jobs to youth and adults alike in Orleans. “It’s a big win for the east end,” he maintains. “It’s one of the biggest wins we’ve seen here for awhile.” A new pool also recently opened this summer in Orleans at the François Dupuis Recreation Centre on Portebello Blvd.
Seen here under construction in early July, the Richcraft Recreation Complex in Kanata North is due to open late this year. In fall 2014, another major multi-purpose centre will open in Barrhaven South.
By Dan Plouffe The Ottawa sports community will gain several new major sports centres in various parts of the city in the near future as sports facility development projects worth hundreds of millions in total come to life. “There was a real backlog of some of these multi-purpose complexes. We’ve started to play catch-up,” signals Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “You’re going to see a fairly aggressive approach with some of these facilities opening in the next few years that will meet the need of both ice time and swim hours.” One theme that emerges in all the City of Ottawa’s new sports projects is partnerships, or involvement, with private companies. Of course, there is the high-profile Lansdowne Park redevelopment for football and hockey stadiums. The Ottawa Senators are the driving force behind their second Sensplex arena project in Gloucester, while new City recreation centres will carry developers’ names when they open in late 2013 (Kanata North’s Richcraft Recreation Complex) and fall 2014 (Barrhaven South’s Minto Recreation Complex). And both local universities also built new football stands/fields on campus. In the case of the $52 million Minto centre and the $43M Richcraft facility, private involvement helped fund enhancements to the City’s original plans. In Barrhaven, the naming rights will fund construction of a lit, artificial turf field instead of the planned natural surface. Kanata will see a turf field as well thanks to an arrangement with the National Capital Industrial Soccer League, which will take out a loan to pay for the $722,000 cost of upgrading to the artificial surface in return for field usage over 10 years, details Kanata North
Councillor Marianne Wilkinson. Wilkinson has also led a fundraising campaign – involving sales of sculptures in a garden and engraved tiles on the pathway leading to the centre, amongst other initiatives – with an overall $1.75M objective. “There were a few things the city wouldn’t fund,” Wilkinson explains, listing a larger skateboard park and a devoted youth room as examples. “And the biggest was having an eight-lane pool instead of a six-lane pool.”
SENSPLEX RISES IN EAST
There were also be an eastend facility carrying the Richcraft name when the Richcraft Sensplex opens in Beacon Hill North next August. The construction of three additional ice pads around Potvin Arena came alive thanks to contributions by the Ottawa Senators. “It’s a $26 million facility,” notes Beacon Hill/Cyrville Councillor Tim Tierney. “Frankly, if we tried to do this just with capital dollars, first of all, that would pull away from roads, sewers – things that we could be using that capital investment for. (...) If we wanted to do it in the east end, I think we would have been waiting quite a long time.” Finding private dollars to bring to the table to help construct sports facilities is an increasingly popular route to make projects happen, Mayor Watson indicates. “We have limited resources. We have to stay within budgets and debt levels,” he says. “Often
the private sector, with their ability to go to the capital markets, can speed up some of these projects. “At the same time, groups need to understand it’s not just the capital costs. That’s in many ways the easy part. It’s the operating costs that you have to be able to budget for. Just because a group says we’ll come and build you an arena doesn’t mean you want to take ownership for that arena. “By and large, most of these facilities do not make a profit – they’re viewed as a community service, and they ideally break even, or in some cases, they’re subsidized. We look at projects on a one-off basis, but we wouldn’t have this blanket policy where, ‘if you build it, we’ll operate it.’
DOME PARTNERSHIPS PAY OFF
One type of partnership that’s proved quite successful involves air-supported sports domes. TMSI Sports Management, which operates the Gloucester and Ben Franklin domes on city land, has enjoyed a “very positive” relationship with the City, says TMSI President Darin McCorriston. “Quite frankly, we think the City is very forward-thinking in the privatization of some of the recreational areas, which allows increased services,” McCorriston states, noting key benefits such as faster design and construction of facilities, stimulating economic
photo: dan plouffe
growth and development, and allowing the City to focus money on other projects since private partners are involved in the investment. “It allocates the risk to the party best equipped to manage it,” he adds. “And it also reflects residents’ priorities.”
