University of Toronto
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education FALL 2018 / VOL. 21, NO. 2
Is free play suffering at the expense of organized sport?
Sooner rather than Later Concussion recovery improves with early exercise Making History Blues assistant coach joins Raptors 905
Call to the Hall Alumnus Jayna Hefford heading to Hockey Hall of Fame
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FALL 2018 / VOL. 21, NO. 2
Healthy Moves Increasing physical activity can boost
immunity in breast cancer patients
rotein for breakfast P orning meal choices to support M growth and development
The Big Game lues Men's Basketball plays Game 2 of B the Duke Blue Devils' Canada Tour
20 Busy Kids
Are organized sports robbing kids of free play?
28 Waves of Support
Alumni campaign lays foundation for next generation of champions
34 Call to the Hall
Jayna Hefford inducted into Canada's Hockey Hall of Fame
44 Spirit of the Game Hockey in the 1930s
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Contributors Samantha Barr, Suzanne Bowness, Mary Beth Challoner, Jill Clark, Jelena Damjanovic, Elaine Evans, Janet Gunn, Joel Jackson, Janet Rowe, Elaine Smith
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Message from the Dean
A New Lens on Old Ideas
iven what we know about the benefits of healthy active living and the long-term individual and collective impact of physical inactivity, our Faculty’s pursuit and sharing of knowledge is more important than ever. Pursuit magazine often looks to debunk commonly-held myths and misconceptions related to the interactions among physical activity, exercise and health. In this issue, we share new knowledge generated by KPE faculty and their research trainees, who have found that moderate to vigorous physical activity following a breast cancer diagnosis can improve immune function and general well-being in preparation for therapeutic treatment. Likewise, research now suggests that incorporating light aerobic exercise into the treatment of concussions may lead to a faster recovery. And, while there is a general acceptance of the importance of starting the day with breakfast, researchers out of our Faculty’s Iovate Muscletech lab tell us how adding protein at breakfast can benefit children’s growth and development. Our cover story has garnered media attention because it tackles another issue that has divided public opinion: Are we over-programming our children with organized sport at the expense of free play? A new study from the Faculty suggests not. It finds children involved in organized sport not only embrace free play, they generally engage in more physical activity on their own than those who are not in organized sport. This research is a great example of the Faculty’s growing expertise in the area of “physical literacy” and healthy child development – a field we hope to grow
further through donor support to establish a professorship or research chair dedicated to this area of scholarship. I welcome inquiries about this new opportunity for friends of the faculty to make a significant impact through philanthropy. It is our mission to develop, advance and disseminate knowledge about the broad spectrum of physical activity and interactions with health through our research, scholarship and teaching. With the top minds in kinesiology at the University of Toronto, there are many stories to highlight – I hope you enjoy those we have selected for this issue and look forward to sharing more with you in the future. Last but not least, I would like to congratulate Pursuit magazine on winning the 2018 Silver Leaf Award of Merit, awarded each year by The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). A well deserved recognition, I hope you will agree. Sincerely
Ira Jacobs, Dean
Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
Field Notes The Varsity Blues menâ€™s basketball team faced off against the Duke University Blue Devils at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly the Hershey Centre) on August 17. Story on page 12.
Photo/ Martin Bazyl
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Healthy Moves Increasing physical activity can boost immunity in breast cancer patients
new study from the Faculty has found that moderate to vigorous physical activity may help to regulate a body's level of C-reactive protein – an important biomarker whose levels rise in response to inflammation or infection in the body.
High concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with a higher incidence of disease and mortality in women diagnosed with breast cancer, so strategies to decrease CRP levels are important to improve prognosis and health outcomes, says Professor Catherine Sabiston, a Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health and lead author of the study.
“In this study, we found that physical activity is consistently related to better immunity in the early survivorship period post-treatment, when inflammation could relate to other illness or disease and when the women are focused on getting past treatments and overcoming the lingering side-effects of breast cancer diagnosis,” says Sabiston.
The study followed 138 women over the first year after being treated for breast cancer, comparing each woman’s physical activity trends over time to her levels of CRP, as well as comparing each woman against the larger group of survivors. The researchers made five data collections over the year, during which the women filled out questionnaires, wore accelerometers for seven consecutive days to measure their physical activity and provided blood samples to Sabiston measure their CRP concentrations.
“In this study, we found that physical activity is consistently related to better immunity in the early survivorship period post-treatment.”
Increasing physical activity levels may be a cost-effective, non-pharmaceutical treatment that can mitigate CRP concentrations after a cancer diagnosis, she says.
— Professor Catherine
Although previous studies have found “We found that when women exercise that moderate to vigorous physical more than their own personal average, activity decreases the levels of CRP, most they have better immune function,” of the evidence regarding the benefits says Sabiston. “We also found that of exercise for breast cancer patients women in our sample who were was based on controlled and supervised generally more physically active have laboratory-based interventions that fall better CRP outcomes compared to short of describing naturally occurring women in the sample who were less developmental trends in physical activity physically active.” and CRP over time, says Sabiston. Photo/ iStock
Closing the Gap Research reshapes exercise education for cancer patients
It is never too late to start exercising, says Sabiston, and when you exercise any more than usual, it is beneficial. Sabiston hopes the results of the study will lead to health professionals encouraging women to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity early after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment to improve immune function and general health and well-being. “A specific understanding of the association between moderate to vigorous physical activity and inflammation during the first year [of] post-treatment for breast cancer helps to inform behaviour modification strategies and improve health and disease outcomes,” she says. The study, published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine journal, was co-authored by Carsten Wrosch and Andrée L. Castonguay from the department of psychology at Concordia University, and Benjamin Sylvester, a post-doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. — Jelena Damjanovic
here are two reasons why Angela Fong should feel proud – she recently completed her PhD in Exercise Science with the Faculty and won two awards from the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) at a conference in Hong Kong. Her research on how cancer survivors are educated about the benefits of exercise earned her “best early career abstract” from the Cancer Prevention and Management special interest group and another for “best early career researcher.” John Cairney, the Faculty’s Director of Graduate Studies, says Fong is a great example of a graduate student who is “excelling at a very high level and getting recognition nationally and internationally for her research.” Fong was inspired early when she volunteered at a lab that focused on cancer survivors during her undergraduate degree at Western University. “In my doctoral research at U of T, I wanted to drill down to investigate how knowledge is transferred to survivors to see what can be improved from both the patient and doctor perspective.” Her study included three components: an online survey to breast cancer survivors across Canada about the information they receive about exercise; an environmental scan of Ontario’s 14 main cancer centres to observe the kinds of information they offer; and focus groups with oncology care providers at four cancer centres in southern Ontario to gather perspectives on exercise education. Fong is building on her award-winning PhD research as a post-doctoral scholar at McMaster University. “Medical professionals are eager to have specialized resources and presenters to talk about exercise,” says Fong. “My plan now is to create and pilot these tools at cancer centres in Kingston and Hamilton. If the pilots go well, I hope to roll the project out across Ontario.” Fong says the ISBNPA recognition is a real honour. “It shows the work I’m doing is important and impactful.” — Suzanne Bowness
Photo/ Makeda Marc-Ali
Pursuit | Fall 2018
KPE front and centre at international conference
he Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education made quite a showing at the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) meeting in Hong Kong in July. This was the 17th annual meeting of the minds in this field and included an outstanding lineup of keynote speakers, oral and poster presentations and pre-conference workshops.
KPE students and grads put on a total of six presentations, three posters, an internationally representative symposium and brought home a number of awards: Professor Linda Trinh – Best abstract in the Cancer Prevention and Management special interest group for her poster Comparison of physical activity cut-points for quality of life in breast cancer survivors. Angela Fong (PhD graduate) – ISBNPA best early career researcher and best early career abstract in the Cancer Prevention and Management special interest group for her work Informing oncology care provider training and facilitators for physical activity counselling: Understanding intrinsic and environmental factors. Isabelle Dore (post-doctoral fellow) – Runner-up for best abstract in the Child and Families special interest group for her presentation Childhood sport profiles predict mental health in adolescence.
Anika Gentile (PhD student) – Best abstract for the Motivation and Behavior Change special interest group for her presentation The effect of healthcare practitioner autonomy support for exercise on year-long trajectories of change in autonomous and controlled exercise motivation among breast cancer survivors. Assistant Professor Daniel Santa Mina – Hosted an internationallyrepresentative symposium showcasing exercise prehabilitation in oncology, Healthy in, healthy out: The role of exercise and nutrition in prehabilitation for cancer surgery.
— Elaine Evans Photo/ iStock
Starting aerobic exercise soon after concussion improves recovery time
recent study from the Faculty has found that starting aerobic exercise sooner rather than later after a diagnosed concussion contributes to a faster recovery and return to sport, school and work.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, supports the view that aerobic exercise is safe and potentially protective in symptomatic individuals.
exercise at three days following injury was associated with a reduced probability of 36.5 per cent for a faster full return to sport. At seven days, that probability reduced further to 73.2 per cent. The same trend was observed for individuals returning to school and work: initiating exercise at three and seven days after injury was associated with a reduced probability of 45.9 per cent and 83.1 per cent of a faster full return to those activities, respectively.
Lawrence suggests initially doing low-impact aerobic exercise with minimal head movement, such as stationary cycling, elliptical and walking. Jogging and swimming are not recommended at this stage as they involve greater head movement.
