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613-263-5144 www.actKIDvity.com Your Not-for-Profit Voice for Local Sport TROPHY TIME

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The Ottawa South United U17 girls claimed the first of the three titles they want this year with an OPDL Cup win.

SportsOttawa.com

September 2019

Tokyo ticket

Jessica Gaudreault.

RISING RATHWELL

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15-year-old Ottawa swimmer won a national silver medal lined up against senior-age athletes.

POWERFUL PADDLERS

photo: steve kingsman

Ottawa goalie leads Canada water polo to first Olympics since 2004 with Pan Am Games silver By Charlie Pinkerton

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Ottawa paddlers are lining up to take their shots at securing Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths.

At the end of a comfortable 19-5 semifinals win over Brazil, Canada’s women’s water polo team experienced a moment of elation 15 years in the making. By advancing to play the

CAMPS

United States in the finals of the Pan American Games, the team secured their spot in the upcoming Summer Olympics, ending a drought that’s lasted since their last appearance at the 2004 Games in Greece. Even Canada’s result the next day – a 24-4 shellacking

YOGA

at the hands of the dominant American team – couldn’t soil the bliss of the Olympic berth-clinching victory that Ottawa goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault and her teammates earned the day earlier. “Our overall goal of this summer was to qualify for

FITNESS

MASSAGE

the Olympics, so that kind of trumps any other disappointment that we’ve had,” Gaudreault noted. “Just finishing that game and looking at my teammates and seeing how happy everybody was, I think was probably my favourite moment. And just knowing that

TENNIS

VOLLEYBALL

some girls on my team had been trying to make it to the Olympics for 16 years, some girls for four – and everything in between – it was really cool to see all these different groups of girls come together.”

TOKYO continues on p.2

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– ELITE –

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TOKYO 2020 TICKET: Water polo silver one of many Ottawa medals at Lima 2019 Pan Am Games continued from COVER An Olympic berth was awarded to the Pan Am’s top finisher that hadn’t already punched their tickets to Tokyo. The Americans, who are the two-time defending Olympic champions in the sport, qualified at an earlier event, meaning that Canada’s silver medal was enough to secure them a spot in the Olympic tournament that will feature teams from 10 countries. “Overall that was a huge success and we couldn’t be happier, honestly. We’re just looking forward to proving everybody wrong at the Olympic Games and hopefully showing up to play the U.S. as well,” 25-year-old Gaudreault said about the team that will surely be their fiercest competition next summer. Canada and the U.S. are scheduled to host each other for at least once each before they’ll likely meet in Japan. To prepare to play the U.S., Gaudreault says it’s important to watch a lot of video on the team. The world’s top team also has an advantage unlike any other country, in that they’ve built a program rich with continuity. The Lima, Peru-held Pan Am Games were Gaudreault’s second. The St. Joseph Catholic High School grad helped Canada to a silver medal in Toronto in 2015 as well. Her international experience with Canada’s water polo team dates back to 2008, when she was a gold medal win-

Ottawa’s Jessica Gaudreault has been a member of the Canadian senior women’s water polo team since 2012.

tional team’s coaching uncertainty and the organization’s pick to lead the women’s team over the next two Olympic cycles. With the start of the Olympics roughly 11 months away, Gaudreault and others from the team are also buying in to becoming more seriously dedicated to the team by moving to Montreal, where they’ll centralize their preOlympic training.

PAN AM MEDAL MADNESS

photo: steve kingsman

ner at the Junior Pan American Championships. But since she’s been a member of Canada’s senior team, Gaudreault’s been witness to a carousal of coaching changes, which she admits has hindered the team’s ability to be competitive. “It’s kind of hard to get into a really good groove when things are changing around you

constantly,” she said. While speaking to the Sportspage, she praised the new head coach of the national team, David Paradelo, who was promoted to the position in April. A press release from Water Polo Canada announcing Paradelo’s appointment implied that he’s the end of the line of the na-

Parapan Clan

file photo

Canadian goalball team veterans Whitney Bogart (left) and Amy Burk are amongst the group of Ottawa athletes competing in the Aug. 21 to Sept. 1 Parapan Am Games in Lima. In Canada’s lone match before Sportspage press time, Burk scored all 3 of Canada’s goal in their loss to Brazil. New Ottawa resident Emma Reinke is also part of the women’s goalball team. Ben Perkins and Patrice Dagenais were set to compete in the wheelchair rugby gold medal match against arch-rival USA on Aug. 27. The U.S. won their round robin meeting by a tight 54-51 margin.

Gaudreault’s silver was one of a double-digit number that Ottawa-area athletes brought home from the Pan Am Games. On the men’s side, water polo players Aleksa Gardijan and Bogdan Djerkovic also won silver medals. Squash player Sam Cornett was another local standout. She brought her Pan Am medal total to eight in her third time competing at the Games. Cornett won silvers in doubles and team and a bronze in the solo competition. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was another multi-medal winner, contributing to a silver and two bronzes for Canada in swimming relay competitions. A newcomer to town, University of Ottawa grad student and Swim Ottawa club member Alexia Zevnik captured 4 swimming medals of her own (a bronze and 3 silver, including the women’s 100 m freestyle). Archer Eric Peters also contributed a notable performance by being a part of Canada’s gold-medal-winning men’s recurve team. Peters also won an individual bronze medal. Olivia De Couvreur scored 4 tries in Canada’s undefeated romp to a repeat Pan Am Games gold medal in women’s rugby sevens. Pam Buisa was also on the squad. Ottawa Champions players Phillippe Aumont and Evan Rutckyj helped Canada win silver behind Puerto Rico in men’s baseball. A 4th-place finisher in the high bar event final, Sam Zakutney hit the podium with the Canadian men’s artistic gymnastics team in the bronze medal position. Former Ottawa residents Eugene Wang and Mo Zhang teamed up to capture mixed doubles table tennis gold, while Wang also added individual bronze. And Ottawa paddlers won a total of 6 medals across the canoe sprint and slalom competitions (see p. 16 for more details).


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15-year-old claims sr. national swim silver By Brendan Shykora There’s not much for a competitive swimmer to think about once they’re standing on the pool deck with their hours and days and weeks of training behind them. There’s no strategy or game planning at play in the moment; the sole imperative is to get in the zone. And so with headphones on, flowing pumpup music into her ears, Regan Rathwell prepared to dive into a pool next to girls as many as five years her senior. Rathwell’s age didn’t matter when she touched the wall in medal position. The 15-year-old Ottawa native snagged silver in the 100 metre backstroke at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Championships and added bronze medals in the 50 m and 200 m backstrokes to boot. But as it turns out, age does matter when it comes to tracking a swimmer’s Olympic chances, and with the Greater Ottawa (GO) Kingfish athlete being on the right side of 16 while earning medals against 20-year-olds, Rathwell’s estab-

Regan Rathwell

photo: renee kardash photography/swimming canada

lishing herself as a hopeful for future international success. The competition was thinner at this year’s senior national championships with the top Canadian swimmers down in Lima for the Pan Am Games, but Rathwell still had a banner showing. Her 50 m event at the championships on Aug. 10 saw her reach a new personal best with a time of 29.34 seconds. The backstroke has proven to be Rathwell’s best style at this early stage in her swimming career, but she’s also de-

termined not to be a one-trick pony. “I try to focus equally on all the strokes, and my IM (individual medley) is pretty strong,” she said in an interview with the Sportspage. “My freestyle was pretty weak at the beginning of the season, so was my butterfly. But I’ve been working really hard on those.” Her efforts to become an all-rounder have been paying off, according to Swimming Canada’s Iain McDonald.

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ottawa.ca/recreation ottawa.ca/loisirs


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Griffins lacrosse Bantams reach historic standing By Charlie Pinkerton

Congratulations to all our Ottawa athletes who represented our city and our country so well at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games! On behalf of the City of Ottawa Sport Commissioner’s Office, I want you to know how much we appreciate your efforts and achievements. I’ve had the absolute privilege to be part of the Canadian mission team for past Games, and that’s provided a little window into the tremendous dedication involved to create the moments that make us so proud.

For the second year in a row a Gloucester Griffins team achieved record-setting results. A bantam team from the club eclipsed the best-ever result of its team last year by making it to the Ontario Lacrosse Tournament’s ‘A’ finals tournament, where the top six teams in Ontario competed for a provincial championship. The team that set a new marker for the club this year was made up of 11 of the same members of the team of 13- and 14-year-olds that broke the ‘A’ barrier for the club for the first time in more than 20 years last season. Steve McLean, the head coach of the Griffins’ top bantam team, said that at the beginning of the season he and Gloucester Lacrosse Association president Ian Woolridge both believed the team would once again be able to set achieve a record-topping mark for the club. “(We) totally believed we could get to the final six,” McLean said, who credited his team’s hard work and perseverance throughout the year. “We got there and it was fantastic to have just the most incredible group of boys who are just so willing to practise

photo: ottawa sports photography

so hard all year,” McLean continued. The Griffins’ bantam team were assigned to the ‘A’ division thanks to strong regular season results that positioned them as one of the province’s top 16 teams in their age group. They posted a 5-2 record in the ‘A’ qualifiers, which was good enough for a top three spot in their eight-team division and a spot the provincial finals tournament. At the tournament of the final six, the Griffins produced a 1-4 record. “Overall in this grind to get to the championship in ‘A’ we played 12 games and we just

RATHWELL: Standout swimmer began sports career in gymnastics continued from p.3

Thank you for being great athletes and great citizens, and good luck in your future pursuits!