ULTIMATE FIELDS GO SOLO Partnerships involving sports businesses with management expertise has displayed merit, but there are also a few cases where not-for-profit community sports organizations have driven their own facility development projects. Perhaps the most successful venture without a City partnership is the Ultimate Parks Inc. facility in Manotick. A group of “forward-thinking” Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association members incorporated a company in the late 1990s so they could sell shares and raise the money required to purchase land and create the 19 fields that currently sit on Manotick Station Rd., recounts OCUA executive director Christiane Marceau. “They sold a lot to players and companies, and players outside of Ottawa bought shares too because ultimate is such a big community,” Marceau notes. OCUA didn’t exactly have unbearable problems accessing City fields at the time – although plenty of sports groups will attest that that’s a major challenge of theirs – they just wanted a place the ultimate community could call their own. “It was more of a vision,” Marceau explains. “‘If we want to grow, and if one day ultimate becomes so big, we won’t be able to find fields. And we want to be part of the solution and find a place where we can play instead of always depending on the City.’”
SPECIAL FEATURE - OTTAWA SPORTS FACILITIES
Members of the Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Association created Ultimate Parks Inc. in the late 1990s, incorporating a company and selling shares to build a facility that now boasts 19 fields in Manotick.
The lack of a partnership has tripped them up recently, however. As the city has grown outwards considerably since the late ‘90s, the land that was cheap 15 years ago has now become much more valuable, which the ultimate group discovered in its tax bill when the property was re-evaluated two years ago. “If the value of the land keeps on rising and rising, and the taxes too, some day we might be forced to sell this because we’re not able to afford it,” highlights Marceau, who’s suggesting a tax break would be appropriate. “We kind of hope the City will recognize how important having those 19 fields is and help us for that.” Although it wouldn’t apply to an existing facility like Ultimate Parks Inc., the City does have a Community Partnership Major Capital Program, which can assist groups to develop facilities with cash grants to cover parts of construction costs, land or other services in kind, or waiving applicable municipal fees. Several local sports groups have applied to the program or are eyeing it with keen interest.
ally pays a mortgage” back to them over the years, Westwood explains. Enthusiasm is high for the idea, adds Westwood, Cycling Canada’s high-performance director who’s enthusiastic about the possibility for elite athlete development, although recreational riders would certainly make up the bulk of velodrome membership. The success of the seven-year-old Forest City velodrome in London, Ont. – whose single biggest user club happens to be the travel-happy Ottawa Bicycle Club – offers hope for Ottawa, he continues. “A lot of people do spinning classes,” Westwood reasons. “I really think there’s a big chunk of those people who would prefer to actually be moving rather than sitting on a stationary bike throughout winter.”
MORE DOMES, MORE GOLF?
OTTAWA VELODROME PROJECT
pens to back onto TMSI’s Gloucester SuperDome, home to an indoor driving range during winter days. “We like the synergies of having a year-round golf facility,” McCorriston says. “We think it’s a perfect fit for our company, especially with our other golf facilities in the south (eQuinelle in Kemptville) and in the west (Thunderbird in Carp). It becomes a triangle – almost a ClubLink effect.”
TENNIS RENO IN OLD OTTAWA S.
In late August, The Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club unveiled plans to restore its 1920s-era clubhouse, which will take around 10 years and $1M to preserve its historical interior and balconies, and update the lobby, cafe and lounge, as well as plumbing, wiring and structural supports. “The Club (founded in 1881) is a hub of activity with its tennis, swimming, volleyball, café and banquet facilities and range of social activities,” OTLBC board president Peter Sutcliffe says in a media release. “Our vision is to bring back the historical beauty of the building with some modern twists that will improve the experience for our members.”