“Exercise recommendations should be individualized based on clinical assessment, but we feel the intensity of aerobic exercise should begin with “We knew aerobic exercise had a positive low-intensity (you should be able to influence in other conditions have a conversation with "We knew aerobic exercise had a positive that affect the brain (such as someone as you exercise) influence in other conditions that affect the and should not worsen the depression, stroke and cognitive impairment) and in cases of symptoms,” says Lawrence. brain and in cases of persistent symptoms persistent symptoms following following concussion." — Dr. David Lawrence concussion. However, only a The results of this study did couple of studies previously examined “Historically, concussion management not observe a different recovery pattern aerobic exercise in the acute period, and was based on a simple recipe of rest between men and women. However, a none as early as we did,” says Dr. David until your symptoms go away. However, history of concussion, higher symptom Lawrence, staff physician at the David L. what we have realized is that in burden and loss of consciousness were MacIntosh Sport Medicine Clinic at many people symptoms take time to associated with a prolonged recovery. U of T and principal author of the study. resolve and prolonged periods of rest may have a negative impact, because The scientists recommend that So, how soon after a concussion is it rest was interpreted as no activity in exercise plans prescribed by safe to start doing aerobic exercise? sport, school, work, screen and social physicians following an injury such Lawrence says the study, which followed activities,” says Michael Hutchison, as a concussion should include the recovery of 253 people between director of the concussion program recommendations about when to start the ages of 15 and 20, has shown that at the David L. MacIntosh clinic and exercise post-injury, in addition to the some individuals benefit from starting co-author of the study. customary recommendations about the low-impact aerobic activity as early as frequency, intensity and type of exercise. 24 hours after injury. “We still believe that a brief reduction in activity from normal levels is The study’s co-authors include Doug For each successive day of delaying the beneficial,” he says. “However, we Richards, an assistant professor in the start of aerobic exercise, individuals recommend maintaining activity levels Faculty and Paul Comper from the had a less favourable recovery trajectory, that do not exacerbate symptoms in Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, — JD according to the study. Initiating aerobic the acute period.” University Health Network. Photo/ iStock
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Riding the rocket to a career
fter completing her undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Toronto, Emily Meligrana wanted to advance her career further. The Faculty’s Master of Professional Kinesiology (MPK) program provided the perfect opportunity. The 16-month program was the first master’slevel program of its kind in Ontario, offering students a mix of classroom and experiential education. Working alongside leading practitioners in downtown Toronto and across the GTA, students have the opportunity to network and advance their expertise through 600 hours of professional, structured experience across three placements in hospitals, clinics, sport institutes and/or community organizations. Meligrana first completed a placement with the Faculty’s Sensory Motor Instructional Learning Program (S.M.I.L.E) designed for children and youth with varying ability levels, who are paired with MPK students for fundamental movement skill development. “This was a very rewarding experience. It was the first opportunity I had to learn to apply clinical knowledge to real practice,” she
says. “I was able to improve my professional communication skills, which helped me to develop successful programs for my clients and meaningful relationships with those responsible for ensuring their physical development outside of the program.” The internal placement was followed by placements at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Toronto Transit Commision (TTC). This led to a contract position with the TTC, where Meligrana currently works as a disability management specialist, processing incoming occupational injury claims for all TTC employees. The MPK program helped to prepare her for the role by providing a variety of clinical skill development and exposure to practical environments, which allow her to demonstrate her skills and knowledge, and build connections with those within the workplace. “I am truly grateful for this experience and the opportunities the MPK has given me. I would highly recommend it to those who are looking to enhance their knowledge of kinesiology and expand their proficiency in clinical practice.” — JD
Ashley Stirling appointed Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs
r. Ashley Stirling has been appointed Vice-Dean of Academic Affairs effective July 1, 2018. Stirling completed her doctorate in sport and exercise psychology at KPE, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at York University. Her scholarship was recognized in 2009 with the European College of Sport Science Young Investigator Award, and by the Canadian Heritage Sport Participation Research Initiative Award. Applying her research to practice, she has developed and evaluated national coach education initiatives for the Coaching Association of Canada.
Stirling was appointed to her academic position at KPE in 2012, where she undertook the role of the Faculty’s first Director of Experiential Education, developing and overseeing high-quality, pedagogically sound experiential learning opportunities across the undergraduate and graduate curricula. Her exceptional commitment to student learning, pedagogical engagement and teaching innovation was recognized by U of T with the 2016-17 U of T Early Career Teaching Award. — JD
Photo/ Top: Makeda Marc-Ali / Bottom: Goffrey Vendeville
Faculty welcomes Joyce Chen, specialist in motor learning and stroke research
A LOVE OF MUSIC and a fascination with the human brain inspired KPE’s newest faculty member to pursue a career in neurological research. Assistant Professor Joyce Chen was trained as a physical therapist in the area of neurorehabilitation. She went on to complete her PhD at McGill and post-doctoral training at Oxford University and Harvard Medical School in the cognitive neuroscience of music. Curious about the brain’s incredible potential, Chen decided to focus her research on motor learning in patients recovering from a stroke and is looking forward to collaborating with the Faculty’s multidisciplinary team of researchers.
What drew you to this field of research? I’m an amateur musician and trained as a physical therapist. I also love the brain – what other organ allows us to feel, experience and think? This led to a curiosity for how we can enhance the learning or re-learning of skills. Can you tell us a bit about your research? I want to know how to enhance human performance in terms of our ability to learn and execute motor skills. Are there ways to help a musician master a piano concerto, an athlete consistently execute a slam-dunk, or a stroke survivor lift a grandchild into her arms? Why is it important to focus on this area? One of the most remarkable discoveries in the 20th century has been the brain’s neuroplasticity; its ability to change in response to experience, injury and training. This has been especially important given the many neurological disorders that impair a person’s ability to move. In these cases, therapy often entails the re-training or re-learning of skills like walking, bathing and dressing. We need to find ways to enhance the brain’s receptiveness to motor learning, whether it is through practice and feedback, or novel technologies such as non-invasive brain stimulation. Improving a person’s capacity to move will enhance their ability to engage in physical activity and foster a healthy lifestyle. What are some findings you’ve come across that have surprised you? Practice may not make perfect in the context of a stroke survivor re-learning basic motor skills. Recent findings suggest that the amount of practice does not correlate with the amount of improvement in some stroke survivors. This is counterintuitive to our understanding that the more you practice, the better you get. It suggests that there may be some limits, at least in the injured brain, as to how far we can push the brain’s plasticity and thus recovery. Photo/ Provided by Dr. Joyce Chen
Tell us more about your background. I trained and worked as a physical therapist in the area of neurorehabilitation. I completed my graduate and first post-doctoral fellowship in the area of the cognitive neuroscience of music, focusing on how we integrate auditory cues with movements. I wanted to know how we sway our hips in synch with a samba tune, and which regions of the brain help us do this. Why did you want to join KPE? I love the fact that KPE is so multidisciplinary. While it’s important to specialize in research, nothing exists in a vacuum. I get to focus on my interests in motor learning and be part of the Centre for Motor Control with Tim Welsh and Luc Tremblay. But, I’m also equally excited to build new collaborations with people working in areas such as psychosocial aspects of health and physical activity, and cardiovascular exercise. We need to also understand brain-mind, brain-muscle and brain-heart links that will enable us to intervene in a holistic way. What do you enjoy most about teaching? I really enjoy interacting with students. I enjoy hearing about their interests and perspectives and feeling their excitement and curiosity. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching? I love to hack away at my violin, pretending that I’m a celebrity fiddler… though in reality, it’s not too fun for my family. If I weren’t in research, I’d see if 10,000 hours of deliberate practice — EE leads me to Carnegie Hall.
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Protein for breakfast: A recipe for success By now we all know the importance of eating breakfast each morning, but a new study out of KPE has found that where children are concerned, the type of breakfast matters too. Daniel Moore, an Assistant Professor with the Faculty, recently published a study in the Journal of Nutrition that uncovered the benefits of protein intake during a childâ€™s first meal of the day to help support their growth and development.
"The more protein a child ate for breakfast, the better their body was able to build new body proteins over the next 9-10 hours." — Professor Daniel Moore What were you looking to uncover with this study?
Did any findings surprise you?
We know that dietary protein is important for helping us to maintain muscle mass, and with children, it helps them to grow. Understanding how much protein a child needs is important for us to understand how it might support their overall growth and development. In Western society, we eat protein in an unbalanced manner, which means a little bit for breakfast and most at dinner. If you’re a child who’s growing and active, we want to make sure you have proper nutrition at the proper time.
We confirmed that similar to adults, when kids sleep and they aren’t eating, they are in a negative protein balance, which is normal but would not support their growth over time. During the day when they were eating, they gained back their protein balance. We confirmed our suspicions that the more protein a child ate for breakfast, the better their body was able to build new body proteins over the next 9-10 hours. We structured the study to create an environment similiar to a normal school day. The children ate breakfast, stayed in the lab, then ate a small lunch, had recesses etc. During that day, the kids who ate more protein for breakfast were in a better protein balance by the end of the day. In effect, they had grown more in the 9-10 hours than those who had a smaller protein breakfast.