I am proud to take on the leadership role as Ottawa Sport Commissioner. I am here to help.

didn’t quite get there, (but) it was a great result for us anyways,” McLean said. The coach, whose son Zachary McLean is a member of the bantam team, was especially impressed by the success of his Griffins squad because most of their opponents had routinely competed at the ‘A’ level since they were in tyke. “Our boys, they had a lot of catching up to do, and there’s a huge difference between ‘A’ and ‘B’, and the offensive and defensive systems and the speed you have to play the game at, so they had to learn it all in one year,” McLean said.

Woolridge said last year that the bantam boys clearing the ‘A’ hurdle was a “major accomplishment” for the club, which shows it’s “going in the right direction” that it’s since continued. Woolridge is also due recognition for the club’s heightened competitiveness, McLean said. The president, who is in the second half of a two-year-long term, has pressed for teams to compete at the highest level they’re capable of. “Ian is just such a promoter of lacrosse; he wants to grow the organization, he wants the organization to be well regarded in the community and people wanting to play for us and he thinks the best way to do that is to achieve a high standard of play,” McLean expressed. The Griffins’ better play is representative of better lacrosse in Ottawa in general, said McLean, who added that improvements made by the Nepean Knights and the Akwesasne Indians in recent years has pushed his club as well. Three Ottawa teams won medals at the 2019 Ontario Lacrosse Festival. The Gloucester Griffins’ tyke ‘C’ and bantam ‘B’ teams both won silver, as did the Nepean Knights’ girls’ intermediate team.

“She’s obviously showing good skill development across a number of strokes which speaks well to the foundation that her and her coaches have been working on in her club program,” he said. McDonald is the senior manager of NextGen, Swimming Canada’s high performance program. He helps explain “On Track Times,” an evaluation system that looks at the career progressions of worldclass athletes to determine where up-andcomers likely need to be based on average rates of improvement by age, event and gender. There are three different tracks derived from this formula, with Track 1 essentially being ahead of the curve. Rathwell has set Track 1 times in the 100 m and 200 m backstroke as well as the 200 m individual medley – a more important indicator than, say, the five medals she won at this year’s Canadian Junior Championships in swimming in July. “That’s really what we look at more so than necessarily winning a medal at senior or junior championships,” said McDonald. You wouldn’t know it, but swimming is a lot like baseball – at least according to McDonald.

“You look at what the Blue Jays do with their projections and trying to gather a bunch of young athletes. “A bunch of them are showing they have good potential, but you have to wait to see who gets to the other side.” Being on Track 1 is as good an indicator as Rathwell – or anyone – could hope for at this stage. But Moneyball is rooted in statistics, and in swimming only the outliers reach the highest level. “She still has a long road ahead of her to make sure she gets there,” McDonald added. That said, with Rathwell just now entering the On Track system, she’ll be in line for funding and coaching resources to help her on her way. It’ll take dedication, but she hasn’t been short on that to date.

FROM GYM TO POOL Rathwell’s dedication to athletics didn’t start out in the water; it started in the air. “I thought I was going to be a gymnast,” she said, recalling earlier years spent learning how to manoeuvre on bars and balance beams. Even then she was always in the water, swimming in her backyard pool as far back as she can remember.

“We’d take swimming lessons and one of my instructors told me that I could be a great swimmer and that I should try out for the swim team, so he got me a tryout.” With all her current swimming training, does she ever miss gymnastics? “Not at all,” she says. “My younger sister’s a gymnast and she’s competing really well, so I’m not too far from it. I always get to see what’s going on. “I’m happy with my choice.”

POOL PERFORMERS Ottawa swimmers Charles Bertrand and Julie Brosseau also won medals at the junior national championships for swimming. Bertrand, who swims with the GO Kingfish, won a bronze medal in the men’s 1,500 m freestyle, in the 14-15 age group. Swim Ottawa’s Brosseau won a bronze medal in the women’s 100 m breaststroke in the 13-14 age group. Swim Ottawa’s Alexandre Perreault won a gold medal in the men’s 50 m butterfly and a bronze medal in the 100 m butterfly at the senior Canadian championships. Ottawa native Eli Wall won gold medals in the men’s 50 m breaststroke and 200 m breaststroke.


– ELITE – Ottawa sculler shooting for the Olympics next By Charlie Pinkerton One of the Ottawa Rowing Club’s oarswoman-on-the-rise is hoping that an improved performance at the international regatta where she debuted last year will steer her to a stream heading for the Olympic Games. Twenty-two-year-old Louise Munro took her first dip into international competition at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships last summer. At the top annual regatta for rowers of her age, Munro placed 5th in the quadruple sculls. She followed that performance by returning to Queen’s University’s rowing team, where she contributed two gold medals to the team’s tally at the OUA Rowing Championships last fall. Months later she was plucked from Queen’s by Canada’s national rowing organization and invited to move to Victoria, B.C. to train full time alongside the senior national team. “To me it was really, really awesome to be able to focus on just rowing and not have to manage school or full-time school as well, so in that way it was like a huge stress relief for me to have the support from the senior rowing staff. … And it was really awesome to be training with likeminded people and people kind of eying the same thing as (me),” Munro said. Though she ultimately was not selected to compete at the 2019 World Rowing Championships for senior rowers, she was given a vote of confidence by Rowing Canada Aviron, in the form of the discipline she was chosen to race in at the U23 championships this summer. At the world championships for her age group that were held from July 2428, Munro raced in her own boat, which it’s customary for a country to reserve for its top oarswoman. In the single sculls at the SarasotaBradenton-held U23 World Championships, Munro bumped up her placing from last year, this time finishing just one spot shy of the podium.

Louise Munro

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Ottawa Girls Hockey Report

Ottawa Girls Hockey Association builds confident girls for 20 years in the capital

photo: merijn soeters / rowing canada aviron

Munro races using a strategy that’s reliant on a rower’s preparation and mental toughness. Called “even-splitting,” Munro’s tactic is to maintain as close to a consistent speed as she can throughout the entirety of the 2,000 metre race, which typically takes rowers about seven-and-ahalf minutes to finish. One downside to this strategy is that since rowers are seated towards the back of the boat, they can no longer see their opponents if they fall behind them. “A lot of people will go off hard on the start and they get the psychological advantage of being able to see their competition and that’s sometimes enough of a motivator to keep them in front,” Munro said. “But they also can produce way too much lactic acid in their body and start dying.” Even-splitting requires the oarswoman to remain composed and trust in her training and preparation, rather than overreacting to how others’ races are going. In the repechage for her event, Munro’s times in the first and second half of her race were almost identical. She finished one spot ahead of where she was positioned through the halfway point in the race in the qualifier. In her finals of the single culls, she

Ultimate accolades

photo: brian mackenzie ultimate photography

overcame a slow start with a much faster second half of her race, passing two other boats in the last 1,000 metres. “I think that was one of my strengths at this regatta – keeping my cool when I wasn’t ahead, or I wasn’t in a favourable position. I just kept thinking, ‘maintain your speed,’” said Munro.

TRYING FOR TOKYO The 2019 World Rowing Championships – which Rowing Canada did not select Munro for, instead choosing to have her race at the U23 championships – is the first event that rowers can use to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The event was in its second day of competition at the time of publication. Munro told the Sportspage near the end of August that she will extend her leave from Queen’s if Rowing Canada invites her to return to the National Training Centre this fall. After the world championships, the next qualifier for Canadian rowers is next April’s Americas Continental Qualification Regatta, to be held in Rio de Janeiro. There’s a final event that Canadian rowers can qualify for the Olympics for in May, if they don’t make it out of their regional qualifier.

Ottawa athletes on Canada’s open and women’s teams helped the nation win medals at the WFDF 2019 World Under-24 Ultimate Championships in Heidelberg, Germany. Kinley Gee (left) played on the open team, which placed 2nd at the event. Canada’s open team went undefeated through eight games of pool play before collecting wins over Columbia and Japan en route to the gold medal game against the United States. They fell in the world title game 15-12 against the U.S. Ottawa’s Danielle Cantal and Wynne Gee were part of the women’s team that went 4-1 through pool play, before falling to Japan in the tournament’s semifinals. Canada’s women beat Columbia 15-13 in the bronze medal game. At the Aug. 11-18 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Edmonton, Ottawa’s Ignite junior open team won the silver medal in its division. Ignite won backto-back 11-10 contests in the playoff round to advance to the championship game before falling 15-8 to Eclipse. Ian Wallace led the team in scoring with 25 goals in 7 contests.

Throughout the dog days of summer, the Ottawa Girls Hockey Association (OGHA) has been busily preparing for their upcoming season in the rinks. It is a special year for the OGHA as it marks our 20th anniversary of being a female hockey association. From our inception, the goal of the OGHA has been very simple and it is reflected in our motto: “Building con@OGHAhockey fident girls...since 1999”. facebook.com/OttawaWhile simple in concept, the Girls-Hockey-AssociationOGHA and female hockey has rapOGHA-319499598525472/ idly evolved over the past decade. This is reflected in the programs that we offer, which have grown to span a broad spectrum of ages (4-21) and teams (Fundamentals/House League/Competitive/Junior-level) with a membership that hovers around 450-500 players. The OGHA is now mature enough to have girls who played in Novice and Atom over a decade go, now returning to coach after successfully completing post-secondary education. While the spotlight has been focussed on the many OGHA alumni who have signed with Universities and Colleges throughout North America, in talking to many of these women, it was the all-important “life skills” lessons that they learned on and off the ice with their OGHA team that gave them the confidence and insight in to what can be achieved through working hard. For our 20th year, the main focus of the OGHA is to get more girls playing hockey and to provide the opportunities for them to grow and develop through experiencing the many positives of our national game. Towards this goal, the OGHA has substantially reduced the registration fees for any new skaters, especially at the Novice (ages 7-8) level and for our goalies...because without the latter, no team can ever hit the ice. We have also implemented a fee-matching strategy for girls wishing to move over from boys hockey and have created a new league to ensure that our House League teams at every level practice and compete locally within the City.

