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University of Toronto

Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education SPRING 2017 / VOL. 20, NO. 1


The benefits of exercise from diagnosis to recovery


According to QS World University Rankings


Midnight basketball helps youth at risk


Grad wins Global Teacher Prize


“I studied here. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson studied here. I taught and coached here for 15 years. I’m proud to be a part of shaping the Faculty’s future through my Legacy Gift. I encourage you to consider a bequest, large or small. Together we can support and inspire tomorrow’s leaders in the advancement of healthy active living and its impact on physical and mental health.”

To learn more or to discuss making a planned gift to the Faculty, please contact Robin Cambell, Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Affairs, robin.campbell@utoronto.ca Rachel Keeling, Manager, Alumni Relations and Advancement Campaigns, rachel.keeling@utoronto.ca


TOM WATT spent much of his life at U of T and touched many lives in the process. He has chosen to leave a Legacy Gift in his Will – to support the programs he believes in. You can do the same. By planning your bequest now, you can ensure that our academic, research and athletic programs can continue to grow and evolve for the benefit of future generations.

SPRING 2017 / VOL. 20, NO. 1


EDITOR Sarah Baker ASSOCIATE EDITORS Katie Babcock Jelena Damjanovic CONTRIBUTORS Katie Babcock, Jill Clark, Jelena Damjanovic, Jordon Hall, Rachel Keeling, Jennifer Robinson, Patricia Tomasi, Elaine Smith PHOTOGRAPHY Martin Bazyl, Jill Clark, Mr. CÚ, Barak Falkovitz, John Hryniuk, Kevin Jarrold, Jing-Ling Kao-Beserve, Arnold Lan, Seed9, Geoffrey Vendeville, Jonathan Yue ART DIRECTION AND DESIGN Joel Jackson

PURSUIT is published twice a year by U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education. www.pursuit.utoronto.ca


Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Pursuit 55 Harbord Street Toronto, ON M5S 2W6


EDITORIAL COMMENTS P: 416-978-1663 sarah.e.baker@utoronto.ca ADDRESS CHANGES P: 416-946-5126 F: 416-978-4384 rachel.keeling@utoronto.ca The University of Toronto respects your privacy. We do not rent, trade or sell our mailing lists. If you do not wish to receive future editions of Pursuit, please call 416-946-5126 or email rachel.keeling@ utoronto.ca. Printed in Canada Publication Agreement Number: 40065214 Pursuit is committed to preserving the environment. All paper used in Pursuit is FSC® certified, which ensures all paper comes from well-managed forests and other responsible sources. www.fsc.org.

CONTENTS Faculty Notes 4  Kick Start

A Northern Light  Global Teacher of the Year


Alumni Updates 32  From pain to healing

Blues News Sharing basketball and life lessons

Tips 18 Fit Redefining lifting technique


Together 34 Getting Varsity Blues Achievement Awards build faith and character



The benefits of exercise after a cancer diagnosis


Out 40 Time Tom Longboat: Keeping the legend alive

Dean's Message A new season brings new advances Welcome to our newest issue of Pursuit. This spring we were proud to learn of the newest QS World University Rankings, which place the University of Toronto programs in kinesiology, physical education, and sport and exercise sciences sixth in the world. This important recognition reflects but one of the metrics of progress we are making against priorities set out in our Academic Plan. Not only does it generate satisfaction with the advances we've made, it also stimulates thoughts and actions that will propel us to higher rankings. These include building the foundations of important future legacies, creating new, researchinformed paradigms for sport and physical activity and helping to shape programs and policy, locally, provincially and nationally. On International Women’s Day, Premier Kathleen Wynne stopped by Varsity stadium to announce that the province would create more opportunities for participation in sport by girls and women. This decision was informed by the research and expert counsel of our own Professor Peter Donnelly, acting vice-dean, academics. In the pages that follow, you will be able to read about many other examples of our Faculty’s impact and reach. Our cover story features the important work of Professor Catherine Sabiston and Assistant Professor Daniel Santa Mina, who are at the forefront of a growing field of study centring on the benefits of physical activity at all stages of a cancer diagnosis. The story shares the experience of breast cancer survivor Patricia Saul, who is a beneficiary of the exercise program designed by Professor Santa Mina and his team of kinesiologists and run out of Prince Margaret Cancer Centre. The connection between exercise and cancer (“Ex/Cancer”) was also the focus of our annual public