FIELD OF FIELD HOCKEY DREAMS
One such collective is the Ottawa Velodrome Project, a group that wants to bring an indoor track cycling facility to town. “It’s embryonic still,” signals Kris Westwood, an original leader of the group that now involves nearly every cycling club in the region. “Right now, we’re still trying to determine feasibility.” In the fall, they’ll receive feedback from the City on their plans, and their request for land and a break on services and property taxes. Funding for the $6M project that could also include an indoor soccer facility would likely come from a private developer partner while the velodrome “basic-
Having opened its fifth local air-supported dome last year on Richardson Side Rd. not far from Canadian Tire Centre, TMSI is eager to continue adding more since its westend domes have a 98% utilization rate over a 30-week period, McCorriston indicates. “We are cautiously optimistic that we can provide two more full-size, air-supported structures in the west end, and we’d like to have one up by fall 2014,” he says. TMSI is currently scouting out potential locations. A winter-only inflatable dome next to the present permanent facility at Ben Franklin is a possibility, McCorriston says. His company is also interested in purchasing another golf course, and is keen to bid on Pine View Golf Course, the 36-hole municipal facility that the City plans to sell, and which also hap-
The future looked decidedly grim not so long ago for local field hockey aficionados, but the possibility of a new facility tailored to their sports has raised hopes. The Nepean Sportsplex’s astro turf is the only current surface in the city that meets the proper field hockey standards. Had the City not cancelled plans to replace it with modern field turf, it would have meant disaster for the growing sport. “We’re so low on the City priority
list. We’ve had a heck of a time. We’ve had to build our program strictly on dropped time when other sports aren’t using it,” describes Sandeep Chopra, the founder of the fast-growing Nepean Nighthawks club. “We know the writing’s on the wall. Eventually they will change that turf.” But the good news is that Chopra has found a private donor who’s promised to fund construction of a field hockey facility worth around $1.5M – the term “angel donor” would apply in a big way in Chopra’s eyes. The City’s Capital program is a likely next step. “It’s a tough go, even if you have the money. Long-term, you have maintenance and taxes,” he underlines. “We are self-starters. We’re not asking for anything for free. We want it to be a viable, self-sustaining facility. “We know we have to come and put something on the table – money, expertise – and that we’ve done.”
SKATING OVAL REMAINS A WISH
Not every sport has angels appearing, however. For many smaller sports, the prospect of having their own facility remains largely a dream. Long-track speed skating is one apt example of this. Each year, a group of dedicated volunteers works tirelessly to flood and maintain a natural outdoor oval at Brewer Park, but each year there are consistently less days where the track is useable, and competitive athletes are forced to make the trek to the refrigerated oval in Lake Placid whenever they can. “That would be a dream come true for sure to have a refrigerated oval in Ottawa. That’s where you get the development,” says four-time Olympic medalist Kristina Groves, who grew up skating at Brewer before joining the national team at the Calgary Olympic Oval. “If that oval wasn’t there, there’s no way I would have... I mean, I was horrible at short track. That oval kept the glimmer of hope in my eye alive. I was always like, ‘OK, I’ve got six weeks to do long track,’ and it was my little stepping-stone to get to Calgary. If I was only doing short track, I don’t know if I would
have stuck with it.”
HIGH-PERFORMANCE LOW ON LIST A lack of attention to athlete development needs is a criticism voiced at the City by several local sports groups. Even the brand new multi-purpose centres may meet the City’s needs to run its own recreational programs, but they don’t suit the community clubs and competitive sports groups who are some of the main users, they say. “There’s a huge lack of space,” says Ottawa National Diving Club coach Kathleen Murphy, whose club grew quickly from a couple dozen to over 100 members recently. “I need more space. I need more time. I would like another evening so I can run a bigger program.” Since the pools at the new facilities won’t be deep enough, Murphy expects she could be begging for prime pool time at the nearly 40-yearold Nepean Sportsplex for awhile yet. “I know it costs a dollar for every square foot and all that,” Murphy adds. “But really, you’re spending millions of dollars and not really servicing anybody.” The trouble with just about every athletic facility is that demand is always highest in the evening, after work and after school. “If they could invest in a sports school, that would be very helpful,” Murphy suggests. “These facilities are open during the day, and we could take advantage of them.” Facility availability is an excellent bonus that a school catering to elite athletes would offer, echoes Colin Walker, who’s put the pieces in place to start SportsCan Academy, a private school he hopes to open in fall 2014 should enough students sign up. Training would take place from 8-10 a.m., which would also provide facilities with revenue at hours they have trouble filling, Walker details. But Canada still seems to be hampered by a prevailing philosophy that pursuing excellence takes away from providing opportunities for everyone, says the public school teacher of 20 years, which is why support for sports schools, or plans for top-notch athletic facilities, don’t receive widespread support. “That’s the mindset that we have to get past,” Walker emphasizes. “You can have both. One doesn’t have to suffer for the other. If you provide good facilities for the elite, that opens up facilities for everyone else to use.”