FIRST SHIFT PROGRAM KICKS OFF OCT. 29 As well, the OGHA in partnership with Bauer and the NHL, will be hosting a female-only First Shift program that facilitates new players into the game by equipping them in Bauer apparel and running basic skill clinics with NHL and Hockey Canada alumnae until Christmas. Our Welcome Event is scheduled for October 29th, 2019 at Jim Durrell Arena. It is an excellent program with all of the right philosophies, and the OGHA is proud to be hosting such a program for the entire region that is integral to female hockey development. To register and find more information, check out firstshift.ca

GEE-GEES LEAD HOUSE LEAGUE INSTRUCTION Speaking of females, hockey and development, the OGHA is also welcoming back the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s hockey team as the main instructional component for all of our House League development programs. Once a week for the entire Fall session, our girls will experience some of the best hockey role models out there on the ice and in the locker room. Similar on the Competitive side, the OGHA has partnered with East Coast Edge, who have an all-female staff with an excellent hockey pedigree combined with teaching backgrounds. Both of these groups were instrumental last year in implementing another priority of the OGHA – getting more women in coaching roles for our players. We will be organizing female-only Coaching Development and Referee clinics early on in the season to help us achieve this goal as well. We have a lot of fun hockey events planned for our 20th birthday party...outdoor shinny games, Winterlude 3-on-3 tournament, games at TD Place before an Ottawa 67’s match, and it all kicks off just after Labour Day with the remainder of our Competitive tryouts and House League sort-outs. The FUNdamentals program – which is the future of the OGHA – will start in mid-September. So as the Fall rolls in, please check out our website for more information on programs and contacts for the fastest growing athletic activity in Canada.

OGHA.info


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Triathlete hopes to haul hardware to university By Charlie Pinkerton

Rockin’ Rebelles Wrap

Louis-Riel linksters rise under veteran local golf pro Marc Blais

At the height of his playing days, Marc Blais would hit 1,000 golf balls a day. That was when the graduate of Fort Myers’ Edison College (now Florida Southwestern) was playing on a pro tour in the sunshine state, seeking to emulate Greg Norman and Ben Hogan. “I’m feeling it in my body today,” smiles the 50-yearold golf program director at Louis-Riel high school. “It’s a tough grind to try to make a living as a playing pro, but I did get great experience, which now I get to pass on to these guys.” A realtor for the past 15+ years, Blais is a veteran of the golf industry and well-known on the local links scene. “I did every job in golf – GM, head pro, playing pro, teaching pro – but I really fell in love with teaching,” underlines the coach of 25 years who recently gave up his CPGA card so he could play amateur with his son. “It’s a real passion for me to work with kids at all ages,” he adds. “It goes back to the very first lesson I ever gave – I was still a junior – and it’s seeing the smile on somebody’s face when they succeed.” The head of Louis-Riel’s golf program since 2016, Blais maintains close friendships with his past colleagues. That’s opened the door for his students to

play and practice at ClubLink’s GreyHawk and Eagle Creek courses, plus Pine View Golf Course. In spring and fall, Louis-Riel’s unique sports-study program allows the golfers to get on course 3 times a week during school hours, including one 18-hole round alongside Blais. “That’s a good way to improve,” signals the Kapuskasing, Ont. native. “If I was at 14 or 15 years old and I got to play with a golf pro every week, I think my game would have got pretty good pretty quick.” During winter, the Louis-Riel golf program utilizes the largest sports dome in Canada (on-site at school) to perfect fundamentals. Mental performance, tournament preparation, season planning, nutrition and physical fitness (under the guidance of the school’s own strength coach) are also part of the package. It’s a formula that’s produced numerous varsity golf and scholarship opportunities in Canada and the U.S.; most recently, 2019 grad Jocelyn Ménard joined the Maryville University Saints in St. Louis. “There are a lot of our kids who will go on to college golf scholarships, which we’re certainly very proud of,” Blais indicates. “But that’s not the goal for everyone. Some of them are going to become businesspeople or doctors, lawyers, plumbers or electricians – they’re going to be great citizens of this world. “And they’re also going to be great golfers, and have lots of lifelong friends. I really hope they play forever.”

Le golf LR grandit avec Marc Blais, vétéran du golf professionnel

Au pic de sa carrière, Marc Blais frappait 1 000  balles de golf par jour. Le diplômé d’Edison College (maintenant Florida Southwestern) à Fort Myers (Floride), alors en tournée professionnelle dans cet État, essayait d’émuler Greg Norman et Ben Hogan. «  Je ressens aujourd’hui le poids des années dans mon corps », dit en souriant le directeur du programme de golf à l’école secondaire Louis-Riel, âgé de 50 ans. « Il est vraiment difficile d’arriver à vivre de ce sport, mais ce fut une expérience inoubliable que je veux aujourd’hui transmettre à ces jeunes. » Agent immobilier depuis au moins 15  ans, le golfeur est bien connue sur la scène locale de golf. «  J’ai grimpé tous les échelons possibles dans ce sport – directeur générale, professionnel en titre, joueur professionnel, professionnel enseignant – mais ce que j’aime par-dessus tout, c’est d’enseigner », souligne l’entraîneur, fort d’une expérience de 25  ans, qui vient d’abandonner sa carte de l’Association canadienne des golfeurs professionnels afin de pratiquer ce sport en amateur avec son fils. «  C’est une vraie passion pour moi de travailler avec des enfants de tout âge  », ajoute-t-il. «  Je me rappelle la toute première leçon que j’ai donnée –  je n’étais encore que joueur junior  – et je me souviens encore du sourire qu’arboraient mes élèves quand ils

Marc Blais réussissaient. » Principal responsable du programme de golf de Louis-Riel depuis  2016, le golfeur vétéran maintient des contacts étroits avec ses anciens collègues, ce qui a ouvert la porte à ses élèves et leur permet de jouer et de s’exercer sur les terrains de GreyHawk et d’Eagle Creek de ClubLink, en plus de celui de Pine View. Le programme sports-études particulier de Louis-Riel permet aux golfeurs de s’exercer sur le terrain trois fois par semaine pendant les heures de classe au printemps et à l’automne, et de jouer 18 trous en compagnie de Marc Blais. «  C’est une bonne façon de s’améliorer  », précise ce natif de Kapuskasing (Ontario). « Si j’avais 14 ou 15  ans et que je pouvais jouer chaque semaine avec un golfeur professionnel, je pense que mon jeu connaîtrait une progression très marquée et très rapide. »

Pendant l’hiver, le plus grand dôme sportif au Canada (sur le terrain de l’école) est mis à profit pour le programme de golf de LouisRiel, ce qui permet aux joueurs de s’exercer à maîtriser les techniques de base. La performance intellectuelle, la préparation pour les tournois, la planification de la saison, la nutrition et la condition physique (sous la direction de l’entraîneur de l’école) font également partie du programme. La méthode est reconnue pour avoir produit un grand nombre de bourses d’études et de golfeurs affiliés à un établissement scolaire, tant au Canada qu’aux États-Unis : récemment, Jocelyn Ménard, diplômé en  2019, s’est joint aux Saints de l’Université Maryville à Saint-Louis. « Un grand nombre de nos élèves bénéficieront de bourses d’études pour entrer à l’université, ce dont nous serons très fiers », affirme Marc Blais. « Mais, ce n’est pas ce que nous visons pour chacun d’entre eux. Certains deviendront des entrepreneurs, des médecins, des avocats, des plombiers ou des électriciens. Ils seront de grands citoyens du monde. Ils seront également d’excellents golfeurs, qui auront des tas d’amis toute leur vie. J’espère qu’ils n’arrêteront jamais de jouer. »

www.louis-riel.cepeo.on.ca/sports-etudes

Bytown Storm’s Haileigh Chenier’s last race day of the season might feel more like a quadrathlon. The 19-year-old triathlete will depart for the frenzy of university move-in immediately after she tries put a cap on her best year yet in the sport by scoring a provincial medal at the provincial series finale on Aug. 31. Coming from a competitive swimming background, Chenier’s competed in triathlon since 2012. Whereas swimming had become monotonous the Ottawa athlete, she found the multifaceted nature of triathlon to be compelling. “I really love the challenge of three different sports,” Chenier told the Ottawa Sportspage in a phone interview following a mid-August training session. It wasn’t until two years ago that she began taking triathlon seriously. “I started to understand the concept of performing, and I wasn’t seeing the result I wanted, so I just decided – and the coaches were talking to me as well, they were like, ‘if you want to succeed, you’ve got to start putting in a lot more work’ – and I haven’t looked back since then.” While the bike (her favourite) and the swim are typically the strongest portions of her race, the West Carleton Secondary School grad said that this summer all aspects of her race have come together for her in competition. That was especially evident in the 2nd place finish she secured at the National Capital Triathlon, which matched her

Haleigh Chenier

photo: christian martin

result in an earlier Ontario Cup race in Lakefield. At the Ottawa race, she had the fastest run time among junior girls. Her swim and bike times were both 3rd best in her classification in that race. Fellow Storm athlete Miguel Alvarez also placed 2nd in the junior men’s division at the locally held event. At the Lakefield race he finished 5th. For Chenier, the lone blemish on what’s otherwise been an impressive year in Ontario Cup events was failing to finish the race held in Toronto. Her bike was broken in a crash and she wasn’t able to continue past the second stage. She says the Ontario Triathlon Championships in Welland at the end of August has been

her focus all summer. Another top three finish at that event would almost certainly be enough to secure her a spot on the cumulative provincial podium, which takes into account racers’ top three finishes. “It would be nice to finish like that in my last year as a junior,” Chenier said. With hopefully a medal around her neck, she won’t head far to Guelph University, where she’ll start classes as a first-year student just days later. Since triathlon isn’t recognized as a varsity sport in Ontario University Athletics (or nationally in U Sports), Chenier plans on joining a local triathlon club in Guelph to continue training for competition next spring.