symposium – a terrific evening in early April, which brought together leading experts in the field, and propelled new conversations and collaborations. In March, the Varsity Blues wrapped up their victorious march to medal podiums, breaking many records and reaching important milestones on their way to winning an impressive 10 national and provincial championships. They also continued to give back to the community, partnering up with the Toronto Community Housing to host Midnight Madness basketball for vulnerable youth and joining Bell’s Let’s Talk mental health campaign, in addition to participating en masse in the always popular Think Pink campaign to raise money for cancer research. I am always heartened to witness how close-knit our community of alumni continues to be. When alumna Maggie MacDonnell won the 2017 Global Teacher Prize, the news spread quickly through the Faculty, with everyone delighted to see someone who was part of our first cohort of graduate students celebrated internationally for her remarkable work in the North. Our alumni are a continual source of pride and inspiration for us all, in particular the new generations of students at our Faculty. Thank you for staying in touch and coming back to visit us year after year, as mentors, donors, heroes, well-wishers and friends. We depend on your engagement to continue to do what we do. Sincerely, Ira Jacobs, Dean

Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education


J 150 yearsI Over

In honour of Canada's 150th birthday, Pursuit takes a look back at some important milestones in the history of athletics and physical education at U of T that served as foundations for our Faculty today. See our special pull out section at the centre of this issue.

Women's Fencing Club, 1898 The University's Women's Fencing Club was organized in December 1895. Torontonensis, 1899 (published by the Student's Administrative Council at the time) had this to say about the Club: "One of the most profitable and beneficial of the institutions among the women undergraduates... It affords not only amusement and relaxation to its members, but also the physical exercise which is so necessary." UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ARCHIVES





KICK START Sport for development at home and abroad Robyn Smith didn’t feel motivated in high school, but all that changed when she became a young ambassador for the 2012 London Olympic Games. That got her interested in looking at sport for community development, and she eventually moved to Canada from England for her undergrad degree in kinesiology and sport management. Now in her first year of the Exercise Sciences master’s program at KPE, Smith is researching how youth programs in settlement service agencies in Toronto use sport and recreation as a tool to promote the integration of immigrants, refugees and second-generation youth. “I’m looking at whether taking part in these activities actually helps youth with their integration, because we know through other research that simply taking part in sport isn’t going to help with integration by itself,” says Smith. “These programs have to be intentional in their design and the actual emphasis has to be on more than just playing sport.” Through interviews with youth workers, Smith has found that soccer is the most popular sport among newcomer youth. “That’s one of the reasons why the guys like taking part so much, because it’s a sport that they’re good at.” Many of 4


the programs are aimed at teenage males, who are a very hard population to reach. But if you’re offering free soccer twice a week, that’s very appealing, says Smith. “They get to know the youth workers, they build relationships and we found they’re more likely to access other services.” Smith hopes the youth can find a sense of belonging through these programs. “Newcomer youth experience high levels of social exclusion and we know that experiencing social exclusion when you’re young has a huge impact on your life chances when you grow up.”

Several time zones away, third-year PhD student Michael Dao is exploring a sport for development project called Football for All in Vietnam (FFAV). FFAV was born out of a cooperation between the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) and the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF), and centres around the idea that sports, especially football, have strong transformative potential, which can provide huge benefits to the development of every child. “The project focuses on marginalized groups and gender equity, and integrates life-skills education by implementing PHOTO/ MR. CÚ