Gymnastics building blocks for Tumblers Tots It starts with a calm, quiet gym. But it’s not long before the bright, welcoming atmosphere is taken over by excited yelps and laughter from young children getting their first taste of gymnastics exercise. They’re moving quickly through colourful, kinder-sized equipment stations, bouncing on trampolines, crawling through tunnels, walking on balance beams and conquering blocks by climbing up and over them. And the foam pit is always a favourite. It finishes with a high-five and a stamp that matches each week’s fun theme. It’s all part of Tumblers Gymnastics Centre’s daytime program, offered for tots as young as 12 months, up to 5 and 6 years old. “Kids have a lot of energy at that age, and they need to burn it somewhere,” highlights Amanda Green, the daytime program coordinator. “The classes are action-packed from beginning to end. They don’t sit very often, except to explain a circuit for a minute or so. Then they’re going, going, going the whole time. “They’re definitely getting their energy out, and they’re learning a lot too.” For the youngest participants, parents assist their children in making movements and helping them to discover their bodies. They’ll later progress onto traditional gymnastics apparatuses such as bars, balance beam, trampoline and floor, which are all modified for smaller bodies.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION THROUGH FUN The abilities acquired from gymnastics – an activity that Sport Canada says all children should take part in – provide an excellent introduction to physical literacy for young athletes. “It provides a good base with those gross motor skills – those large muscle movements,” Green notes. “It’s all used in other sports, so it’s
Jr. worlds bronze tops paddler’s medal haul By Dan Plouffe
a great foundation. Starting them young is definitely good, so that they develop those skills at a younger age.” The programs also provide an opportunity for children to socialize with others and to experience a bit of a structured setting, while learning lessons like taking turns and being patient. “We’re trying to teach them life skills as well,” Green explains. “They definitely enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. During the day, I’m out in the lobby talking to parents, and they’re very appreciative of the classes, and the energy that the coaches bring to the classes. The kids really feed off the coaches’ energy.” A lot of the Tumblers staff are current or former gymnasts, while others are simply great with children. Green first became a Tumblers gymnast at age 3 – before the club moved to its current 17,000 sq. ft. facility on Vantage Drive in Orleans – and started coaching when she was in high school. She’s revelled in watching many young participants develop at Tumblers Gymnastics Centre over the years. “Seeing them from the very start and how they progress is really tremendous,” Green smiles. “A lot of them stay here for a number of years. I enjoy watching them go through the program, and grow through the program.” See www.tumblers.ca for more information.
It was back to the regular grind at Woodroffe High School for Maddie Schmidt after Labour Day, but her summer was anything but ordinary as she collected piles of medals in national and international canoe-kayak competitions. “It was an amazing season,” says the 18-year-old. “But it’s kind of nice to get home and kind of get away from it.” Schmidt paddled for Canada at World Cups other European events earlier this season, where the medal winning began. Most recently, she plucked five medals at the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, and then surpassed that haul at the Aug. 27-31 Canadian championships in Montreal, collecting five gold, a silver and bronze, including victories in each of her three individual under-19 races. But there’s no doubt the medal that means the most to her was the bronze from the Aug. 1-4 world junior championships in Welland, Ont. Schmidt captured Canada’s first medal of the competition on home soil, although it took what seemed like ages to find out that she did cross the finish line in third place in the women’s K-1 200 metres. “I was looking around for evidence to show me that I came third and the way I found out was the roar of the crowd,” the Rideau Canoe Club athlete recalls. “They started screaming, and I just knew they’d seen the results on the scoreboard. That was pretty exciting. I think I screamed a little bit. I got super happy, and then the tears started coming. It was overwhelming.”