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– ELITE –

7

Top local tennis player mulls putting down her racquet By Charlie Pinkerton About two years after a life-altering illness almost brought an end to the professional tennis career of one of the country’s once most-promising young players, she’s again contemplating retirement from the sport and what could come next. Petra Januskova’s life in tennis was pre-set. Both of her older sisters, Eva and Erika, picked up the game ahead of her, with Petra following them at about the youngest she could properly swing a racquet – age 4. She would go on to choose a similar path to Eva by competing in the sport in Division 1 of the NCAA, but not before lining Tennis Canada’s record books with her name as a youth competitor. Januskova won the outdoor doubles championship at the Rogers Junior National Tennis Championships as both a U14 and U16 player, as well as the indoor championship in U14. In her two years in that division, she was ranked Canada’s 2nd and 4th best women’s player at the year’s end. As a 15- and 16-year-old she kept a 3rd place ranking in her age group in Canada. Once she joined Penn State, Januskova perhaps even surpassed the high expectations that she’d set for herself. She was twice named to the All-Big Ten first team and before her sophomore year became the first Nittany Lion in more than 20 years to register a preseason ranking. To cap her career with Penn State, where she studied marketing, Januskova was awarded the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award for her high level of achievement in athletics as well as academics. Months after graduating in the spring of 2013, Januskova turned pro. She cracked the Top 10 year-end rankings for Canadian women’s tennis players for the first time at the end of the next professional season. Recently-crowned Rogers Cup champion Bianca Andreescu debuted in the Top 10 of the Canadian women’s rankings just two spots ahead of Januskova that same year. By the end of the next season, 2016, Januskova had climbed a spot on the Canadian rankings as

Petra Januskova

Ottawa TFC Telegram

OTFC earns highest youth club licence

photo: gopsusports.com

well as 185 spots in the world rankings.

ILLNESS FOILS RISE But that accomplishment was dwarfed by a career tragedy for the then-25-yearold. Januskova had to retire midway through the first set of a quarterfinals matchup in a Croatia-held tournament in what would be her final match of that year. She was hospitalized, where she found out that she had rheumatic fever, which can be described in simple terms as an extreme escalation of the strep virus. “It was almost a miracle that I was still alive,” said Januskova, who also developed shingles during her recovery. “I had to pretty much relearn how to walk,” she added. The time she took away from playing competitively stretched to almost half a year and she says her game has never fully recovered. After returning to tennis, Januskova did experience some immediate success, but not at the heights she had become accustomed to competing at. At the National Capital Tennis Association’s City Championships in 2017, she won both the singles and doubles division. What followed for her was realizing the unfortunate reality that tennis players on the cusp of professionality face. “If you want to make it in tennis you need money,” she said. And the money she did have didn’t cut it to adequately sustain the lifestyle of a pro. Changes to professional tennis’ ranking system made earlier

this year further diluted how much players with a ranking like her are paid, putting her in an even more difficult financial situation. “Not everyone can be Jessica Pegula,” Januskova said, in reference to this year’s winner of Italy’s Citi Open, whose parents own the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. This season, Januskova had expected to be one-half of Canada’s doubles team at the Pan American Games in Lima, with her and partner Layne Sleeth appearing on an early entry list for the tournament, before another duo was shoed in in their place. After their entry to that tournament fell through, Januskova said she had hoped to play in the Rogers Cup for what could be a send-off on a high note. Instead, Sleeth and similarly-ranked fellow Canadian Louise Kwong were selected for the wild card slots in the top Canada-held event ahead of her. “That was unfortunate,” Januskova said.

HEARTBREAKER AT GATINEAU IT TOURNEY Januskova’s also spent some time coaching in the last month, lending instruction to competitive junior players here in Ottawa, as well as playing close-to-home in recently held tournaments in Gatineau and Granby. Her best recent showing was advancing to the quarterfinals of the Gatineau Challenger in the doubles’ division with Sleeth and coming within a 2-point tiebreak of knocking off the top seeds. “It could be possibly my

last tournament if I decide not to play any during school. It’s crazy,” Januskova said.

ENGLAND-BOUND When Januskova spoke with the Ottawa Sportspage in midAugust she had been accepted to Durham University in the United Kingdom and was awaiting the approval of her visa. “I just live day-by-day, I’m not thinking about (whether I’ll continue competing) too much, and that’s one of the reasons I think why I decided to go back to school,” Januskova said. “I think it will be a better transition for me because I know if I’m working or teaching tennis, I know I’m going to want to go out there and play again. I know it’s going to be really tough on me.” She said that once she’s on foreign soil and has begun her masters program that only then will she determine what her tennis future will be. In reflection, she said she owes tennis for giving her the opportunity to travel the world. She also reflects fondly on high-level events she’s had the opportunity to participate in, like the Rogers Cup, which she played in the two years before falling ill. “It’s really nice playing the big tournaments, you feel like you are someone,” Januskova said. She’s plans to study marketing at Durham University, which is the career route she says she’d like to pursue. That – and maybe doing a little bit of tennis coaching on the side. “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve seen a lot of the girls and boys really improve,” Januskova said. “So it is really satisfying.”

It wasn’t quite like hoisting a big trophy after the championship-winning goal, but Ottawa TFC Soccer Club nonetheless scored a major triumph off the field when it was chosen as one of only 39 clubs across the country to receive Canada Soccer’s new National Youth Club Licence. “It’s really an extraordinary achievement for our club,” says Ottawa TFC Club President Terry Vida, noting many licencees have double the members of OTFC’s 3,000. “This puts us at the highest level of professionalism for youth soccer in Canada, and it just opens the doors for kids. “If I was 7, 8 or 9 years old, man, I would be so excited to be in soccer at this time. It really is a fabulous pathway for kids, and it’s so crystal clear with our club. Every possible door is open for kids who want to play, right from recreational up all the way to the most elite levels. “I think that’s why we worked so hard to make this one happen.” Much like on the pitch, teamwork was a big key to success in helping OTFC achieve the stringent standards necessary to earn a National Youth Licence. Many, many staff, coaches, volunteers and members contributed to the latest milestone achievement in the club’s journey. “It’s such an honour to work with this group of people,” Vida underlines. “There is such a passion there to be the best we can be at everything we embark on.” Top-quality governance, administration, infrastructure and technical prowess were required to achieve the highest amateur youth club designation in the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program. That includes items like having governance manuals for the board of directors, and ensuring the proper policies are in place so children have a healthy and safe environment to play in. “It has pushed us to an even higher level of professionalism,” Vida summarizes. The Licence also further solidifies links to Canada’s national team programs. Canada Soccer scouts elite players from OTFC’s Ontario Player Development League teams, while Club General Manager Pavel Cancura is in regular contact with Team Canada Head Coach John Herdman and his coaching staff. “There’s a better connection to the national team, so all of their coaching and their ideas, we can then integrate into our club,” signals Vida, noting that the close relationship with Toronto FC’s Academy also provides a vital link to the top international level.

CLUB CULTURE CONTINUES TO GROW STRONG It’s been an enormous year for the local club in the off-field news. First, there was the merger between Cumberland and Capital United, then the affiliation with Major League Soccer giant TFC, and now the National Youth Licence. “It’s a super exciting time. I keep saying that,” smiles Vida, who was Cumberland’s President for 2 years before the new club was created. “Every year, I say, ‘OK, when we achieve this, now we have reached the pinnacle,’ and then there’s something else.” With the laborious background work complete, OTFC members will soon get to experience some unique new opportunities involving their high-level partners. “But this is greater than soccer,” Vida adds. “I think that’s what drives a lot of us. There is a passion amongst us about creating better people. We really focus hard on making this an organization that’s teaching kids values, and that there’s a strong culture within the club that everyone feels and wants to be a part of. It’s really about the community we’ve created. It’s very hard not to get caught up in that passion.”

OttawaTFC.com


8

– JUNIOR LEAGUES – OSU’s top girls notch first prize in triple crown pursuit, U15 boys secure their own OPDL Cup

photo: ontario soccer

The 2018 OPDL-champion Ottawa South United Force U17 girls won the OPDL Cup title that eluded them last year, comfortbaly winning the final of the knockout competition 3-0. By Charlie Pinkerton Ottawa’s best youth soccer team from last year is on a mission to sweep their league’s three top prizes after securing the first – the OPDL Cup, which was the only title to evade them last season. Ottawa South United (OSU) Force’s under-17 girls’ team is made up of many of the players who graduated from last year’s U15 team, who claimed

their Ontario Player Development League’s (OPDL) regular season title and post-season championship (the OPDL Charity Shield). They fell short of winning the league’s triple crown of sorts last year, by falling to North Toronto SC in the finals of the mid-season OPDL Cup. “The girls are pretty much the same team as last year but with much more of a focus-driven attitude, especially trying to reclaim not only the

two championships that we won last season, but to get that trophy that we missed out on,” said Abe Osman, the head coach of OSU’s U17 girls team. The girls claimed the elusive OPDL Cup with a 3-0 win over Oakville SC in an Aug. 17 matchup. Marissa Gravel scored OSU’s first two goals early, then Claire Rea built a 3-0 lead just 37 minutes in.