games and activities that address various issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention and stigma, environment protection, sanitation and personal hygiene,” says Dao. “This is different from the traditional school setting and provides a different way for children to learn about issues affecting their communities.” Dao will be wrapping up his fieldwork in Vietnam in June, but already he feels grateful for the experience. “As a researcher and student I’ve read countless books, had many fruitful academic discussions and been immersed in a world of learning. But, honestly, you’ll never really learn until you put yourself out there and include others in the research process,” he says. Assistant Professor Simon Darnell is supervisor to both Smith and Dao. Asked to explain why sport is such a promising tool for development, Darnell says that sport represents a novel approach to the ongoing challenges of development inequalities. “The record of success of international development over the past 50 years is not particularly good, at least not in terms of making the world more fair and equitable. So why not try sport? On top of that, sport is generally seen as a fun and engaging activity that has both wide appeal and a range of benefits, from physical fitness to socialization.” According to Darnell, the best long-term impact is that many young people who come up through sport for development initiatives eventually become program leaders and officials themselves. “This ‘train the trainers’ approach – or cascading model – has proven effective in the field of sport for development for supporting the sustainability of such programs,” he says. As for having students research sport for development locally and internationally, he thinks it’s invaluable. “It’s one of the oldest criticisms of international development work – why are we aiming programs elsewhere when we have problems at home? So if we want to organize and mobilize sport to make a positive social contribution, it makes sense that we would look to do so internationally, but also in Toronto and Canada.” —Jelena Damjanovic

Helping expand physical activity programs for low-income families In a bid to improve physical and mental health for thousands, researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta have joined forces to evaluate ActiveAssist – a fee-assistance program designed to help low-income individuals and families participate in physical activity and recreation programming within the City of Mississauga. John Spence, professor and vicedean at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, initiated the project and Katherine Tamminen, assistant professor at U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, executed the third-party evaluation for the city. As a result of their findings, Mississauga City Council has recommended expanding the program by another 2,000 spaces. “Our research looked at the benefits of the program as well as challenges and barriers that should be addressed,” says Tamminen. “The results demonstrated that there’s great value in increasing access to this program – beyond financial support and health benefits, it provides important community connections for individuals living in low income.” PHOTO/ iSTOCK

The program started in 2009 with 2,500 participants and in 2014 welcomed 12,500 participants. The city provides a credit of $275 per person each year to use for courses, programs and memberships at community centres – using unfilled space in existing programs. Tamminen’s findings revealed that a portion of participants weren’t using the subsidy due to barriers, including transportation challenges, childcare issues and lack of free time. The city is now proposing that credits not used within six months be transferred to others on the waitlist. The program could provide a model for other cities to follow – Mississauga is Canada’s sixth-largest city, where 22 per cent of households report an annual income under $40,000. They anticipate the program will continue to grow in the future. “Sport and recreation are part of healthy childhood development and lifelong health,” says Tamminen. “Now we have evidence that this program and others like it aren’t just about reducing the financial costs or increasing healthy habits, but they also demonstrate how physical activity can reduce isolation and build community.” —Katie Babcock PURSUIT | SPRING 2017




Cairney explains that often children with ADHD are given permission to move when they feel they need to, but have to leave the class to do so. I can attest to that. My daughter has to leave the classroom three times a day with an Educational Assistant to go to a sensory room for a break. I wonder if she had a pedal desk, if she would be able to stay in the classroom and not miss any instruction time. “This disrupts learning and can be stigmatizing,” says Cairney. “Cycling is active and the child can still participate in the learning block.”

The following article appeared November 28, 2016 in the Huffington Post. It has been edited for length. My dream is to have what’s happening at Massey Street Public School in Brampton, Ontario, be the norm at all schools. Students in a grade 3–4 split class there are involved in a pilot project this year whereby traditional desks are being replaced with bicycle desks, bean bag chairs and wiggle stools. They also get regular yoga and dance breaks. The most remarkable aspect of that classroom to me, are the bicycle desks or pedal desks as they’ve come to be known in a handful of schools that are trying them out in Canada and the U.S. Remarkable because I’ve seen the bean bag chairs and the wiggle stools and yoga and dance breaks.

“I think this approach can be a very effective and practical strategy for a child with ADHD,” says University of Toronto professor, scientist and author John Cairney. “What I really like about it is that the child can be physically active without having to leave the class.”

"Unfortunately, the bikes cost an average of $1,650 each, and I haven’t heard of any plans by the Ontario government to bring them in to all schools anytime soon." says Cairney.