Tell us more about the study. With this study, we asked the question: What kind of an impact does unbalanced protein distribution have on children’s growth? Using novel methods, we tracked how much protein their bodies were building and breaking down over the course of several hours, up to an entire day, which allowed us to estimate how much they “grew” over the day. We understood the importance of protein for building lean mass (e.g. muscle and bone), and we wanted to identify what happened if we gave different amounts of protein in breakfast meals. If a child is deficient at breakfast, we wanted to see if there’s a dose of protein that would help them grow.
Does it matter which source of protein you choose? That is something that we are exploring now. In this study we provided milk-base proteins. We were looking at protein amounts and timing and not necessarily protein type. In adults it seems that animal proteins are used more efficiently by the body than plant proteins. Right now we don’t know if that’s the case in kids, so we are looking at additional studies.
Fit Tips from Professor Moore Make sure kids consume breakfasts with protein. Aim for about 7-14 grams, depending on the child’s size. A cup of milk would give 7 or 8 grams. An egg might be 6-8 grams. If your child really enjoys a big scrambled egg breakfast with a big glass of milk and gets 21 grams of protein, it’s not a big deal. Within reason, they can’t overconsume protein at breakfast. Ensure that your kids continue to consume protein throughout the day. We recommend anything with protein in it, consumed about every 4-5 hours. This will help them meet their daily protein requirements and will help support their growth. Liquid and whole foods are both important. Whether the protein comes from milk or a peanut butter sandwich, both sources are going to help support a child’s requirements. Whole foods are much more nutrient dense than supplements for children. A child who is 30 kg only needs about 40 grams of protein to meet their daily requirements. Most kids in the Western world are meeting the protein requirements, so there is no need to supplement protein. Make sure kids meet the minimum daily requirements of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which is 60 minutes a day. In addition to other health benefits, children who meet this requirement have stronger muscles and bones than those who don’t.
Join us March 5 at 7 p.m. at Goldring Centre for a free public symposium where KPE assistant professors Dan Moore and Jenna Gillen, Registered Dietician Jennifer Sygo, and alumnus and celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak will discuss the intersections of nutrition and exercise. uoft.me/KPEsymposium2019 Photo/ iStock
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Varsity Blues VS. Blue Devils
he Varsity Blues men’s basketball team faced off against Duke University Blue Devils at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre (formerly the Hershey Centre) on August 17.
The match-up was Game 2 of the Duke Canada Tour, featuring Duke freshmen superstars R.J. Barrett of Mississauga and Zion Williamson of Spartenburg, South Carolina. The Blues dropped a 96-60 decision to Duke, who topped the Ryerson Rams 86-67 earlier in the week and wrapped up their Canadian tour with a 103-58 win over the McGill Redmen in Montreal. “I think it was a tremendous experience for our players,” said Varsity Blues head coach John Campbell. “It’s once in a lifetime to play against a program that is so historically significant. Their current roster is really quite something, so for our guys to compete against them is really special.”
Fourth-year forward Nikola Paradina notched a team-high 15 points and added three assists on the night. “I thought we moved really well as a team in the first half,” said Paradina. “Everyone got involved, which is why I made good shots and I was feeling pretty good. I think this was a really good experience for our team preparing for the upcoming season.” Rookie guard Inaki Alvarez added 12 points and a team-high four assists, while sophomore standout Evan Shadkami recorded 11 points, five boards and three assists in limited minutes. Veteran forward Daniel Johansson added nine points and six rebounds in the loss. “I think Inaki has great potential as a player,” added Campbell. “He can really go north-south and get to the basket. I think as his decision making improves and as he adjusts to the level of play, it will make a big difference for him and then he’ll be a huge contributor for us.” — Jill Clark Photos/ Martin Bazyl
Blues powerhouse represents Canada at World Championships
resh off a gold-medal performance at the under-23 world championships, Varsity Blues rower Kendra Wells represented Canada at the 2018 world championships this September in Bulgaria. “This summer was a surreal experience,” says Wells. “If you had asked me three months ago where I would be today, I never would have guessed it would be here. I was very excited for the opportunity to race against the top rowers in the world.”
Blues welcome full-time rowing coach
Photos/ Martin Bazyl
The native of Paris, Ontario, competed in the women’s four crew alongside Jessie Loutit, Karen Lefsrud and fellow under-23 gold medalist Larissa Werbecki. “We are very excited for Kendra,” said Blues head coach Mark Williams. “It has been fantastic to watch her results and we are very proud of her accomplishments.” A kinesiology major, Wells had a breakout first season on the Blues rowing team, helping U of T to a bronzemedal finish in the heavyweight fours at the OUA championships while
Mark Williams, who became U of T’s first full-time rowing head coach this past February, joined the Blues after four seasons as the head coach and director of rowing with the Ohio State University Crew Club (OSUCC). There, Williams was in charge of program development, recruitment and fundraising, while also leading the team to top results. Under his guidance, the program garnered three top-10 finishes at the ACRA National Championships, a second place finish at the MACRA Regional Championship, and in 2016, the men’s team brought home the States Cup for the first time since 2009, ending a multi-year streak of wins from rival Michigan State.
competing in both the eights and women’s double at the 2017 Canadian University Rowing Championships in Victoria. Former Varsity Blue and 2015 Pan American gold medalist, Kate Haber (Sauks), also competed for Canada in Bulgaria. Haber claimed gold at the Toronto 2015 Games in lightweight double skulls and was named an alternate to the 2016 Canadian Olympic rowing team, following that accomplishment. She competed in that same event at the world championships this fall. — JC Williams is no stranger to OUA rowing, both as an athlete and a coach. As an athlete, Williams competed for Denison University from 2002-06 before joining the Varsity Blues (2006-07) and Western Mustangs (2011-13) rowing teams. As a coach, he served as the Western Mustangs junior varsity women’s coach (2013-14), assistant coach (2013) and novice men’s assistant coach (2009-10). He holds a PhD in kinesiology and a Master of Arts in kinesiology and coaching specialization from Western University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from U of T and a Bachelor of Arts from Denison. Williams was named a coach for Team Canada at the 2018 World University Rowing Championship in Shanghai, China this past August.. — JC Pursuit | Fall 2018
Basketball star takes the game to Africa to help inspire youth
s a varsity athlete, Mahal De La Durantaye knows the positive impact that sports can have on the lives of youth. That’s why she didn’t hesitate to get involved with Inspire Children and Youth the moment she heard about them. Inspire is a South African organization that is working to eliminate rural poverty through agricultural entrepreneurism, structured after-school programming, community gardening and organized sport (judo and basketball). Mahal, a Neuroscience and Global Health student at the University of Toronto, and a basketball guard for the Blues, spent a month in South Africa with Inspire, teaching children about structured physical activity and sharing her passion for the game. Her goal was simple: to encourage the use of organized sport as a way to build community and create a platform for the organization’s youth workers to teach important life lessons. And of course to have fun while doing it. “Inspire Children
and Youth is all about youth empowerment,” says Mahal. “So that caught my interest. Our youth is our future. It was also a life test to see what I could contribute.” Before travelling to Africa, Mahal was able to gather a generous donation of two large suitcases of basketballs, courtesy of the Ontario Basketball Association. As a neuroscience student, Mahal was also eager to educate the children on the topic of brain health. She collected English and French workbooks, presentation materials, activities and brain moulds from Parachute Canada and Arrowsmith School. What could be a more fun way to learn about brain health than to plant a large community garden in the shape of a brain? Over the course of the month, Mahal and the children worked diligently to plant the garden and Mahal used every opportunity to share her knowledge on the topic. Photos/ Provided by Mahal De La Durantaye
Stafford wins bronze at NACAC Championships
U “As a university student it can be hard to know how you’re going to apply your majors,” says Mahal. “This was a test to see whether neuroscience was really what I wanted to do. I heard how many members of this community were suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and that peaked my interest. I’ve seen the incredible effects that neuroplasticity can have on those suffering from FAS and that’s something I thought I could potentially explore during my time with these children.” Fittingly, Mahal’s month-long journey culminated in the big reveal for a new community centre they had been building. “We watched Like Mike (2002), made a fire pit, had s’mores, did face painting and played music. It was so inspiring to see their faces light up and to see their reactions to this new space that they never had before. It was moving to see what an impact a small community centre can have on the lives of so many.” — EE
niversity of Toronto Varsity Blues track and field star and 2016 Olympian Gabriela Stafford placed third in the women’s 1500m at the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean athletics association (NACAC) Championships held this summer at Varsity Stadium. Stafford was the first Canadian to cross the finish line, behind Americans Kate Grace and Shannon Osika, while U of T alumna and fellow Olympian Alicia Brown helped Canada to a third-place finish in the women’s 4X400 relay. Stafford earned her spot on the Canadian national team following her third straight national gold medal at the Canadian track and field championships in early July, which also saw Blues alumna Sarah Wells claim the 400m hurdles silver medal. Recent Blues graduate and 2017-18 Clara Benson Honour Award winner Sasha Gollish earned the bronze medal in the women’s 5000m. Blues assistant coach Bob Westman was on the coaching staff for the international meet. — JC Photo/ Athletics Canada
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Making History Blues assistant basketball coach Tamara Tatham joins Raptors 905 as first Canadian woman in the role
he Varsity Blues women’s basketball assistant coach has joined the coaching staff of Raptors 905, the G League affiliate of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, making her the first Canadian woman to have a coaching job on a North American men’s professional basketball team. Raptors 905 is part of the NBA G League, the basketball organization’s minor league, and is an affiliate of the Toronto Raptors.