OPDL CUP continues p.9


OPDL CUP: Force coach Abe Osman doubles up on Cups continued from last page Osman coached the same group of girls last year when they were tearing through the U15 division. He took over the lead role with the team partway through the season. He explained that the team’s success this year is an extension of their dominance last year of work they’ve been putting in since the preseason. “Coming into this season our training was even more intense and we had tougher tournaments to try and get ready for the season, there was a lot of exposure, and our players were much more in-tuned,” he said. Osman is also the coach of OSU’s League1 Ontario team, which he’s hoping will benefit from this dominant generation of Force girls. “Moving the ’03 girls up into that level will only strengthen our women’s program at the highest level,” Osman said. Following a planned midseason realignment of the U17 girls division, OSU’s team is 4-0. OSU’s U15 boys also won their division’s OPDL Cup. They

Pablo Trujillo

photo: ontario soccer

bested Hamilton United 1-0, courtesy of a goal scored just before end of the first half by Anthony Domanico. Osman is an assistant coach for the U15 boys team as well. He had high praise for them also. “On paper, the ‘04 boys look like a very strong, dynamic team. They’ve got a lot of size

and a lot of speed and very great technical ability,” Osman said. At the time of Sportspage publication, OSU’s U15 boys were in 2nd place in the east division of their league with a record of 11-1-3. West Ottawa’s U-15 boys were one spot back from them with a record of 9-1-5.

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– ELITE –

10

Fury’s 15-year-old wunderkind shouldering lofty expectations By Stuart Miller-Davis

The Tumblers Telegraph

Tumblers to host Summer Exchange with celebrated Japanese coach’s MOVE club

There is a once-in-a-lifetime experience brewing for the young gymnasts at Tumblers Gymnastics Centre. This July, Tumblers had the privilege to welcome Mr. Masakiyo Minoru, a renowned coach from Japan who visited for 5 days to get a lay of the land and setup an exchange program for next summer. In August 2020, Minoru will bring some of his athletes to be billeted by Tumblers families for close to 2 weeks. In 2021, they’ll return the favour and host Tumblers athletes in Japan. “It’s very, very exciting,” says Tumblers Recreation Manager Connie Groom. “Gymnastics is worldwide, but athletes oftentimes don’t get outside of their own country, so it’ll be pretty cool for our kids to travel somewhere other than Cornwall or Toronto. “I don’t know many other gyms that do these kind of exchanges. It’s a life experience that they probably otherwise wouldn’t get.” Groom helped facilitate an international exchange years ago and believes the participants “will remember it for the rest of their lives.” “I’m dating myself here, but now those athletes who did it, they’re coming back with their kids, and they still talk about it,” she smiles. The opportunity for the exchange came about through a Japan-born local florist who contacted Tumblers to signal Minoru’s interest in the exchange. She felt Tumblers’ focus on community and family would be a good match for their foreign friend, which was confirmed quickly upon his arrival. “Our philosophy on how we coach our kids here is right in line with how he coaches his children and athletes,” Groom details. “It’s about their personal development. I’m here for my athletes and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. “It’s disciplined, but not too disciplined. We’re caring, but we have an expectation. Respect is very important. Respect for the sport, respect for their peers, respect for their coaches. They’re not here just teaching kids gymnastics, they’re helping them to be the future leaders.” Minoru’s recent visit already provided an opportunity for all to learn from one another. An experienced coach for over 10,000 artistic gymnasts throughout his career (including an Olympic medallist and another World Champion), Minoru has run the MOVE Gymnastics Club for 15 years. Though MOVE counts over 2,100 members in Osaka and Kyoto, their spaces are fairly small and equipment needs to be pulled out and put away each time it’s used. Seeing a facility like Tumblers’ was eye-opening, Minoru shared, as was the club’s wide range of programs from babies to competitive, and many disciplines like trampoline, parkour, and acro for dance & cheer. There is sure to be great gymnastics gains from the exchange, but the chance to share cultures and live life experiences is sure to provide an even larger lasting impact, indicates Groom, whose club sent a pile of Tumblers gear back home with Minoru for his athletes. “You know, they basically have to look after these kids who are going to stay with them,” Groom notes. “And they’ll have to find ways to communicate without speaking the same language, and not get frustrated. But you know what? Sport is a universal language, really. “I can’t wait. This is just such a phenomenal opportunity for everyone involved. It’s something I hope we can keep going for many years.”

Tumblers.ca

There’s no one representative of the growth of soccer talent in the nation’s capital quite like local prodigy Antoine Coupland. The 15-year-old inked a professional contract with Ottawa Fury FC in July, making him one of the youngest Canadians to ever sign a professional deal. When speaking to the Sportspage in August, Fury head coach Nikola Popovic was happy to flaunt the team’s newest draw. “Antoine is a very talented boy,” he said following a training session at TD Place Stadium. “We have him here and he can be the future of this club.” At his age, though, Coupland isn’t worried about being a star. He’s just there to learn. “I’m learning every single day and I think it was absolutely a good decision for me to come here,” Coupland said. After five years with the Futuro Soccer Academy based here in Ottawa, Coupland was faced with the decision of accepting a trial with Sheffield United of the English Premier League or to go pro with the Fury. Ultimately he chose to stay on this side of the Atlantic. “I think what came into that decision was that here the environment is so much fun,” Coupland said. “The guys are so much fun and always love to play around.” Being the youngest player on the team Coupland said he also knows his role.

Antoine Coupland

photo: steve kingsman

“I’m the one picking up after training but that’s the way it is and I love it,” he said. “I’d like to get more minutes but there’s other senior players that have earned their spot in the starting 11.” Popovic said it is important for the talented young player’s progression to be playing at a high level. “Him being 15-16 years-old and being able to be around a professional environment and playing at this level is huge for his development,” he said. “We have to always be looking at things we can emphasize and things we correct. On the field, in the meetings through video, we are explaining what the requirements for him are to achieve at this level.” Alphonso Davies, who signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 before being sold to Bayern Munich for a

then record fee, and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, who joined Toronto FC II in the USL League One, are a rare breed of Canadians who joined pro clubs as teenagers.

EMERGING TALENT ENERGIZED BY RECENT RISE OF CANADIANS When asked if there is any added pressure to be mentioned in the same sentence as players like Davies and Jonathan David, who grew up in Ottawa and plays for the national team as well as for Gent in Belgium, Coupland responded calmly. “Not really,” he said. “(Davies is) a great player and doing great things at Bayern Munich. For me, he’s like my Canadian idol, he’s such a great player and I hope someday to be on the same national team as him.”

Both Coupland and Popovic agree there is a great soccer community in Ottawa, but the Fury bench boss pointed to the Canadian winter as a bit of damper on the growth of the sport in the city. “Around the city I see a lot of people on the fields playing and this is very important for the development,” Popovic said. “During the winter we are covered by snow and it is more difficult to find places to practice. There are a lot of people who like the game, who play the game. This is the essential thing to develop. Now if we can overcome this, we can do a very good job here.” Coupland said he thinks Ottawa is doing a great job getting kids ready to take their games to the next level and pointed at the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches hosted at TD Place as a real marker of the growth of the game in the city. Back on the pitch, Coupland hopes one day to play professionally in Europe, with his sights set on the FC Barcelona specifically, but would also love to join David and Davies with the national team. Popovic said he thinks having dreams like Coupland does is a key to achieving them. “I think it is important to say that anyone with ambitions, who have a dream, a goal, if you really believe in something you can really achieve it,” he said. “I think he can show this and be a hope for every Canadian young player who wishes to be a professional player.”

Team Ontario player savours victory in her hometown, but says 21U nationals in Ottawa was a win for all of women’s baseball By Stuart Miller-Davis Team Ontario came away victorious in Baseball Canada’s 21U Women’s Invitational Championship, but Ottawa pitcher Elizabeth Plamondon said the real winner of the weekend is the sport of women’s baseball. “We had so many young girls coming out to watch and you could tell that they were inspired and excited to go back to their own team,” she said about the event held at Ottawa’s RCGT Park over the August long weekend. “That’s a huge part of why we play, is giving back to the younger girls coming into the game, and we’re trying to grow the sport as much as we can.” Plamondon’s own entry to the game

came at the age of five or six when her mom, who played baseball when she was younger, signed her up for little league. “I was the only girl for pretty much the whole time,” she said. “You get used to playing with the boys and I think that’s the case for most of my teammates. We grew up playing boys baseball and being the only girls on our teams. It’s definitely hard to earn their respect and you eventually find your way.” But she was also taught some very important lessons by growing up and playing with boys. “You definitely have to work harder, if not twice as hard to be just as good as them,” Plamondon said. She said the transition to playing girls baseball was an adjustment and both she

and her Team Ontario coach Joe Florio agree the two games differ. “I guess the women’s game is a lot more finesse involved,” said Florio. “The men’s game is more of a fastball game. They’re looking for guys who can throw in the high 90s or even 100. Whereas, the women’s game you need to have a lot of different pitches because they can all hit a fastball.” Games at the Ottawa-held invitational lasted seven innings unless extras were needed. Pitchers were also subject to a pitch count and mandated by Baseball Canada to rest for a day before pitching again if they throw more than 60 times in one game.