While a lack of physical activity doesn’t cause ADHD, nor can any amount of physical activity ever cure a child with ADHD, (a neurological often genetic disorder of the pre-frontal cortex of the brain), studies show it can help.

“The cycle desks helps get the energy out of their systems and stops the fidgeting,” says Bethany Lambeth, “and it helps them to concentrate.”

“It causes children to be less impulsive and more receptive to learning,” says Michael Quinn, a special education teacher and researcher in Dublin, Ireland currently working on a doctoral thesis on physical activity and children with ADHD. Michael explains that physical activity contributes to increased levels of dopamine in the brain, having a similar effect of ADHD stimulant medication.

Pedal desks are the next frontier and with at least one to three students with ADHD in each classroom “While medication is widely used in the and a move towards bringing more treatment and management of ADHD,” movement into the classroom for all says Michael, “there is a growing body of students, pedal desks in the classroom evidence supporting physical activity as a is an idea worth embracing. potential treatment strategy for ADHD.” 6


A teacher in North Carolina installed bike pedals under her students’ desks.

“We had students who almost did no work and they started working,” said Mario Leroux, a teacher in Laval, Quebec who brought the bicycle desks into his classroom. “We had students who had trouble understanding the teachers’ instructions and when we put them on the bike they were able to listen.” —Patricia Tomasi  for Huffington Post The Faculty is seeking major gifts in support of establishing endowed or limitedterm research chairs, professorships, student scholarships, and experiential learning in this, and other exercise and sport-related areas of research. For more information please contact Robin Campbell, robin.campbell@utoronto.ca


Suenori Tominaga

Remembering a sensei and leader The University of Toronto Karate Club (UTKC) has big shoes to fill after the death of its longtime director and sensei (teacher), Suenori Tominaga, who passed away in December 2016 at the age of 75. Tominaga, a retired machinist and a rare eighth-degree black belt, immigrated to Canada from Japan in 1969 at age 28. He began teaching at UTKC the same year and assumed sole responsibility for running the club in 1970. Under his leadership, UTKC grew and regularly turned out members who competed successfully at provincial, national and international tournaments. “He was very much a stickler for the basic skills and fundamentals,” says Peter Lo, a former student and U of T alumnus who currently teaches at the club, “but he also taught the philosophy of martial arts, which included commitment and perseverance. The person I am today would be very different if I hadn’t joined the club.” Tominaga’s devotion to UTKC was matched by his dedication to karate itself. He helped form the Ontario provincial governing body for karate in 1972 and served for many years on its technical committee for the Shotokan style of karate. Tominaga was a licensed national and international referee and officiated at numerous tournaments; in recent years, he also assumed responsibility for training Ontario’s referees. His extensive knowledge and training also led to high-level coaching opportunities. Tominaga coached the provincial karate team in 1985 and the national team in 1987. In 1992, his peers elected him as the recipient of Karate Canada’s prestigious Ross Rumbell Award for lifetime contribution to the development of karate in Canada. He was elected into Karate Ontario Builder’s Hall of Fame in 2001 and earned the Ontario government’s Syl Apps Award for volunteerism in 2013 for his significant contribution to karate. His dedication to karate was also apparent at UTKC, which he headed until his death.

LET’S GET PHYSICAL New website tracks the physical activities multicultural Torontonians enjoy Everyone knows Torontonians are hockey-mad. But there are scores of sports and other physical activities that the people of this multicultural city enjoy. Now, a KPE professor has set out to catalogue and celebrate as many of these activities as he can. Professor Peter Donnelly – along with a team of U of T researchers – has invited Toronto residents to tell him about the ways in which they are active, so he can share the information on a new website called GTActivity.ca and track which activities thrive and which ones die out. “We are interested in all forms of physical cultural activities, ranging from sports played in leagues to dances to daily exercises such as yoga and tai chi,” says Donnelly, who also serves as director of KPE’s Centre for Sport Policy Studies. The website – a kind of sport-and-culture encyclopedia – features a written description of each activity, a brief history of it and where it’s practised, and photographs or video of people in Toronto engaging in it.