A Petit visit
photo: dean joncas 12-time Paralympic gold medalist Chantal Petitclerc was in town Aug. 24 as keynote speaker for the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Series, which supports women’s mental health programs. The 43-year-old retired wheelchair racer is expecting her first child and will act as Canada’s Chef de Mission at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Schmidt Maddie had beaten a Schmidt paddler from Kazakhstan to the finish line by less than three hundredths of a second. “I put so much into it,” she reflected. “I’d think about the spe- photo: digital sports photography cific practices that happened – like in the winter, running, or even on the water in summer. Those workouts added up and made a difference.” Rideau coach Mike Robinson was first to hug Schmidt after the official results appeared. “We built a really good relationship this summer and in this preparation,” highlights the paddler who took up the sport at her aunt’s Ottawa River Canoe Club. “I went into the crowd, and I went to see my mom and my family and they were all bawling. It was super cute.” Junior worlds was easily the personal highlight of her season, but seeing her fellow Ottawa athletes excel at Canada Games and then nationals – where Rideau finished second in the overall club standings and won a club record number of golf medals – also stood out. “It was incredible. It was super cool to be fighting for top spot,” Schmidt says, identifying a quality facility and some of Canada’s best coaches guiding a big base of athletes as Rideau’s keys to success. “It just shows what we’re doing at the Rideau Canoe Club is working,” she adds. Besides the top nationals results, Rideau was also the overall champs at the U13 and U15 Trillium provincials, while more experienced athletes at the club are amongst the world’s best dragonboaters – 11 members of the Ottawa Galley Girls helped Canada to 11 gold and one bronze out of 12 races at the Dragonboat World Championships in Hungary earlier this summer. Rideau’s Steven Jorens, a Carleton University mechanical engineering student from Aurora, also competed for Canada against the planet’s best sprint kayakers, placing 14th overall in the K-4 men’s 1,000 m at the Aug. 28Sept. 1 world championships in Germany. “We’re such a tight team. All our training groups are super close and we all train really hard together,” Schmidt underlines. “Even though kayaking is a fairly individual sport, it really is like a team environment at the Rideau Canoe Club.”
BYWAY: Ottawa cyclists hit national & int’l peaks continued from p.11 “My triathlon coach told me indirectly that it was my best sport and then my Dad suggested that I join a cycling club.” That was three years ago. Since then, Byway has climbed to the top of his age division nationally in just his first year of serious competition. Now that he’s enjoyed a breakthrough season, By-
way is eyeing next year’s Pan Am junior championships as well as the next junior world championships. OBC’s Derek Gee and Keltie Campbell were also medalists in the cadet class, while Ariane Bonhomme medaled in junior. Cataford and Cumberland native Vincent De Haitre, now based in Calgary for school and speed skating training, reached the podium in elite men’s events.
Cataford and fellow Garneau-Quebecor athlete Mike Woods of Ottawa are competing in the Sept. 3-8 Tour of Alberta, a first-year event featuring an impressive international field, and will then race for Canada at events in Montreal and Quebec City. Ottawa’s Evan McNeely, 21, placed 41st in his world under-23 mountain bike world championships debut Aug. 30 in South Africa.
CHARTRAND EARNS INTERNATIONAL PB IN JR GRAND PRIX SEASON DEBUT
Alaine Chartrand opened her 2013-14 figure skating season with a fourth-place finish at the season’s first ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit stop Aug. 30 in Latvia, earning a personal-best international score of 146.95 points. “I gained quite a bit in the performance department of the program,” the 17-year-old Nepean Skating Club member said in a Skate Canada news release. “It’s a more mature routine this year so that’s an aspect I’ve put a lot of focus on for this season. I also feel a lot more confident after my success last year. I had the kind of start I wanted with a new program.” After winning bronze at last year’s senior nationals and placing 8th at world juniors, Chartrand is eyeing a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Sochi, which she can earn through the 2014 Canadian championships in Ottawa in January.