WOMEN’S BASEBALL cont’s p.11


WOMEN’S BASEBALL: Ottawa pitcher frequently

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drives to Richmond Hill for Team Ontario practices continued from last page

Elizabeth Plamondon

Plamondon pitched in two games for Team Ontario, both of which cane against Team Quebec. In the first game she replaced starting pitcher, Caitlin Tomotsugu of Vaughan, Ont., after she hit the 60 pitch mark. Plamondon pitched in three innings allowing one run while striking out two batters. “Liz came in and shut them down,” Florio said of her debut in the tournament. “At the end they got a run and Liz took it pretty hard because it was while she was pitching.” In the gold medal game rematch against Team Quebec, Plamondon got the start and pitched three innings. She didn’t give up any runs in the first two innings but allowed five in the third. Florio said it wasn’t her fault but rather the whole team making errors resulting in runs. After the third inning, Plamondon was replaced, which Florio said was to get a different look, since the Quebec team had already faced her earlier in the tournament.

www.racentre.com/LEAGUES photo: darryl gershman

WALK-OFF FINISH IN FINAL Team Ontario won the tournament’s championship with a dramatic walk-off 9-8 win over Team Quebec. Fellow Ottawa pitcher Tess Forman was also a member of Ontario’s team. Ontario’s championship comes at the end of a year when Florio says he’s really seen baseball take off in popularity amongst girls. More than 40 girls tried out for Baseball Ontario’s 16U team and for the first time ever, the 21U team had to make cuts, the coach said. Florio, who first coached Plamondon in 16U, said she’s developed into a strong team player over the years and is super dedicated. Her dedication is no more evident than in the summers, when Plamondon will often make the four-hour drive

to Richmond Hill for the team’s practices. Plamondon says she hopes to stay involved with baseball for as long as she can. She wants to continue to play for Team Ontario and while she will be aging out of her boys’ team, she says she wants to figure out a way to keep playing. As for the growth of the sport, she said it’s important to her that people recognize she and her teammates are playing the game because they love it. “Separating softball and baseball for women is really important. You see people saying online, ‘boys play baseball and girls play softball.’ If we wanted to play softball, we would. What we are trying to say is, ‘we play baseball because we love baseball.”

nepeanhotspurs.ca


– EDITORIAL & ELITE –

12

Mailing address 345 Meadowbreeze Dr. Kanata, Ont. K2M 0K3 Website SportsOttawa.com

YMCA-YWCA OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION STARS OF THE MONTH

Athlete of the Month: David Adeleye

Contacts For News/Editorial: Charlie Pinkerton Editor 613-929-3681 editor@sportsottawa.com For Advertising/CAMPS Project Partnerships: Dan Plouffe Executive Director 613-261-5838 execdir@sportsottawa.com The Ottawa Sportspage is a not-for-profit publication devoted to shining a spotlight on local amateur sport. Under the direction of the Ottawa Community Sport Media Team, our group also runs the CAMPS Project alongside the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation’s recLINK program.

Team of the Month: Ottawa Sooners Bantam OPFL Football Team

Team Roster: Keegan Brunet, Dylan Nakamura, Owen Lavigne, Khalid Ngala, Jacob Glofcheski, Luca Farinaccio, Caleb Munro, Xavier Uhr, Jacob Saumier, Brice Ebaneth, Tomarion Hall, Zander Stevens, Theodore Checroune, Jerry Momo, Owen Redmond, Rocco Crupi, Andrew O’Connell, Tyler Vautour, Joseph Cama, Liam Campbell, Cyril Shingarov, Jack Draper, Carter Kaspardlov, Nathan Ferrar, Zachary Ajaj, Nasser Mundy, Riley Sherman, Nathaniel Baird, Loic Pare, Riddick Hagley, Dante Clark, Keegan Mcnally, Ryan Kelly, Jacob Astley, Malcolm McEvoy, Mohammed Sheikh Hasan, Jack Mackay, Joshua Kibbee, Brayden Fox, Emmanuel Mansaray, Jacob Mullen & Isaiah Markell-Ayalogu. About: The Ottawa Sooners Bantam team won the Ontario Provincial Football League championship by defeating the London Jr. Mustangs by a score of 28-27 in the league’s title game played in London in early August. The Sooners’ Jerry Momo and Nasser Mundy were named the championships’ offensive and defensive players of the game. The title caps a 6-2 regular season for the team, in which they led the Bantam division in points scored and were 2nd in points against. E-mail editor@sportsottawa.com to nominate your Stars! Courtesy of the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, the selected Stars of the Month will receive free passes to the Y.

7th in Canada, Tumblers trampolinist seeks to bounce higher yet Taysia Thompson

The Connecting Athletes of All Means to Paths in Sport Project links OCH children & youth to free opportunities with our partner sports groups, which receive heavily discounted advertising in exchange for offering the positions in their programs at no cost to our participants. CAMPS PROJECT PARTNERS Beaver Boxing Club Bytown Storm Triathlon Club Capital City Dance Capital Wave Water Polo Club Carleton Jr. Ravens Cumberland United Soccer Club ÉSP/Dome Louis-Riel FC Capital United Soccer Club Geng Table Tennis Academy Gloucester Griffins Lacrosse Gloucester Skating Club Kanata GymnoSphere Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club KV Dance Studio Nepean Corona School of Gymnastics Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club Nepean Nighthawks Field Hockey Olympia Gymnastics Ottawa Girls’ Hockey Association Ottawa Gymnastics Centre Ottawa Lions Track & Field Club Ottawa National Diving Club Ottawa New Edinburgh Club Ottawa Rowing Club Ottawa South United Soccer Club Ottawa Table Tennis Club RA Centre Rideau Canoe Club Royal City Soccer Club St. Anthony’s Futuro Soccer Club Tennis For Life Ottawa TMSI Sports Management Inc. Tumblers Gymnastics Centre YMCA-YWCA

About: David Adeleye of the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club won a gold medal in the 110 metre hurdles at the Aug. 9-11 Royal Canadian Legion National Youth Track-and-Field Championships in Sydney, N.S. The 16-year-old only began competing in hurdling last year. Adeleye had the top time in the preliminary heats at the youth national championships, qualifying for the finals race in 14.55 seconds. He shaved one-tenth of a second off that time in his national title-winning race. In the spring, Adeleye won a bronze medal in the senior boys 110 m hurdles at the OFSAA Track and Field Championships. The Ashbury College student also won an OFSAA bronze medal in the junior boys 100 m hurdles in 2018.

photo: dan plouffe

By Dan Plouffe When Taysia Thompson’s turn came at the July 24-28 Canadian Trampoline Championships in Oshawa, she was set to attempt the most difficult routine of her career. She’d never before actually completed the 10 jumps without crashing, having to stop, or downgrading a planned skill – not once. “I never finished it in practice, I never finished it when we got to Oshawa in the training gym, I didn’t finish it in my warm-up before competition,” details the 24-year-old who nevertheless decided to go for broke and shoot for a degree of difficulty that would put her on par with many of the very best senior women in Canada and the world. “The way we thought about it was: if I was going to fail at something, I may as well fail at the big one,” she explains. “So I just went for it, and it worked. It was the biggest routine I’d literally ever done, and I got to do it on the judges’ floor. It was great.” It wasn’t the prettiest routine possible, but Thompson had no qualms about finishing 7th overall. “It was a really good feeling to finally be like, ‘Alright, I’m getting on their level,’” indicates Thompson, who, just 2 months earlier, had to stop mid-performance at the Elite Canada meet in Calgary when she was battling a damaged and displaced disk in her back. The Tumblers Gymnastics Centre athlete credits a positive mindset and

being able to channel her adrenaline in the big moment for the unlikely success. She listened to her coach Yann Prigent, who’d told her she was capable of completing her routine since she’d performed all the skills on their own, just not together. “It was amazing, what else can I say?” Thompson smiles.

WIDE-EYED CHILD The feeling wasn’t unlike when she first went to the Tumblers club as an 11-year-old and spotted the trampoline. Thompson started in gymnastics when she was 18 months, and was in a competitive artistic gymnastics stream come age 5. “But that day I went home and I said, ‘Mom, all I want to do is bounce on the trampoline,’” recalls Thompson, whose first coach was an international champion for Canada, Dave Sabourin. She later followed Prigent for a 10-year stint on the Quebec side, which has now come “full-circle” with a return to Tumblers. On the way, there was an appearance at the 2013 World Age Group Championships in Bulgaria and a 2014 Canadian title at home in Ottawa in the national open category (a step below the high-performance level). But most important was the daily routine and total commitment the Gloucester High School grad developed towards living a healthy lifestyle and trying to be the best she could be. Many drop competitive sport bey-

ond high school age, and fewer still shoot for the highest levels of amateur sport after they’ve begun working full-time. But trampoline continues to guide the course of Thompson’s adult life. Each weekday starts at 4 a.m. when she gets up to walk her dog. Then it’s off to work for her 6 a.m.-2 p.m. shift as the gym manager at the Fairmont Château Laurier. The Blackburn Hamlet resident heads straight to Tumblers for 2+ hours of training after work, and then she’ll work out and lift more weights on her own afterwards. Thompson is engaged to an air force technician who’d normally be asked to move around more frequently, but has managed to keep his post in Ottawa longer than usual because of his fiancée’s devotion to her sport. “It goes to show that trampoline is in every aspect of my life,” highlights Thompson, who’s been supported every step of the way by her mom and grandma too. “It’s in my relationships, my work – everything.” It’s also led her to participate in fitness competitions. “Trampoline is like my meal – my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fitness is like that cake that you get at the end, though I guess not in a literal sense,” laughs Thompson, who got into fitness events through Tumblers women’s artistic coach Vanda Hadarean, who puts on shows locally.

TRAMPOLINE continues p.13


13

OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE SNAPSHOTS CANADIAN PARA SOCCER PLAYER FROM OTTAWA NAMED IFCPF WORLD CUP MVP Ottawa’s Samuel Charron was a standout for Team Canada at the IFCPF World Cup Sevilla 2019, winning the event’s player of the tournament award, despite this country’s 12th place finish. Charron, who is a captain for Canada, scored six times in six games and was four times named Canada’s player of the match in the July tournament.

CITY OF OTTAWA SEEKS NOMINEES FOR KILREA EXCELLENCE IN COACHING AWARD The City of Ottawa is seeking nominations for the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching. The award is presented annually in recognition of an amateur coach who exemplifies leadership and commitment. The City is accepting nominations for the award until Sept. 13. The award will be presented at an awards ceremony held in the fall.