“He was more than just a teacher,” says Lo. “He knew the name of every student who had ever come into his class. He was a father figure for all of us.”

The site already has entries on everything from Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defence practice, to pickleball, a cross between tennis and table tennis.—JD



—Elaine Smith



Ali appointed Executive Director, Athletics and Physical Activity On November 1, 2016, Beth Ali assumed the role of executive director of co-curricular athletics and physical activity programs at the Faculty. Reporting to the dean, the executive director provides overall leadership and strategic direction to the Faculty’s co-curricular programs, activities and services at the St. George campus, the U of T Varsity Blues programs that involve students from all three U of T campuses, and related tri-campus initiatives, including intramurals.

Professor Ashley Stirling, has been named as a recipient of the 2016–17 U of T Early Career Teaching Award.

“I am very happy and excited to announce this appointment.” said Professor Ira Jacobs, dean of the Faculty. “Through both her personal and professional experience, Beth has demonstrated exemplary advocacy for sport development and the benefits of sport and physical activity in the development of the whole person, especially the positive impact it has on a student’s university experience. Her experience, skills, and knowledge, combined with her passion for U of T, made her a natural and overwhelming choice to lead our co-curricular athletics and physical activity programs.”

The award recognizes faculty members who are effective teachers and demonstrate exceptional commitment to student learning, pedagogical engagement and teaching innovation.

A passionate “true Blue,” Ali was the director of intercollegiate and high-performance sports at U of T from 2010 to 2015. She is an active and highly respected leader within OUA and national U Sports (formerly CIS) organizations. A former student athlete and national, provincial and university field hockey coach, she has held prominent leadership positions in that sport both nationally and internationally. She has also been chef de mission for Canadian teams at major international sporting events, such as the FISU Games. “I am honoured to have been appointed to this exciting position,” said Ali. “I am passionate about providing outstanding athletic and physical activity programs, services and facilities, to all U of T students, which enhance their university experience, build a sense of belonging and community, and contribute to their overall well-being now and in the future. I believe athletics and physical activity are a catalyst for campus spirit and institutional pride and contribute to the incomparable reputation of U of T. I look forward to continuing our partnerships with all student life staff and organizations to provide outstanding programs and services to our U of T community.” —JD 8

Stirling wins U of T Early Career Teaching Award



“Professor Stirling is continuously advancing the field of pedagogical development across the university and beyond,” says Ira Jacobs, dean of the Faculty. “I am delighted that her excellence has been recognized by U of T, and on behalf of the Faculty I extend a hearty congratulations.”

Stirling, an assistant professor and director of experiential education, developed the Faculty’s Professional Placement Program and has revamped course and curriculum development at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Using experiential learning theory, she ensures that students participate in high-quality placements, placement courses and research opportunities. Her numerous initiatives include developing placement criteria guidelines and educational standards, creating placement matching processes and fostering links between the university and the community. At the undergraduate level, Stirling has provided guidance on integrating theory and practice in physical activity courses and the outdoor project courses. She has also played a key role in developing structured experiential learning opportunities for the newly launched Master of Professional Kinesiology program. “It is a huge honour to receive this award and to be recognized among others who are making an impact at the university. I’m really fortunate to be working with such supportive colleagues and to be part of a dynamic Faculty that’s committed to student learning and encourages innovative curriculum design.” The award will be presented at the annual Excellence in Teaching Reception in fall 2017. —KB PHOTO/ GEOFFREY VENDEVILLE