Tatham was hired by Raptors 905 head coach Jama Mahlalela, who also has ties to U of T, having served as an assistant coach with the Blues men’s team from 2005-09. “I’ve played basketball my entire life, and now I've started coaching. I know a lot about the game and I know what I can give to the game, and to the younger generation,” Tatham told the Canadian Press. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to really showcase, not just for women, but for the Canadian culture. “Jama’s given me a huge opportunity as a Canadian coach to learn from some of the best, and that’s something I really am excited about.”
Tatham, who joined the Blues as a full-time assistant coach last season, is a two-time Olympian, having represented Canada at both the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She has also donned the red and white at two Pan American Games, six FIBA Americas championships, and two FIBA world championships. Her esteemed national team career is highlighted with a gold medal from the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, where Canada defeated the United States, 81-73, to claim the country's first ever Pan Am gold medal in basketball, men or women. Prior to her time with the senior women’s national team, Tatham’s basketball career blossomed at the University of Massachusetts. Named team captain in her final two seasons, she became just the 11th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points. Tatham will continue her position with the Blues while working with Raptors 905 for practices, team meetings and home games. — JC
Photo/ Martin Bazyl
Blues team up with Under Armour T
he Varsity Blues have announced a new multi-year agreement with Under Armour. As of May 1, 2018, Under Armour became the exclusive partner and supplier of athletic apparel for the University’s intercollegiate sport program and title sponsor of its high performance academies. All 44 Varsity Blues teams and more than 1,100 student-athletes and coaches are now outfitted in Under Armour uniforms, apparel and training gear. “We are very excited about this partnership with Under Armour, a leading innovator of athletic performance apparel,” said Beth Ali, Executive Director of Athletics and Physical Activity at U of T.
“Under Armour’s ties to community service, its dedication to innovation and commitment to excellence, parallel the mission and core values of the University of Toronto, the country’s largest university athletic program and a globally recognized academic institution.” “Under Armour’s mission is to make you better and we are proud to bring that commitment to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues,” said Matt Shearer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Under Armour Canada. “From intercollegiate and intramural teams, to the youth participating in the Varsity Blues High Performance Academies, we look forward to outfitting students, athletes and coaches across U of T in Under Armour’s innovative performance apparel and gear.” — Mary Beth Challoner
Former Blue becomes NHL Referee
ormer Varsity Blues men’s hockey forward Michael Markovic has been hired by the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 2018-19 season. The Scarborough, Ontario native played five seasons from 2010-15 and is one of only 34 Varsity Blues to reach over 100 regular season career points. He appeared in 137 regular season games, scoring 56 goals and adding 54 assists for 110 points.
Photo/ Top: Martin Bazyl/ Bottom: Aca Markovic
Markovic had a two-year tenure in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), as a linesman in 2016-17 and referee in 2017-18. He also wore the orange bands this season in Guelph at the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Markovic participated in the 12th annual CHL/ NHL Officiating Development Camp back in November – a program aimed at supporting and enhancing the development of current CHL officials in cooperation with the NHL through on-ice and off-ice activities. — JC Pursuit | Fall 2018
SUPPORTING & FEEDING
THE VARSITY BLUES FOR OVER 40 YEARS 18
39 PRINCE ARTHUR AVE.
From swimming to cybersecurity, its all in a day's work for this Blue
wo passions passed down to Josh Gold by his mother have had a major impact on the course of his life: her love for swimming and her pride in her Estonian roots.
As dedicated as he is to his swimming, Gold takes his academics and career even more seriously. He can’t praise the Varsity Blues program enough for its support of its swimmers.
Gold, who graduated this spring earning a BA (Hons.) with “The Blues program does a really good job of putting the high distinction in Peace and Conflict Studies and European student before the athlete in ‘student-athlete’,” Gold says. “It Studies, swam for the Varsity Blues for four years. Gold also encourages us to be the best we can be in both the pool and earned the 2018 U-Sports Student-Athlete Community Service the classroom.” Award. He took his talents further this summer by representing Estonia at the European Aquatics Championships in Glasgow, In the classroom, too, Estonia has figured large in Gold’s Scotland, where he swam the 200-metre butterfly. studies. The country has one of the most digitally advanced governments worldwide, and it became a leader in digital “I was swimming against Olympic-calibre swimmers, which security after facing major cyberattacks in 2007. Gold wrote was really special,” says Gold, a dual citizen. “I was over my his undergraduate thesis about Estonian cyber defence, and head, but that’s how you grow. I like being an underdog. It he recently completed a summer internship at the NATO motivates me.” Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. He worked full time in the Centre’s international relations section while Gold was born and raised in Toronto, but his maternal training in the pool eight times a week. grandparents had immigrated from Estonia. His mother has kept the culture alive for the family, speaking Estonian at “My thesis process gave me three trips to Estonia and one home to Gold and his two sisters while his father speaks to to Washington, DC, and it led directly to my interests in them in English. cybersecurity and digital governance,” says Gold, who wrote a piece for the National Post about the subject. “It’s a cool little country,” Gold says. “I love the songs and the traditions and I am involved with the Estonian community in Although he has graduated from U of T, Gold is training with Toronto.” the Blues this fall and will enrol in computer science courses in the spring, allowing him to use his fifth year of varsity As a child, he dreamed of swimming for the Estonian national eligibility to compete at the Ontario and national university team. Four years ago, Gold reached out to a club team there championships. — Elaine Smith and he and his sisters became members. “I thought it would be special to represent a small country that is an underdog,” he says. “As I got older, I realized it was a real possibility.” Photo/ right/ Cevin Anders Siim/ left/ Mihhail Krupnin/Estonian Swimming Federation
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Teammates Harrison and Mason are on the ice 5 to 6 times a week. They also enjoy baseball, soccer, skateboarding and Lego â€“ among many other activities.
BUSY KIDS Are organized sports robbing kids of free play? By Jelena Damjanovic
Photography by Seed9
ason Gelman is seven years old. He goes to a hockey practice or game 4 to 5 times a week, sometimes more, interrupting the cycle only to go for a swimming class once a week. In the summer and fall, he takes up flag football and baseball. Too much time in training, too little time left for playing? Not really, says Mason’s father Bryan.
Lead author of the study, KPE Professor John Cairney, says part of the explanation might be that children who are naturally inclined to enjoy organized sport are simply active kids. But, the other reason may be that organized sport teaches the fundamental motor, psychological and social skills that children need for unsupervised activities.
“I find the opposite,” he says. “Mason is in a high level of hockey and takes it very seriously, but when he gets home he has no issue throwing the basketball around for hours on end, playing soccer in the backyard, or even just playing Lego in the basement.”
“There is more to organized sport than just moderate to vigorous physical activity participation. There is learning to follow rules, playing as a team member, friendships that form through team sport and, of course, learning new skills. While time spent being physically active is important, we can’t ignore or minimize the importance of these other benefits for the child’s development,” says Cairney.
Gelman is among the group of parents who see value in their children’s busy schedules, despite growing public sentiment that too much structured activity may be interfering with a child's ability to play freely. A new study by researchers from KPE and McMaster University now validates their viewpoint. The study followed 2,278 children from Grades 4 to 8. Not only did it find that children who are involved in organized sport embrace free play, it found they generally engage in more physical activity on their own than those who are not in organized sport.
Still, the researchers were surprised by the results. “You would expect that children who are participating in a lot of organized sport each week would have less time or less desire to participate in free play,” says Rheanna Bulten, who contributed to the study as a research assistant while finishing her undergraduate degree at KPE.
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Stella does gymnastics year round, soccer in the spring and skiing in the winter.
“Given how many children today participate in organized sport, it is very encouraging that kids are still finding time for free active play.” — Professor John Cairney
“I’ve been a varsity athlete at U of T for the last five years, and when I get home from practice I don’t much feel like going out for a bike ride with my friends. But our study indicated the opposite: children who participate in more organized sport are more likely to engage in free play pursuits.” The study found this effect to be independent of gender or socioeconomic status, meaning the positive correlation isn’t limited to one specific group of kids. “That was a surprise too, because we expected that even if we didn’t see organized sport participation affecting free play participation in boys, we would likely see it in girls given the gender gap in physical activity participation that starts to emerge around adolescence. But there was no gender effect. In other words, organized sport is good for free play participation no matter the child’s gender, and no matter their socio-economic status,” says Bulten, who started her first year in the Faculty’s Master of Science program in Exercise Sciences this September. Although the results weren’t what the researchers expected, they are what they had hoped. “Given how many children today participate in organized sport, it is very encouraging that kids are still finding time for free active play, especially given the importance of it for child development,” says Cairney.
Children and youth participating in free, active play have the opportunity to be creative, learn to organize games in the absence of adults or specific rules, and develop or alter physical activity experiences in a variety of ways and settings, the researchers say. But, contrary to what some may think, children do not naturally acquire many of these skills on their own. And if they are not confident in their physical ability, they will be less likely to explore and try a wide range of activities. “Organized sport and physical activity often involve a skill development component, where fundamental motor skills are practiced and reinforced. The acquisition and reinforcement of a range of these skills through structured experiences may provide the foundational skills necessary to facilitate participation in a broader range of discretionary activities in children,” says Cairney. So, it’s possible that children are getting those skills from their experiences in sport and organized play and they’re practicing and using them in free play. This resonates with Lianne Assal, mother of three boys, who play soccer, hockey, karate and baseball. Assal says she’s been confronted on numerous occasions by family members or friends who tell her that her children are overscheduled and don’t have a chance to play freely.