CITY LOOKING FOR INPUT ON SPORTS FACILITY DEVELOPMENT The City of Ottawa is also inviting all “community sport enthusiasts,” including residents and sport administrators, to participate in a webinar consultation about the future of municipal recreational sports facilities on Aug. 28 from noon until 1 p.m. The online event is part of the first phase of consultations held by the city, which will conclude Sep. 7. Ottawa Sport Council executive director Marcia Morris and Deanna Schofield of the City will use the webinar to discuss project goals, timelines and how people can contribute their ideas to municipal recreational facilities’ future.

OTTAWA FENCER HELPS CANADIAN WOMEN’S FOIL TEAM TO 6TH PLACE FINISH AT WORLDS As a member of Canada’s women’s foil team, Ottawa’s Kelleigh Ryan helped the team to a 6th place finish at the 2019 Senior World Fencing Championships. Ryan and her three teammates advanced to the quarterfinals where they were eliminated by Team USA by a score of 45-41. They won other matches against Hungary and Korea and lost to Japan 33-32. Thanks to their performance at the world championships, Canada’s team improved its world ranking from 7th to 6th.

OTTAWA WRESTLER FINISHES 14TH IN DEBUT AT CADET WORLDS Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School’s Ismail Ayyoub finished in 14th place at the 2019 World Cadet Wrestling Championships. In a match that would send the winner to the quarterfinals in the 80 kg weight class, Ayyoub lost to Greece’s Charalampos Aftoforidis by a score of 6-4. The event held in Sofia, Bulgaria from late July to early August was the first world championships of any kind for Ayyoub, who moved from Kuwait to Ottawa in 2013.

THREE OTTAWA PLAYERS, ONE COACH NAMED TO CANADIAN RINGETTE TEAM Three Ottawa players and one coach were announced in August to be part of Canada’s national ringette team that will compete at the 2019 World Ringette Championships this winter in Burnaby. Jasmine LeBlanc, Allison Biewald and Kaitlyn Youldon are part of the 22-athlete roster, while Barb Bautista is the national team’s head coach. They were chosen for the championships that will start in late November following a selection camp held in Edmonton in July.

CAPITAL COURTS DUO CHIP IN AT WOMEN’S U19 BASKETBALL WORLDS Capital Courts’ Merissah Russell and Micah Dennis were part of Canada’s 6th place team at the 2019 FIBA Under-19 Women’s Basketball World Cup. Eighteen-year-old Dennis averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds, while 17-year-old Russell put up a 6.4-4-1.3 split of points, rebounds and assists, while helping Team Canada to a 4-3 record in the tournament. Russell scored her tournament high of nine points against Mozambique in Canada’s one-point win over the southeast African country in the preliminary round of play. Also in the group phase, Dennis scored her tournament high of 14 points against Thailand. Dennis is going into her first year of Division 1 NCAA play this year at Okalahoma State University. Russell, meanwhile, has at least one more year of high school play before she joins the University of Louisville, where she committed to play when she was only 16.

LOCAL LAWN BOWLERS WIN PROVINCIAL MEDALS IN 2 CATEGORIES Ottawa athletes picked up medals in two disciplines at the 2019 Ontario Lawn Bowls Association Championships. Jake Schuknecht of Nepean placed 2nd in the men’s singles category, earning him a silver medal and a spot on Team Ontario at the national championships. Schuknecht had a 4-1 record at provincials, recording 103 points for compared to 89 points against. The singles portion of the 2019 Canadian Lawn Bowling Championships is being held from Aug. 26-30 at the Heritage Greens Lawn Bowling Club in Kitchener. A Nepean-based senior women’s triples team made up of Rosalie Parsons-Brown, Sandra Jefferies and Cheryl McBain also won a silver medal after squeezing out of round robin play with a 2-3 record. They did not qualify for nationals, since the only team events held are the pairs and fours event. See SportsOttawa.com for more details.

BRITANNIA YACHT CLUB HOSTS OPTIMIST SAILING NATIONALS Liam Downes was the top local finisher as the Britannia Yacht Club welcomed 140 sailors for the 2019 Canadian Optimist Championships from Aug. 14-20. The BYC racer placed 25th out of 120 entries in the elite class, while Britannia earned several top-5s in races for newcomers to the sport.

CAPITALS WIN ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR HOCKEY NATIONALS The Ottawa Capitals won the Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association title at the league’s national championships in July. The Capitals beat the London Electric Knights 4-1 to claim their first-ever national title. Capitals players’ Roddey Harb and Scott Haycock were awarded the most valuable player and top defensive player awards.

OTTAWA PAIR GO TO CANADA U-20 CAMP IN LEADUP TO FIFA 2020 Two 2001-born women’s players from the nation’s capital were invited to an August camp for national-level players below the age of 20 prior to the start of the NCAA soccer season. Ottawa products Olivia Cooke and Kayza Massey were two athletes on Canada Soccer’s 20-player invite list. Team Canada will play in next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

TRAMPOLINE: Fitness contests also part of Tumbler’s passions continued from last page “It keeps me in shape and comes in handy for trampoline,” notes the 2019 Fitness Universe runner-up who proudly shares that she’s never had alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. “It helps me when it comes

to competitions,” Thompson continues. “It takes a lot mentally to get up on stage in a very small bikini and high heels in front of a panel of judges who are very literally judging you for how you look.” Thompson’s dedication is certainly fuelled in part by a big dream that was born in 2008

while watching Karen Cockburn win a silver medal for Canada in Beijing. “In a best-case scenario situation, I’d like to be at the Olympics,” Thompson says of her long-term objectives. It’s a daunting goal – particularly when battling Canadians for Olympic berths

means challenging the best in the world – but “I believe in the power of positivity,” underlines Thompson, who knows full well a moment like she lived at nationals can indeed come to life. “If I play my cards right, if I keep at it and stay consistent and do what I’ve done and then some, I think it’s absolutely possible.”

OSU Force Academy Zone

OSU awarded one of Canada Soccer’s first National Youth Club Licences Ottawa South United Soccer Club has been announced as one of Canada Soccer’s first-ever Canada Soccer National Youth Club Licence holders. As the highest amateur youth club designation in Canada, the National Youth Club Licence recognizes the highest achieving organizations from across Canada. The Program is also a key component to Canada Soccer’s Safe Sport Roster that was announced with unanimous support by its membership in May 2019. “OSU is pleased to be recognized by Canada Soccer for our long-standing commitment and forward-thinking approach as a National Youth Club license awardee. Since 2003, our club has committed to a robust governance and policy frameworks, professional management and investing in the delivery of quality soccer programming. I especially want to thank all our staff, coaches and our volunteers for their efforts towards the continued success of OSU,” noted Club President, Bill Michalopulos. OSU is also the longest standing Gold Award club as part of Ontario Soccer’s Club Excellence program, and a founding member of their standards-based Ontario Player Development League (OPDL). “We are pleased to announce the exemplary 39 National Youth Club Licence holders that have worked diligently over the past 12 months to demonstrate a willingness to improve, to collaborate, and most importantly to raise the level of youth football in our country,” said Jason deVos, Canada Soccer’s Director of Development. “Each club worked with Canada Soccer and their respective Provincial and Territorial Member Association to define a roadmap of standards designed to improve the experience for all who participate in the game.”

OSU QUICK KICKS: OPDL CUPS & TEAM CANADA OPDL CUP CROWNS – OSU won a pair of titles as the Boys and Girls U-15 and U-17 OPDL Cup winners were crowned on Aug. 10 at the Ontario Soccer Centre. A goal in the opening minute of the match set the tone as the OSU U-17 Girls cruised to a repeat OPDL Cup win with a 3-0 victory over Oakville. A late save on a free kick that seemed destined for the back of the net by Pablo Trujillo would prove to be the difference maker as the OSU U-15 Boys narrowly defeated Hamilton 1-0. VALENCIA VISIT – La Liga’s Valencia CF Academy was in town for a unique Player Development Camp opportunity in August. Valencia CF Academy coaches Vicent Moscardo Lafuente and Jose Joaquin Gimenez Lopez came to Ottawa and worked with OSU’s U8-U14 boys’ players for the camp. Travis Uren was selected as the Player of the Week and will be invited to visit Valencia’s Academy in 2020. CANADA CAMP – OSU Alumni Kayza Massey and Olivia Cooke joined the Canadian under-20 women’s national team for an Aug. 11-16 camp in B.C. prior to the start of their respective NCAA seasons with West Virginia University and the University of South Florida. The camp was the first under coach Rhian Wilkinson and served as part of the team’s preparations for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. DANONE DREAMS – OSU’s Anna Swyers has been named team captain for Team Canada’s Danone Nations Cup finals, happening this fall in Barcelona, Spain. The Danone Nations Cup is the world’s biggest football tournament for children aged 10 to 12. Also representing OSU on the male Canadian entry will be Adrian Dagres, Luca Domanico and Isaac Charboneau. HAPPY TRAILS HARRY – OSU Soccer is wishing Harry Trefry, a long time Coach, Manager and Coordinator in the club all the best as he recently completed his final game. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to serving the soccer community for many years! NEW ONLINE PROGRAM GUIDE – We are excited to launch our first Program Guide for 2019-2020. Whether you are a returning player with the club or brand new to OSU, we hope that the guide will help you navigate our soccer programming. Check it out online at osu.ca

www.osu.ca


– COMMUNITY CLUBS –

14

Up-and-downs part of the journey for javelin national champ By Charlie Pinkerton

Roan Allen

Roan Allen’s javelin career has roughly resembled the inverse of one of his tosses; the quick-learner is once again soaring after stagnating midway through his only-few years of experience in the sport. Allen was late to javelin, only picking it up in his final year at Ashbury College as a means to compete in track and field meets with many of his friends who did the same. Turns out he was a natural. Perhaps aided by years of baseball experience, during which he played second base, outfield and pitched, Allen excelled in the field event. He’d go on to represent Ashbury at the 2016 OFSAA Track and Field Championships, where with limited training he finished 6th place in the province. He had already been set on attending the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Sauder School of Business

photo: ubc thunderbirds

when a high school coach suggested he reach out to the university’s track

NEW HEIGHTS WITH NEW KIDNEY

photo provided

Ottawa’s Marie-Eve Chainey won 3 medals – high jump and discus silver, and javelin bronze – at the Aug. 17-24 World Transplant Games in the U.K. Chainey was a national-level high jumper when at age 18, during a trip to Spain, her kidneys simply stopped working and her body bloated with close to 50 pounds of water. She survived the affair, but had to live on dialysis for many years until she was able to receive a kidney from her aunt in 2017. The Ottawa Lions athlete runs the annual springtime Alive To Strive Race out of Terry Fox Athletic Facility to raise funds for an organization she founded to provide fitness grants to individuals with kidney disease, and to promote an active lifestyle amongst kidney disease patients.