When Marlon Teekah graduated from of kinesiology,” says Professor Scott with a little girl who was non-verbal. At the Faculty in 2009, he didn’t expect to Thomas, director of the program. the beginning, she didn’t love physical return for the new Master of Professional “The University of Toronto experience activity, but after 12 weeks she was active Kinesiology Program seven years combines theory, excellent research the whole time. We discovered she loved later. But after running his kinesiology and strong connections with diverse music, and I think it showed her teachers business, teaching at George Brown placements.” new possibilities. I have learned so much College and developing community beyond the classroom in this program.” programming, he wanted to expand his The 16-month program includes 600 horizons and hone his skills. placement hours where students work What’s next for these graduates? in a variety of practice settings and with “During my undergraduate degree, I diverse populations, including clients This spring, the first class will continue learned a lot of theory and also gained who are undergoing cardiac or cancer their practice in full-time community practical experience. But after working rehabilitation. placements with training institutes, in the field, I saw gaps that I wanted to hospitals, clinics and community centres, fill. I was excited that this program is “The experience I gained from the including the Toronto Blue Jays, Maple being offered and wanted to learn about program really expanded my horizons,” Leaf Sports & Entertainment Launchpad, the latest research in the field.” says Teekah. “In one of my placements I University Hospital Network, CBI Health worked with people who were recovering Group and Turning Point Youth Services. As one of the first of its kind in Ontario, from cancer. It’s opened up an area of the program is innovative in both interest for my kinesiology business.” Vair plans to work with youth with content and delivery, with a large exceptionalities and has upcoming emphasis placed on hands-on practice Fellow student Amna Iqbal (BKIN 1T4) placements at Holland Bloorview Kids and work-integrated learning. worked with people with Rehabilitation Hospital and Variety musculoskeletal injuries and Village. Iqbal plans to follow a clinical Graduates of the program are well concussions. “At the MacIntosh path and Teekah will continue to pursue positioned to provide leadership in Clinic I benefited from working with his many endeavours. the field – working with health care professionals who had 10-plus years of teams and developing, delivering and experience. I can now see a path that I’d “Returning to the Faculty was a great evaluating a broad range of professional like to follow – kinesiology has many decision, and I think it will give me a kinesiology programs. avenues and we have the potential to competitive advantage,” says Teekah. create our own jobs.” “We are developing practitioners “Personal development is similar to who are skilled at using evidenceToria Vair (BKIN 1T5) worked with building muscles. You have to go outside based research and who can make children and youth with disabilities. “At of your comfort zone and stay on your innovative contributions to the future Clinton Street Public School I worked toes to stimulate growth.” —KB PHOTO/ JOHN HRYNIUK





New study shows benefits of post-exercise protein A new study has found that ingesting as little as five grams of protein after physical activity is enough to achieve a positive protein balance, which is a prerequisite for growth in healthy, active children. The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition in April, is the result of collaborative research between Professor Daniel R. Moore of U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and his colleagues at McMaster University and the Nestlé Research Centre in Switzerland. “The growth of bone and muscle in children is related to how their body breaks down old proteins and rebuilds new ones. In order for children to grow, the balance between synthesis and breakdown has to be positive,” says Moore. “We knew that for adults to be in a positive protein balance, especially after exercise, they have to consume protein, but we didn’t know if that was also the case in children and, more importantly, how much protein children might need.” The children in the study were given zero to 15 grams of protein following a bout of exercise modelled after a hockey game. After taking their blood and breath samples, the researchers determined that the children who didn’t consume any protein over three hours after exercise stayed in a negative protein balance. “This doesn’t mean that they were losing muscle mass, but they weren’t gaining any, either,” says Moore. On the other hand, the children who consumed just five grams of protein over three hours after exercise achieved 10


a positive protein balance, which supports lean body mass growth. The children who consumed greater amounts had a proportionally greater increase in protein balance. The next step for science, according to Moore, would be to determine whether the effects of ingesting protein would be the same if done right after exercise or three hours later. And, could this greater protein balance be sustained over several days or even weeks? Finding answers to these questions could translate into more accurate recommendations for the optimal growth and development of lean body mass in children with an active lifestyle. For now, Moore suggests giving your child a snack with a bit of protein after any kind physical activity in which energy is expended, from vigorous play to hockey practice. A proteinfree sports drink or juice won’t cut it, but 250 ml of milk translates into eight grams of protein – three grams more than the minimum amount of protein found to strike that positive protein balance after exercise. “But, before you give your kids the all clear to drink chocolate milk all day, remember that exercise should come beforehand, as this will be the most important factor to stimulate growth of muscle and bone,” says Moore. —JD The Faculty is seeking major gifts in support of establishing endowed or limited-term research chairs, professorships, student scholarships, and experiential learning in this, and other exercise and sport-related areas of research. For more information please contact Robin Campbell, robin.campbell@utoronto.ca



KPE scholars receive federal funding to support research Two KPE researchers are among the nineteen scholars at the University of Toronto who collectively have been awarded almost $5 million to support research in everything from using stem cells to fix injured hearts to creating an advanced laboratory to develop large astronomical telescopes.