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Drew plays baseball and hockey and enjoys throwing around a football with his dad. His friend Cole plays hockey and soccer and likes to play golf and ping pong with his younger brother.
“It is not a problem if a child decides to quit or stop playing a sport or activity, if they move to a different activity. It is only a concern if they stop active pursuits altogether. Physical activity participation is a journey, not a destination.” — Assistant Professor Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos “It makes you think, but then I see the benefits of organized sport every day in my children. I see them developing, making friends and having fun. If anything, I’d say organized sport enhances their ability to play,” Lianne says, describing her younger child playing with hockey cards for hours, strategizing, keeping scores and inventing his own game. “And, the older one will go out in the backyard and kick around a soccer ball with the younger ones,” she says. Mason’s father says he, too, hears from other parents that they don’t want their kids spending their young lives in a hockey rink. “I get it, but from my perspective, I see the value in what Mason gets out of being on a great hockey team with his amazing buddies. He’s having fun, learning about discipline, time management skills and commitment to the team. He is learning how to be a good winner and a good loser, on and off the ice,” he says.
“I think these are great life lessons.” So, are there any downsides to being involved in organized sport? Researchers found indirect evidence against early specialization in a single sport or physical activity. “Too often we hear about children being pushed into activities because mom or dad think it is what they should be doing or what they played when they were a kid. I would love to see a system where children, especially in the first 10 to 12 years of life, could experiment and try all kinds of activities before they decide to narrow their options,” says KPE Assistant Professor Kelly ArbourNicitopoulos, who co-authored the study with Cairney. “It is not a problem if a child decides to quit or stop playing a sport or activity, if they move to a different activity. It is only a concern if they stop active pursuits altogether. Physical activity participation is a journey, not a destination.”
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Brayden plays soccer and hockey and recently discovered lacrosse.
“It should be about fun and friendship. It can also be about learning new skills and trying different activities that challenge us.” — Professor John Cairney
She encourages parents considering an organized sport for their child to ask themselves whether the focus is more on competition, or having fun and making friends. “Kids who enjoy sports tend to identify two reasons – that it’s fun and they can make friends,” she says. “When youth drop out, it is because these things are comprised.” Cairney says the children have it right. “It should be about fun and friendship. It can also be about learning new skills and trying different activities that challenge us. The overwhelming majority of children and youth who play sport will not go on to professional or even high-level amateur careers.” He says the goal should be participation for life, to encourage kids to experience the joys of playing that will lead to lifelong participation in physical activity. “We need to stop viewing youth sport as a gateway or feeder system to elite sport participation. Our goal should be to let all children (and adults) play.” While the researchers found the positive effect of sport participation on free play to benefit both sexes, they also found that sex and socio-economic status were among the most important barriers to children’s participation in organized sport. “Removing structural and social/cultural barriers to organized physical activity participation should be a priority for policy makers, communities and parents,” says Arbour-Nicitopoulos. “Having instructors and coaches who are well-trained in inclusive practices, activity spaces that are welcoming to individuals of varied abilities and experiences and funding to support the sustainability of programs are three critical issues to consider when promoting physical activity for all,” she says. “Making a commitment to ensuring all children are getting enough physical activity means a societal investment into high-quality physical activity programs that start when children are young. It not only encourages participation in sport, but as our study results indicate, it may also help to support active free play.” This study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and is available online in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal.
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Waves of Support Alumni campaign lays foundation for next generation of champions By Janet Gunn
Photo/ Martin Bazyl
old early mornings on Lake Ontario have been a 120-year tradition for the Varsity Blues rowing team. It’s this dedication to training that led student-athletes to years of success – from university championships to international regatta titles, and even Olympic gold. In fact, the team’s alumni include some of the most iconic names in Canadian rowing. Len Diplock and Kate Cochrane-Brink are both U of T alumni rowers who competed internationally with the team. They remember the sacrifices, rewards, victories and defeats. “There were times when the stars truly aligned – when we had motivated athletes, passionate coaches and financial resources to help us succeed far beyond what we thought possible,” says Diplock. “There have also been times when the Club has struggled to survive. We need to get back to our tradition of success.” Cochrane-Brink says there is now an opportunity to establish a new level of support for the Varsity Blues rowing team. It’s why she and Len are joining forces, as alumni and former champion rowers, to co-chair a campaign, in partnership with the Faculty. The campaign’s goal is to raise $500,000 to support a high-performance rowing program once again. “Together we will rebuild the rowing tradition at U of T. There’s no reason we can’t be great again,” says Cochrane-Brink. “Rowing is magical when all the pieces come together.” One of those pieces is a dedicated coach. Mark Williams has been recruited to lead the program. He was the head coach and director of rowing with the Ohio State University Crew Club,
where he led them to a state cup in 2016 and three top-10 finishes at the nationals. Williams was also chosen to coach one of the Canadian crews at the 2018 FISU World University Rowing Championship in Shanghai this past August. (See page 13 in Blues News) Denita Arthurs, Assistant Director, Athletics, says Williams is a great fit for the program. “We’re excited to have a U of T alumnus and high-calibre coach lead our rowing program and to have our alumni support our efforts to become one of the best rowing programs in Canada,” she says. “This campaign fits with the University’s goal to invest in varsity sports. Campaigns like this allow us to sustain our athletic programs long-term and to develop and showcase our exceptional student-athletes.” Williams says the funds raised will renew the program's fleet of shells and equipment for training and competitions, support volunteer assistant coaches and crews, enable the program to recruit top high school prospects and participate at high-level provincial, national and international competitions. “U of T has more than a 100 year history of success in rowing, strong alumni support and the potential to attract top studentathletes to build a powerhouse program,” says Williams. “I look forward to continuing U of T’s tradition of being one of the finest rowing programs in Canada.” For more information or if you’d like to help, please contact Natalie Agro, Senior Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org Pursuit | Fall 2018
The Power of Field Notes
Endowments By Janet Rowe
Left to Right: Sidney Abou Sawan and Victoria Radounski in the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
helped Michael Guinness lead
to 225 students and athletic
s Michael Guinness’ endowments have grown, so have the students he’s helped. The emergency physician created three scholarships between 1998 and 2010, and has so far supported 225 students in achieving academic excellence paired with athletic success. Guinness first made a $10 gift in 1981, and went on to set up endowments now valued at nearly $1 million. “I didn’t realize the numbers were that high,” says Guinness, a U of T alumnus who earned a BPHE in 1972 and an MD in 1977. “It is most thrilling to learn that.” He often receives notes from the award winners, calling them “lifelong treasures.”
the potential to improve both recovery after exercise and athletic performance. While athletes are routinely told to eat protein to support recovery after resistance exercise, he says, they’re not told how or when. Abou Sawan’s cohort study will test how much and how often athletes consume dietary protein and how this relates to muscle. “The financial support will help me accelerate my PhD program,” Abou Sawan says, “because I can spend more time on my research. I appreciate that I was fortunate enough to get it, and I hope that I can pay for it by doing some good research for athletes.”
The Guinness awards inspire students as well as offering practical help. “Endowments are intriguing to me,” he Victoria Radounski, a provincial adds, “because endowments are gifts champ in the 200-metre freestyle who that keep on giving. I hope they will just completed her fourth year studying intrigue others.” While earning his kinesiology, used her Guinness Award Michael Guinness (BPHE 1972, MD 1977) degrees, Guinness was a top-ranked of Excellence to attend specialty swim training camps. But her wins are also Canadian swimmer who set Varsity due to intangible support, she says. Blues records and swam for Canada at “It helped boost my confidence to win this award. It’s the 1970 World University Games. The Guinness awards important to be confident in swimming, to be in the right are for similar all-rounders: winners must demonstrate top scholarship, athleticism and leadership. mindset in a race.” Sidney Abou Sawan is a current holder of the Guinness Fellowship in High Performance Sport and a PhD student in the Department of Exercise Sciences. His research has Photo/ Mathew Volpe
Just as the Guinness endowments are reaching new milestones, so these students are creating new benchmarks for sport in Canada. Pursuit | Fall 2018
Right to left: Tate Newmarch and Doug Richards
A New Goal
From aspiring soccer star to medical student, via KPE
ate Newmarch was 14 when he travelled from Canada to France with his agent to tour youth soccer clubs. At 15, he was training in Troyes, before moving to Nice and finally signing with Monaco. He was on his way to fulfilling his dream of being a soccer star.
Things took an unexpected turn when a serious injury to his pelvic area put him out of the game for 2½ years, as doctors tried to determine what was wrong. After an unsuccessful surgery, he travelled to Chicago’s Caring Medical clinic, where he says they managed to “fix” him temporarily. He returned to soccer and signed to a reserve team in France called Balma SC, but the injury came back and – at 21 – he realized he was at a crossroads. “I wasn’t planning on ever going to university, because the path I was on was working,” says Newmarch, who graduated from the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education this past spring. “I never signed a professional contract with a soccer club in France because I was there in my youth years, but a number of the guys that I played with are now professionals – two are on the French national team. I just knew after my second injury that I couldn’t continue to experience setbacks, I needed to go the education route.” He decided to apply to study kinesiology, attracted by its multidisciplinary nature and the aspect of sport. He was interested in following up his kinesiology degree with studies in medicine, an idea that got solidified
Photo/ provided by Dr. Doug Richards
once he was in the U of T program and conducting research with Assistant Professor Doug Richards, medical director and staff physician at U of T’s David L. MacIntosh Sport Medicine Clinic.