and field coaches to see if his best distance, which at OFSAA was just over 53 metres, would be far enough for them to put him on the team. It was. “I thought that I’d be playing baseball when I was in high school; things change,” Allen said nonchalantly during a phone interview. Skipping ahead to Allen’s second year at UBC, he hit a lull, failing to improve his throwing distance by any significant measure. This led him to focus on strength training last summer. Allen said he ignored throwing for four months, instead training with Gladiator Fitness and Strength Training here in Ottawa. “I came into last season more prepared and ready to put in the work,” said Allen, whose plan worked out. During his last season at UBC he

improved the distance of his throws by about eight metres. He’s also achieved each of the benchmarks he’s set for himself for the past year.

SECURING A CANADA SINGLET Looking ahead from early in the year, Allen said he set three goals: Attend the national championships as part of a provincial team, win a medal at nationals and make a national team. The 2019 Canadian Track & Field Championships were held in Montreal in late July. Lions and C.A.N.I. Athletics’ athletes combined at the senior and junior championships to win 24 medals in total, of which Allen won one of nine gold medals. Competing under the B.C. banner, his second throw of the competition was his best. He launched the javelin 68.25 metres, about 1.5 metres fur-

ther than any of his competitors would record. Achieving the final of his year’s goals actually happened about a month earlier at the 2019 NACAC U18/U23 Championships in Mexico. Donning the Maple Leaf and competing against athletes from North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Allen finished in 7th place, throwing about 3.5 metres short of the national championship winning toss he would record in competition just weeks later. If he had thrown equal to his best toss of the season – which was just longer than 70 metres – he would have placed 3rd, but he was unable to muster that distance at the event held in early July. His summer training had been tailored to maxing out his distance for the national championships. That, and that it was his first time competing for Canada, might have been what kept his throws short, he said. “I guess it was just that first international experience, I guess I wasn’t really ready to be my best at that point,” Allen said. Days away from the beginning of his fourth year at UBC, Allen says his goal is to continue to progress in the sport and work towards other top international competitions, like the Pan American Games and perhaps even the 2024 Olympics. “Hopefully the next step is getting closer to 80 metres,” said Allen, noting that the 80-metre mark is a rough modern marker of the world’s top throwers. Who knows if he’ll get there, but if his arc has been shown anything so far, it’s that it shouldn’t be a surprise no matter where he lands.


15


– ELITE –

16

Pan Am silver medallist amidst local Olympic paddle prospects By Dan Plouffe A plethora of paddlers from the nation’s capital posted top performances in international competition at many points on the planet this summer, with a large group showing they’ll be strong contenders to compete for Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths. Whitewater paddler Lois Betteridge is definitely a key player in the race for the rings as she chases her spot for the Olympic debut of the women’s C-1 discipline (the one-person canoe with the paddle on one end of the oar and the handle on the other). “This year’s been my best season yet, and probably my biggest season as well,” states Betteridge, who spent 54 days in Europe at the start of her campaign and is headed back for the Sept. 24-29 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Spain. “(The Olympics) are definitely a big goal,” adds the 21-year-old Ottawa River Runners product who’s currently on break from her architecture studies at Algonquin College. “Our qualification process starts in September, so we’ll see how that pans out.” Alongside a 28th-place showing at the under-23 worlds (plus 10th in the mixed-gender C-2), and 24th- and 26th-place results at World Cups in the U.K. and Slovakia, Betteridge came home with a silver medal from the July 26-Aug. 11 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. “To be on that podium was really cool,” highlights Betteridge, who finished behind the world’s #3-ranked athlete Ana Satila of Brazil. “It’s a different experience to be on the podium at a Games.” All four of Canada’s canoe slalom athletes in Lima were from Ottawa. Olivia Nelson and Liam Smedley both placed 4th in women’s K-1 (that’s the one-person kayak with the double-bladed paddle) and men’s C-1, while Keenan Simpson earned bronze medals in the men’s K-1 slalom and the extreme slalom. “It was really, really fun to be wear-

Lois Betteridge

photo: dan plouffe

ing a medal with Keenan,” Betteridge says of her high school prom date at Glebe CI. “I’ve spent pretty much my whole kayaking career with him. He’s basically been on every trip to Europe that I’ve been on. “To get to go to the Games in itself was really cool, but it was really special to go with him too.” Betteridge picked up more hardware back home for the Aug. 12-18 National Championships in Minden, Ont. She edged Alberta’s Haley Daniels by .28 seconds for the women’s C-1 crown and also placed 2nd in K-1. Also at nationals, Ottawa’s Spencer Pomeroy took down 2016 Olympian Cam Smedley by .24 seconds to claim the men’s C-1 crown over his local counterpart. Cam Smedley also toured Europe with Betteridge, earning a top World Cup finish of 24th in the U.K., while K-1 athlete Michael Tayler’s top result was 26th in Slovakia. Home to the national team’s training centre on Lebreton Flats, Ottawa owns a very strong whitewater tradition, and it’s easy to find inspiration paddling alongside the likes of Tayler, a 2-time Olympian, Betteridge notes. There is plenty of time together for the small team that travels around in an 8-seater van or on Ryanair flights when they’re zigzagging around Europe, the sport’s hotbed. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of

being by herself on the start line with the water rushing, signals Betteridge, who fell in love with whitewater paddling since she first tried it at age 11. “It’s a unique sport,” says the daughter of the nationals’ lead organizer whose first family canoe trip came before she turned a year old. “And it’s all-consuming.”

OTTAWA SPRINT PADDLERS PILE UP PRIZES Local success abounded in flatwater canoe-kayak competition as well. Here is a look at a few members of the decorated crew: Drew Hodges of the Rideau Canoe Club was a double-medallist at the Pan Am Games, earning men’s C-2 1,000-metre silver, and C-1 1,000 m bronze. “The Games were an amazing experience,” Hodges, a Carleton University commerce grad who began paddling at age 15 after dropping competitive hockey, said in a media release from RCC. “The people of Peru have been amazing to us. We stop and take pictures with local residents, and it makes us just as happy as it makes them.” Rideau’s Rowan Hardy-Kavanagh also made the Pan Am podium with a bronze in the C-2 women’s 500 m. A paddler since age 11, the Carleton University psychology student switched to canoe from kayak a dec-

ade later and quickly made the national team the following season. At the July 6 Para Pan Am Championships in Brazil, Mike Trauner of the Ottawa River Canoe Club earned a bronze medal in the men’s VL3 500 m event. The 39-year-old lost both his legs in 2008 while serving his country in Afghanistan and participated in the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. At the Aug. 1-4 ICF Junior & U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships in Romania, Toshka Besharah and Maren Bradley helped Canada to a K-4 junior women’s 500 m bronze medal, while fellow Rideau paddler Ella Hodgson-Pageau took C-2 junior women’s 200 m silver. Bradley is a recent Nepean High School grad headed to Dalhousie University to study commerce this fall and paddle in Dartmouth, N.S. Besharah and Hodgson-Pageau were amongst the youngest competitors at the un-

der-18 worlds, having first represented Canada last fall as U15s at the Olympic Hopes regatta. The pair will return to this year’s Olympic Hopes competition in Slovakia from Sept. 13-15 alongside Rideau’s Kieran Graham, Matthew O’Neill and Jacob Price. At the Aug. 21-25 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Hungary, Madeline Schmidt placed 24th overall in K-1 women’s 500 m. Also an 8th-place K-1 women’s 1,000 m finisher at a June World Cup in Germany, Schmidt began her career at Ottawa River Canoe Club before joining Rideau. Now based in Dartmouth, the 24-year-old came as close as can be to a K-2 Olympic berth in 2016, losing out by a few strokes in a 2-boat showdown for Canada’s spot on the Rio start line. Rideau’s Natalie Davison also competed at the worlds, placing 12th overall in K-4 women’s 500 m. Davison, who followed her older siblings into the sport, was not amongst the very top Canadians as a junior, but found a path to the national team once the registered nurse dedicated herself to paddling full-time after completing her university degree. The local athletes will be back on the water for the Aug. 27-Sept. 1 Canadian Championships in Regina, where Rideau Canoe Club will seek to hold onto its national club crown before hosting the nationals next summer at Mooney’s Bay. —with files from Scott Bradley, Rideau Canoe Club

photo provided

(From left) Toshka Besharah, Ella Hodgson-Pageau & Maren Bradley.

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Profile for Dan Plouffe

Ottawa Sportspage  

The September 2019 edition of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper.

Ottawa Sportspage  

The September 2019 edition of the Ottawa Sportspage newspaper.

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