OTTAWA TALENT ADDED TO SKYHAWKS TEAM ROSTER
The Ottawa Skyhawks National Basketball League of Canada team unveiled their first pair of local signees in August – Rideau High School grad Manock Lual and St. Matthew Catholic High School grad Eric Kibi. The team kicks off its inaugural season Nov. 2 at Canadian Tire Centre.
FENCER HELPS CANADA TO ‘BREAKTHROUGH’ WORLDS SHOWING
Ottawa’s Kelleigh Ryan helped Canada’s women’s foil team to its best result of all-time at the fencing world championships on Aug. 10 in Hungary, placing seventh. “This result is a confirmation that we are heading in the right direction,” national team and Ottawa Fencing coach Paul ApSimon said in a Fencing Canada news release. “Our objective was seventh, and defeating the Chinese in the last match was the perfect exclamation point to a breakthrough season.”
TEAM CANADA VET, ROOKIE SHARE GOLDEN SLEDGE WIN AT SOCHI TEST EVENT
On Sept. 1, the Canadian sledge hockey team won the colour of medal in Sochi, Russia they’d like to repeat come the 2014 Paralympic Games, capturing gold in the Four Nations Tournament. Ottawa’s Marc Dorion scored in Canada’s 5-0 victory over Norway in the tournament final. Dorion was an offensive force throughout, with three goals and three assists in Canada’s five victories, while Ottawa’s Ben Delaney scored in his first-ever game with the Canadian national team to open the tournament on Aug. 27.
LOCAL DIVER SPRINGS BACK FROM FOOT INJURY TO CAPTURE CANADIAN TITLE
Henry McKay’s broken right foot healed up just enough in time for August’s Speedo Junior Development Nationals in Saskatoon, as the 13-year-old Nepean Ottawa Diving Club athlete won his age group by almost 10 points with a 306.50 score to earn a place on the Canadian team for the Sept. 26-29 Pan American junior diving championships in Arizona. Making their debuts on the national stage, Timothy Lewis and Emma Christie of the Ottawa National Diving Club placed 13th and 20th respectively in their divisions.
HORNETS, ROYALS TOURNEYS BRING OVER 200 TEAMS TO OTTAWA IN 1 WEEKEND
A total of 93 teams took to the field for the girls’ edition of the Gloucester International Soccer Tournament Aug. 10-11 at the Hornets Nest in Blackburn Hamlet. The host Gloucester Hornets earned the most division titles with four – in senior, U12 Tier 1, and U18T1 and UT2. Other local champions included Cumberland (U10 and U11T1), Ottawa South United (U14T1 and U13T1) and the Ottawa Internationals (U15T1). On the same weekend a bit further west, the Ottawa Royals hosted 120 boys’ teams for their Kickin’ in the Capital tournament. Nepean City was victorious in the U12 category, the Internationals topped U16 and OSU won Mini U9.
LOCAL GOLFER WINS ONTARIO U17 CHAMPIONSHIP IN PLAYOFF
15-year-old Orleans golfer Grace St-Germain won the Ontario under-17 girls’ golf championships event at Renfrew Golf Club, making birdie on the first playoff hole to claim the crown, which came on the heels of an Ontario junior girls’ match play title earlier this year.
FURY FC FALL & WINTER GRASSROOTS PROGRAMS Under the guidance of the club’s new Technical Director Phillip Dos Santos the First Touch and School of Excellence Fall Programs open September 8
FIRST TOUCH PROGRAM Boys & Girls Aged 4-7 Fall Program – 5 Weeks Sunday Mornings - $25 Register for the 15 Week Winter Program Before September 8 and Get Into the Fall Program for Free! Coaches Include Former Canadian National Team Player Gina Pacheco & Fury Academy Coach Nic Horne
SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAM Boys & Girls Aged 8-12 Fall Program – 5 Weeks Sunday Mornings - $25 Register for the 15 Week Winter Program Before September 8 and Get Into the Fall Program for Free! Coaches Include Ottawa Fury Staff Coach Jimmy Zito and Academy Coach Christian Hoefler
MAVS VOLLEYBALL GURU MACLEAN TAKES OVER RMC PROGRAM
Retirement proved to offer an even shorter reprieve from school than usual for former Colonel By Secondary School teacher Kerry MacLean. The Maverick Volleyball Club founder and president accepted a new challenge and is set to coach the Royal Military College of Canada Paladins women’s volleyball team, the Kingston institution announced in August.