Reflecting on his unorthodox path, Newmarch says he definitely made the right decision to study kinesiology after his bid for soccer stardom was interrupted.
“Tate stood out as an exceptional student “KPE does a great job at preparing you well in both my first-year courses. He for a number of fields you may want to frequently came up after class to ask enter later,” he says. “The multidisciplinary extra questions, and it was clear he was approach lets you learn about the human not only on top of everything we had condition from every angle and I really covered in class, he was often one or prize that. I feel that kinesiology has two steps ahead,” says Richards. changed the way that I operate in the world, because the things that I learned Newmarch excelled in the program, are applicable in so many areas. getting awards in first and second year for having the highest grades. He also “I’ve been genuinely very happy and worked as a research assistant with made a lot of very good relationships the MacIntosh clinic’s consulting foot with a number of professors and and ankle surgeon, Dr. Johnny Lau, students who have helped me just by at Toronto Western Hospital. When being genuinely interested in what I was Newmarch approached Richards after doing. Of course, the feeling is mutual.” second year to ask if he would supervise his undergraduate research project, Does he regret not becoming a soccer Richards did not hesitate to involve player? He used to, he says, especially him in a long-term study looking at the when he’d see former teammates effects of static alignment of the legs signing big contracts. Over time, on a variety of injuries and exercise however, those feelings have abated, in programs. no small measure because the transition from sports to academics has been “Tate took on a preliminary project to unexpectedly easy. validate some clinical measures we want to use in that long-term program “You need to be meticulous, determined and did a great job, showing all the and hard-working in both worlds,” says independence, initiative, intellect and Newmarch. persistence required to complete that phase of our project,” says Richards. “I still miss soccer to some extent, but I’m happy with where I am now. Things don’t Newmarch describes the experience as always go the way you want to or expect “incredible.” He will continue to work them to go, but if you use each experience with Richards on the study as a medical to learn from it, you’ll be more equipped student, having received acceptance for every new situation because of where — JD from U of T’s Faculty of Medicine. you were before.”
Pursuit | Fall 2018
CALL TO THE HALL
Varsity Blues alumna Jayna Hefford inducted into Canadaâ€™s Hockey Hall of Fame
Photos/ KPE Archives
ost Canadians would find it hard to discuss women’s hockey without focusing on Jayna Hefford. Her achievements on the ice are dazzling. Jayna is among just five players in the world to win a gold medal in four consecutive Olympic Games. She ranks second all-time in Team Canada history with 267 games played, 157 goals scored and 291 points. Throughout her career, Jayna played in 12 world championships, winning seven gold medals and five silver medals.
moment for me,” she says. “That was when I decided that was what I wanted to accomplish too.” Nothing could keep Jayna away from the ice, and during her time at the University of Toronto she was an all-star member of the Varsity Blues women’s hockey team. She took home the title of the Ontario Women Intercollegiate Athletic Association's (OWIAA) top scorer and earned rookie of the year. While she admits that being a student and an athlete
home a silver medal that year in Nagano. There would be four more Olympic Games – and four more gold medals – in Jayna’s future. She and Team Canada took home gold in Salt Lake City, Turin, Vancouver and Sochi. This string of victories made her one of just three women in history to win four consecutive Olympic gold medals in women’s hockey.
Jayna had such fond memories of her time on the ice at U of T that she returned as a coach when Vicky That’s why the Sunohara took over the announcement of her team. “I loved being back “The respect that people have for Jayna upcoming induction into on campus with such great speaks volumes. You could interview so many energy and academia,” she the HHOF came as a players over so many generations who have says. “It was nice to be back surprise to no one – except her! “I was so humbled,” where I competed, and in played with her and they would only have says Jayna. “It’s certainly a program that strives for great things to say about her.” one of the greatest honours excellence in all capacities.” — Vicky Sunohara, former teammate and in my hockey career. It is Off the ice, Jayna and Vicky the result of many years were just as well-matched. Varsity Blues women’s hockey head coach of hard work, and it “I think we complemented encompasses so many people. I think can be challenging, she wouldn’t each other well,” says Vicky. “We saw this is why it is so important and was change a thing. “It’s such an incredible eye to eye. I tend to get excited and more emotional than I had envisioned.” experience,” she says. “I loved my time caught up in the game and she’s a much Jayna’s friend and former teammate with the Varsity Blues. I loved being calmer persona.” Vicky Sunohara was thrilled to hear able to complete my education and also the news. “It was just a matter of time,” play hockey every day. And I admired Now that she has hung up her skates says Vicky, who is currently the head my teammates for their commitment to professionally, Jayna is focused on her coach of women’s hockey at U of T. both athletics and academics.” role as interim commissioner of the “The respect that people have for Jayna Canadian Women’s Hockey League as speaks volumes. You could interview so After leaving U of T with a Bachelor well as raising her three kids with many players over so many generations of Physical Education, Jayna snagged partner (and former Olympian) who have played with her and they gold in the International Ice Hockey Kathleen Kauth. She is also a would only have great things to say Federation (IIHF) World Women’s professional speaker on the topic of about her.” Championships. The accolades focusing on change and adaptability, continued to pour in for Jayna. She was resilience and creating successful The game came naturally to Jayna. the tournament’s top scorer in 1999 cultures. While her busy schedule She learned to skate at age six and by and 2000. In 2004 and 2005, she won means she doesn’t get to play as often 1994 she was a member of Ontario’s the Directorate Award for Top Forward. as she would like, she continues to fuel championship team in the women’s “She’s really one of the most mentally her passion for the game by being under-18 tournament. The following tough players I’ve ever played with,” involved in the hockey world every day. year, she joined Team Ontario as says Vicky. “She was always very even And if her kids decide to follow in her captain to take home gold in the keeled. You can’t get under Jayna’s skin. skate steps, she has some advice for Canada Winter Games. Looking back, She was a great teammate and a great them: “I would tell them that if they Jayna can’t remember a time in her leader – she led by example.” have a passion for the game and are life without hockey and she can even willing to work hard, then they will pinpoint the exact moment she decided When women’s hockey was added have some of the best experiences of to make it a career. “The first time I as an official Olympic sport in 1998, their lives through the game. It has watched the Canadian women’s team Jayna was asked to be a member of given me so much, I’m very grateful — EE on television was definitely a pivotal Team Canada. The team brought for that.” Pursuit | Fall 2018
Former U of T quarterback named Member of the Order of Canada
t’s one of the highest honours you can receive in Canada, and it went to Dr. Bryce Taylor, a Professor of Surgery at U of T and a Varsity Blues football star from 1962-66. Dr. Taylor, a specialist in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery, was named a Member of the Order of Canada for his sustained impact on the teaching and practice of surgery in Canada. Despite his impressive list of accomplishments, the news of his appointment came as a surprise to Dr. Taylor. “I was thrilled!” he says. “I immediately thought of my parents, who would have been very pleased, then of my family who have made so many sacrifices over the years, and then of the literally hundreds of people with whom I’ve worked who made this possible.”
This large group of people includes classmates from his time at the University of Toronto, where he completed his medical degree and his postgraduate training, as well as his time at UHN, where he acted as surgeon-in-chief for over a decade. He was also part of the team that initiated the U of T Liver Transplant Program.
But long before he was saving lives in the operating room, Dr. Taylor was shattering records on the football field. He was a quarterback who played five seasons at U of T: 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966. “He was one of best natural athletes I have known,” reflects his teammate Andy Szandtner. “He was good at everything he tried. And he didn’t have to train hard like the rest of us!” Dr. Taylor was one of the captains of the 1965 team, who famously beat the University of Alberta Golden Bears 14-7 to become the very first Vanier Cup champions. It was that same year that Dr. Taylor also set a new league career scoring record. His 166 career points broke the previous (unofficial) record held by Ron Stewart of Queen’s University in the 1950s and he was ranked as a conference all-star in 1963 (as defensive back), 1965 and 1966. Having had the chance to get to know Dr. Taylor both on and off the football field, Andy was not surprised to hear that Dr. Taylor was being awarded the Order of Canada. “It is rare to find a person who is so qualified in all aspects of life,” he says. “Bryce’s
Dr. Bryce Taylor, one of the captains of the 1965 team, is pictured here with Bob Pampe, Dalt White and Georges Vanier, after winning the first Vanier Cup. “It was a great moment,” says Dr. Taylor. “It’s a photograph I’ll always treasure.”
contribution to his profession, patients and friends has been outstanding throughout his career. It’s a welldeserved award.” While Dr. Taylor hasn’t picked up a football in decades, he would be up for a preposterous demonstration with a few of his football alum friends on the offensive line: Jim Ware, Jim Kellam, Bob Pampe, Buck Rogers, Hoot Gibson, Ron Wakelin and Wayne Parsons. “With the help of Gerry Sternberg and Mike Raham in the backfield, I might be able to get the ball on the hot potato play to Mike Eben, who could literally catch anything,” he laughs, “...and I’ll even supply the walkers!” All jokes aside, Dr. Taylor has a great appreciation for the lessons that football taught him, and says his time with the team helped to shape his future success. He credits the emphasis on teamwork that Dalt White, Ron Murphy and their assistant coaches instilled in him and his teammates. “Our sense of mutual support really laid a foundation for our future lives,” he says. — EE Photo/ provided by Dr. Taylor
KRISTINE DRAKICH has logged countless hours on volleyball courts at U of T and around the world, as a standout player and an inspiring coach and mentor. She has chosen to leave a legacy gift in her will, to support the programs she believes in. You can do the same. By planning your bequest now, you can ensure that our academic, research and athletics programs continue to grow and evolve for the benefit of future generations.