KRISTINA KISS SOCCER FIELD AND PARK CREATED IN KANATA
Kristina Kiss made a name for herself during a distinguished soccer career with the Canadian women’s national team, and that name’s now got a permanent place on a sign in her hometown. The Kristina Kiss Soccer Field and Park was officially opened on Aug. 31 at 100 Akerson Rd. near Eagleson Rd. and Cope Dr. in Kanata South. The 32-year-old appeared 75 times for Team Canada in her playing career. She is now head coach for the West Ottawa Soccer Club.
BASEBALL PLAYER WILL SHOOT FOR 7TH AT 18U WORLD CUP
Ottawa Nepean Canadian Demi Orimoloye and Team Canada missed the medal round at the Aug. 30-Sept. 8 18U World Cup in Taiwan, finishing fourth in their pool with a 2-3 record. Despite getting a hit in his lone at-bat during the five games, Orimoloye appeared sparingly.
28TH-PLACE FINISH FOR MODERN PENTATHLETE AT WORLDS
Ottawa modern pentathlete Melanie McCann placed 28th at the Aug. 19 world championships in Taiwan. The 22-year-old struggled uncharacteristically in the opening fencing event, placing 23rd, and didn’t quite get rolling until the final combined (running and shooting) competition, where she was 12th. McCann was 11th at the London 2012 Olympics. Rockland’s Mathea Stevens, who trains in Ottawa, did not advance past the preliminary group, finishing 31st in her group.
WRESTLER/WATER POLO PLAYERS ALL WIN BRONZE AT PAN AM YOUTH COMPETITIONS
Wrestler Augusta Eve and water polo players Victor Gomeluk and Euan Scoffield all shared a common experience as they won bronze medals at Pan American youth championships in their sports. Ottawa Titans player Scoffield scored in Canada’s 10-6 bronze medal match win over the host Argentians at the Aug. 23-Sept. 1 event. National Capital Wrestling Club athlete Eve lost a close first match to a Colombian opponent and then fell to a Venezuelan before downing a U.S. challenger to win the women’s 43 kg division bronze at her Aug. 8-11 event in Colombia.
The Beautiful Game Starts Here
REGISTER ONLINE OTTAWAFURYFC.COM FOOTBALL continued from Cover Myers Riders junior varsity coach Matt Kassner has for years seen first-hand the quality of football player and coach Ottawa can produce. “I think football is really a growing sport in Ottawa and I can tell by the numbers I’ve seen rise over the years at our tryouts,” says Kassner, who grew up playing for the Riders, spent two years playing for the Gee-Gees and is now their offensive assistant. “It’s where all the quality is and it’s definitely improving each and every year.”
DEDICATION SPURS RIDERS TRIUMPH The Riders’ OVFL campaign was the club’s best yet, as its three squads all reached their league championship games on Aug. 17, with the varsity and bantam squads both topping Niagara, and Kassner’s JV team falling to Cambridge.
“It was really overwhelming,” highlights varsity coach Max Palladino, who is salivating at the young west-end talent that will move up in future seasons to play for his OVFL squad or his Jr. Riders, also championship contenders this year. “It’s phenomenal. Those young kids are what we look to build on.” In his many years watching local football, Ruckstuhl observes that the big reason the sport continues to rise in Ottawa is due to the passion and dedication of individuals who stay involved in growing the game after their playing days are complete. “It takes a lot of effort and a lot of hard work by a lot of volunteers,” the 69-yearold emphasizes. “There’s nothing better for me than to see a kid grow up playing here, go to university, and then come back and say, ‘Gee, I’d like to coach.’ “Ottawa has really flourished here.” —with files from Dan Plouffe
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