â€œMy heart is in U of T. I credit my mentors for inspiring me to be a coach and the volleyball program for inspiring young women to lead. Through sports you learn how to take risks, be resilient and make a difference. I want to continue supporting the incredible women who flourish in this program and I want to help make a difference to those who come long after us.â€?
To learn more or to discuss making a planned gift to the Faculty, please contact Robin Campbell, Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Affairs, email@example.com Samantha Barr, Manager, Alumni Relations and Advancement Campaigns, firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN ME. LEAVE A LEGACY.
7T8 Reunion Back row – L to R: Carol (Lindsay) Baker, Teresa (Castrucci) Bigras, Ann Schlarp McArthur, Laurie (Donovan) Mailloux, Carla Mann O’Callaghan, Patti Griffen Front row – L to R: Marguerite (Flanagan) Allen, Joan (Young) Rocha, Janice Walker, Marissa Revzen-Ellis, Carol (Moultray) Callingham THE FACULTY was pleased to welcome the class of 7T8 back to campus as they celebrated their 40th reunion. Joan Rocha spearheaded the reunion and was joined by 10 of her classmates for a tour of the Athletic Centre and socializing. The dance room brought back a flood of memories. Later that evening, other classmates joined the group for dinner.
6T8 Reunion THE 6T8 CLASS celebrated its 50th reunion with a full slate of activities that spanned the Alumni Reunion weekend. The group enjoyed golfing, a celebration at the Faculty Club, the honour of receiving their 50th-anniversary medals at Convocation Hall, many meals and, of course, many laughs and memories. Thanks to Ron Wilson and Wolf Ruck for organizing all the fun!
Front row (L to R): Pat Ramsay, Hilda (Fay) Rolph, Anne (Kubbinga) Fisher, Eleanor Schnall, Nancy Slater, Margo Remus Joseph, Rhonda (Rahmer) Thrasher, Karen (Millar) Thomson, Linda (Robertson) Peck Middle row (L to R): S usie Singer, David Drew, Ron Wakelin, Marilyn (Spiers) Rossborough, Ron Wilson, Bruce Cameron, Terry Thomson, Brian Jones, Kathryn Dainty Davis, Jack Butler, Wolf Ruck Back row (L to R): R ene St. Aubin, Marg (McKendrick) Nuppola, Mary-Lea (Lackey) Palmer, Betty (Beilstein) Telford, Dave Church, Eric Sereda, Robin Campbell, Gail Wilson
Photo/ Top: Courtesy of Joan Rocha/ Bottom: Wolf Ruck
Alumni FieldUpdates Notes
Blues Football Alumni Network Golf Tournament ON AUGUST 7, the Blues Football Alumni Network hosted their annual golf tournament and dinner at King Valley Golf Club. Alumni and friends of the football program enjoyed a day on the links, exciting prizes and good company. Thank you to the sponsors and donors who supported the event and to Peter McNabb, George Polyzois, Andy Szandtner, Ray Reynolds and Wendy Kane for their assistance in organizing the event.
Left to right: Bob Potts, Peter Van Bodegom, Don Fraser, David Webb
CTEP Reunion THE CLASS of 1963 shared wonderful memories and lots of fun during their recent 55th reunion. Following the Chancellorâ€™s Medal Ceremony at Convocation Hall, the group gathered at the residence of Betty and Ross Cullingworth for high tea, enjoying a PHE-themed cake decorated with many sports and, of course, in U of T blue! Thanks to Joanne Moyle for her efforts in organizing the party and reuniting the group.
Photo/ Top: Martin Bazyl/ Bottom Left: Joanne Moyle/ Bottom Right: John Hryniuk
ON JUNE 27, the Faculty hosted a reunion of students from the Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP) to celebrate the graduation of the final cohort of the program. CTEP was a joint program between the Faculty and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) which began in September 2007. The event brought together CTEP graduates from various eras, many of whom said that the legacy of the program is the community of people and the connections they built over five years of studying together.
Pursuit | Fall 2018
Hall of Fame On May 31, the Faculty celebrated 11 individuals and three teams for their outstanding achievements and contributions to U of T athletics at the annual U of T Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The inductees were selected from sports as varied as cross-country, track and field, football, basketball, squash, hockey, soccer and volleyball. Taking their turn on the podium to receive their awards, the athletes thanked their families, coaches and teammates for providing them with the support, motivation and inspiration they needed to achieve their success. To learn more about this year’s inductees, please see halloffame.utoronto.ca.
Photos/ Martin Bazyl
Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (Right to left): Gino Reda (Media), Bud Fowler (Legends Athlete), Joanne Noble (ESHOF Chair), Rod Toner (President of Humber Valley Hockey Association – Organization), Terrill Samuel (Athlete), Bruce Boyd (Builder)
Bruce will be officially inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame at their annual inductee dinner in November for his contributions as a builder. Bruce spent much of his youth in Etobicoke attending Richview Collegiate. While at U of T, Bruce donned the blue and white as a defensive back on the Varsity Blues football team. After graduation, he joined the staff at Richview, where he remained as a teacher for 32 years until his retirement in 2000. He coached many sports, including wrestling, gymnastics, curling and soccer, but he really excelled as the football coach. Bruce developed the junior football program at Richview, an initiative that taught many players hard work, sportsmanship, reliability and respect.
Terrill will join Bruce Boyd as an inductee into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame this November for her contributions as a golf athlete. During her time at U of T, she excelled as a swimmer; she was a member of four CIAU (Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union) championship teams and five OWIAA (Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association) championship teams. Though golf has always been a passion in the Samuel family, Terrill only discovered her love of the sport after graduation from U of T. She went on to have an illustrious career as an amateur golf champion and represented Canada on the international stage multiple times. A proud retired teacher, Terrill has a lot more time now to concentrate on her golf game, play in more tournaments and travel.
Professor Kerr has left her position at the Faculty as ViceDean, Academic Affairs, to take on the role of Vice-Dean, Programs and Innovation, at the School of Graduate Studies in July. During her tenure with the Faculty, she distinguished herself as a leader of program innovation, particularly in the areas of work-integrated learning and professionalization. She was instrumental in launching the Master of Professional Kinesiology program, the first graduate program of its kind in Ontario. She is also an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of abuse, harassment and bullying in sport, coach education and women in coaching. In honour of her accomplishments, the Faculty is proud to establish a PhD student scholarship in her name. To learn more or to donate, visit donate.utoronto.ca/kerr-award.
Dr. Bryce Taylor, professor of general surgery at U of T and former Varsity Blues football player, has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for his “sustained impact on the teaching and practice of surgery in Canada.” Taylor is recognized, in particular, for his advocacy in improving surgical safety standards and patient care. He has helped devise a safe surgery checklist, which has been found to reduce surgical complications and mortality. (See story page 36)
Victoria College, 6T6, Football
BPHE 8T2, PhD 8T9
Photo/ Courtesy of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame
BCOMM 8T4, Swimming
Medicine 6T8, Football
Pursuit | Fall 2018
We Remember ... Daniel Kofi Aning BPHE 9T5
Ellen Cole (née Robins) BPHE 5T0
Alejandro (Al) Duque UC 1T6, Men’s Lacrosse
Dan passed away at the age of 47 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After leaving U of T, he received his Masters of Education from Northern Arizona University in 2011. Dan worked with the Varsity Blues as an assistant coach and was inducted into the U of T Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 as part of the 1995 Wilson Cup Championship team. He spent nearly 7 years working with the Toronto Raptors as their Video Coordinator, and an additional 2 years with the Phoenix Suns. His players remember him as a mentor, advocate and trusted advisor.
Ellen, a beloved sister, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, departed at peace with the world she made a lovelier place. Ellen is described as a thoughtful and kind-hearted individual who touched the lives of many others.
Al passed away suddenly in September after a tragic accident. Al played with the Varsity Blues men’s lacrosse team from 2011-15 and worked with the team as an assistant coach. He had just started a master’s program in biomedicine and was keenly interested in researching treatments for cancer. He will be remembered as a sweet young man who loved his dog, lacrosse and travel. Al will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
James Allan (Al) Brown BPHE 5T1, Football, Basketball Al passed away in his 89th year in September. Al had the ability to make everyone smile wherever he visited or lived. He was a fun-loving, smart, charismatic, athletic man who was a beloved principal for years. He will be missed by his family, former colleagues and students.
William Bulucon BASc 6T0, Football Bill passed away peacefully with his family by his side. While earning his degree in applied sciences, Bill was a member of U of T’s football team. Bill was a loving husband, father and grandfather and a truly great friend to many throughout his 80 years.
Douglas Carter BA 7T5, MBA 8T5, Alpine Skiing Douglas passed away in May, following a cycling accident. While earning his MBA, Douglas was an active member of the U of T’s alpine ski team. Douglas was a beloved husband, adored father, playful grandfather and friend to countless people.
Leonard Clement BPHE 4T9, Hockey Leonard peacefully passed away in his 89th year. While earning his degree in physical education and health, Leonard was an active member of the U of T’s hockey team. Leonard was a cherished father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Sydney Cooper BASc 4T5, Baseball, Volleyball Sydney passed away at home, surrounded by his family. He began his career as a civil engineer, working throughout Canada for four decades. Sydney was a respected professional, a devoted baseball fan and a loyal friend to many.
Douglas Coultis Engineering 6T4, Tennis Douglas passed away peacefully at his home in his 78th year. While at U of T, he was a member of the tennis team. Douglas will be lovingly remembered by his extended family and many friends.
Glenn Curtis Engineering 4T8, Gymnastics Glenn peacefully passed away at the age of 92. Glenn spent his business years in the engineering and construction world. In his later years, he took training in chaplaincy in Calgary and enjoyed working in pastoral care in various hospitals.
Clara Denaburg (née Magder) BPHE 4T7 Clara passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family, at the age of 91. During her time at U of T, Clara played intramural hockey. Clara will be fondly remembered and dearly missed by her extended family and many friends.
Robert Dowsett BA 5T0, Football Rob passed peacefully after a brief illness in his 88th year. He became an actuary in 1954, the youngest person in Canada to achieve this designation. An avid outdoorsman, Rob pursued lifelong passions for canoeing, sailing and waterskiing.
Edward Eberle SMC 5T0, Tennis Edward passed away peacefully in Vancouver at the age of 98 with family by his side. He had a successful career as a lawyer and Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario, and was an avid skier and accomplished tennis player. Edwards’s great joy was participating in the lives of his family and close friends.
Mort Greenberg After a long and eventful life, fuelled by a passion for sports and charity, Mort peacefully passed away at the age of 89. He was a well-known advocate for Canadian sports and a proud and frequent supporter of the arts. Although Mort went to film school at UCLA, he fiercely supported the Varsity Blues. Mort will be remembered for his incredible kindness.
William Horton Engineering 5T5, Football Bill passed away peacefully in April at age 87. Bill took great pride in being on the Varsity Blues football team and he was inducted into the U of T Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of the 1954 Yates Cup Championship-winning team. His football career continued as he played for the Calgary Stampeders. Bill pursued excellence and attained it on many fronts: as a student, athlete, professional, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, linguist and, in his forties, as a Dixieland jazz musician.
Kathleen E. Hull (née Cuninghame) UC 4T2, BPHE 4T3 Kathleen passed away peacefully in her home at age 98, surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her husband, Professor Tom Hull. She had a wide array of interests and diverse hobbies, and was an active member of various interest groups. Kathleen had a lifelong passion and talent for drawing, painting, sewing and knitting.
Wentworth Jones MD 5T6, Basketball
William Orr MD 4T3, Track and Field
Aleea Smith (née Khan) BPHE 0T6
Wentworth passed away peacefully with his family at his side at age 87. He began his professional career, which spanned 50 years, as a family doctor in the Beaches. Wentworth was known for his devotion to patient care and kindness to all. He enjoyed paddling, which ultimately became his lifelong passion.
Bill died peacefully at the age of 98 following a short illness. Bill graduated in medicine from U of T in 1943 and was instrumental in establishing the Niagara Children’s Centre, an early leader in treating and caring for children with physical, developmental and communicative disabilities. Bill was a deeply humble man, committed to love of family and service to others. His kind and gentle spirit will be sadly missed.
Aleea passed away suddenly in August. During Aleea’s childhood, she was a sports enthusiast who loved to watch and play volleyball, basketball, baseball, hockey and track and field. After leaving U of T, she earned a certificate in sports medicine and attended teacher’s college. Her love of exploring the outdoors combined with her passion for community building through teaching motivated her to move to northern Ontario, where she became a pillar of the community.
Dr. Terry Kavanagh The famous Canadian pioneer in the field of cardiovascular health died at home at age 91. During his 32-year tenure at the Toronto Rehab Centre, 25,000 patients passed through the program and benefited from Dr. Kavanagh’s groundbreaking approaches. In 1973, he made medical history when seven of his heart attack patients completed the Boston Marathon and, in 1985, he personally trained and ran with the first heart transplant patient to complete the same marathon. In 2003, Dr. Kavanagh was honoured by the University of Toronto, which conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, in recognition of his contributions.
Ian Kirkpatrick Victoria College 6T7, MASc 7T0, LLB 7T3 Ian passed away peacefully with his family by his side at age 74. He had a formidable career and was well respected in the legal community for his fairness, empathy and ethics. Ian was an exceptional athlete. While at U of T, he played on the Varsity Blues football team and was inducted into U of T’s Hall of Fame, a part of the 1965 Vanier Cup Championship team. Ian was also an excellent golfer and curler; he collected many awards and won many championships as a result. He will be remembered as a people person with a magnetic personality and for being relentlessly cheerful.
Stephen Otto BComm 6T0, Swimming Stephen passed away peacefully at his home in Toronto at age 78. While earning his degrees at U of T, Stephen was an active member of the Varsity Blues swimming team and Trinity College Dramatic Society. Stephen will be missed dearly by his family and friends.
Walter Pitman Trinity 5T2, MA 5T6, Wrestling Walter was a keen, vibrant, and insatiably curious individual. After leaving his beloved U of T, Walter embarked on a career in education. In 1960, he made history by becoming the first New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Peterborough. Walter will be remembered with affection and respect by the students, family, friends and colleagues whose lives he touched and inspired.
Donald J. Shepley Engineering 6T1, MD 6T5 Donald peacefully passed away in his 80th year. He was a well-loved, passionate general practitioner. Donald will be remembered by his family, friends, patients and colleagues for his kindness and his dedication.
H. Jean Long (née Crowther) BA 5T8, Swimming
Michael Sitko OISE 7T9, Football
Surrounded by her family, Jean died in April at the age of 80. Jean was a lifelong Torontonian, proud and loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was a keen sportswoman and was at various times a champion runner, swim team captain, badminton and tennis player, jazz dancer and, more recently, aquafit aficionado. Jean’s other interests included volunteering and teaching, but her family was always her biggest source of pride and joy.
Michael was a beloved husband, father, brother and son who passed away suddenly at the age of 64. During his time at U of T, Michael was a member of the football team. Later in life, Michael worked as a teacher, coach and principal. He will be remembered for his gentle nature and playful sense of humour and wit.
Mary Jane Smith (née Godfrey) BPHE 5T3, BA 6T8 Mary Jane passed away peacefully at 85 in her native city of Toronto. After graduating from U of T, Mary Jane went on to a teaching career that spanned 30 years and included a focus on physical education and mathematics. Her love for sports and socializing led her to pursue a diverse array of interests and activities, such as coaching basketball, playing tennis, attending U of T reunions, gardening and baking.
William Trusler MD 5T4, Swimming Bill passed away in his 89th year, surrounded by family. Bill began his medical career in Toronto before moving to London, Ont., where he established a long and distinguished private practice in radiology. Bill was a natural athlete and outdoorsman. He was a champion swimmer and avid skier in his youth. Bill was honourable, positive and forward-looking, with a deep capacity for unconditional love.
Warren Winslow SMC 4T8, Hockey Warren passed away peacefully in July. He was a natural athlete and enjoyed many sports, notably hockey, tennis, squash and skiing. Warren especially loved hockey. He was the ultimate gentleman and will be remembered as a disciplined, honest, positive and kind soul.
Our condolences to friends and family. If you have an in memory note to share, please contact Samantha Barr at email@example.com Pursuit | Fall 2018
Spirit of the Game Hockey in the 1930s
he rules of hockey may have changed over the years, but the spirit of the game and the passion of its players is the same now as it was in the 1930s. Flashback to 1938 and 1939: two incredible years for the Varsity Blues hockey team. At that time, there were only four universities in the league – U of T, McGill, Queen's and Western. Bill L’Heureux Sr. and Jock Maynard were two of the biggest stars on the U of T team. Under the expert coaching of Ace Bailey (future NHL star and Toronto Maple Leaf for eight seasons), they led their team to many exciting victories. Bill’s son, Bill Jr., reflected on his father’s recollections of that time: “What seemed most memorable for my dad and Jock was this amazing trip at Christmas time where they flew to Chicago and played Loyola University, then went all the way across to Washington State by bus to play Gonzaga University, where Bing Crosby went. They then went down the California coast by train, playing club teams.”
The entire experience was surreal. Air travel was not common at that time and university teams did not travel far for games, certainly not by three separate modes of transport. And while the games were a unique and unforgettable experience, Bill remembers his dad being particularly excited about an encounter he had off the ice. “At the time, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars was a Canadian woman named Deanna Durbin. The Canadian consulate arranged for her to meet the team when they arrived in LA. They couldn’t believe it!” After hanging up his skates, Bill L’Heureux went on to become the Dean of Western University for 35 years. His love of hockey was passed on to his son, Bill Jr., who also attended the University of Toronto and continued his father’s legacy on the ice. “One of the funniest things is that my dad played in ’38 and ’39,” said Bill, “and I played in ’68 and ’69. Those were the first of the three national championships that I played in.” — EE
Photo/ Joel Jackson
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Fall 2018 issue of Pursuit magazine