The researchers are supported by the Canada Foundation for Innovation's John R. Evans Leaders Fund and the Ontario Research Fund, which are designed to help universities attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world

Assistant Professor Tyson Beach's project on movement assessment and retraining for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders is valued at $498,000. Assistant Professor Katherine Tamminen's project will focus on developing the University of Toronto Sport and Performance Psychology Lab and is valued at $153,000.

“I’d like to congratulate our 19 researchers and thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for their continuing support,” said Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation. “As recognized leaders in their fields, this funding will help them acquire research infrastructure that is internationally competitive and enable research to be conducted that will lead to significant results for Canadians.

“Our government understands the important role Canada’s scientists and researchers play in developing the evidence we “Every day, our researchers are engaged in an outstanding need to make decisions that impact our environment, our array of research aimed at tackling real-world challenges health, our communities and our economy,” said federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who announced the funds for that have the potential to benefit all of us. This funding will ensure that work can continue at the highest level.” —Jennifer Toronto-area universities. Robinson

Province invests in gender equality in sport In 2016, Professor Peter Donnelly was contracted by the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and Sport to conduct research on increasing girls' and women’s participation and achieving gender equality in sport. The project was a legacy of the PanAm / Para PanAm Games, and Premier Wynne – an active participant herself – decided that girls and women would be the subject of the first legacy project. The premier and the ministry also received advice from an advisory board of Ontario sportspersons chaired by Bruce Kidd, Principal UTSC. On International Women’s Day, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon and Minister of the Status of Women Indira Naidoo-Harris came by the Varsity Centre to announce that Ontario will be increasing opportunities for women and girls in sport – a first step in implementing some of the recommendations in Professor Donnelly’s report. —JD PHOTOS/ TOP LEFT SEED9/ TOP RIGHT ARNOLD LAN/ BOTTOM COURTESY PREMIER WYNNE’S OFFICE






Varsity Blues partners up with Toronto Community Housing to bring Midnight Madness Basketball to U of T When Toronto Community Housing (TCH) approached U of T’s Varsity Blues about a venue to host the Midnight Madness Basketball program, it was a no-brainer. And so it was that every Friday night this past fall, teams from Jane and Finch, East Mall, Scarborough, Sparroways and Albion were bused to U of T’s Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport for basketball drills and friendly competition under the guidance of mentors from among the Blues community. Before stepping onto the court, the high school students took part in life-skills workshops to learn about how to access positive life-changing opportunities, including preparation for post-secondary education, nutrition and financial literacy. 12


The program, which was developed by TCH in partnership with U of T Scarborough athletics and recreation in 2013, brings together youth from six TCH neighbourhoods – communities where kids may be at risk of being targeted by drug dealers and gangs. And, over the years, those helping out have included home-grown NBA talent such as Jamaal Magloire. “This was an opportunity to assist a Toronto community partner in a project that makes a real difference in the lives of young people,” says Beth Ali, executive director of the Faculty’s co-curricular athletics and physical activity programs. “The use of sport to provide leadership and educational development opportunities for these young people is a perfect fit for our Faculty and the University of Toronto.”

Varsity Blues basketball player Wilson Torres was happy to share his experiences with the youth participating in the program, helping Ali and Varsity Blues basketball coach John Campbell and football coach Greg Gary deliver some of the workshops, and joining the teams on the court afterwards for warm-ups.   “I’d tell them no matter what circumstance you are in, there is always a way out. I was not supposed to go to university because of the path I was on when I was younger,” says Torres. “But, sometimes we have to be shown a different perspective to decide if what we are doing is really worth it. These kids just need a little inspiration. If they know I could do it, they can do it.” Mahdi Hazime, 15, plays basketball for his high school team. He decided PHOTO/ MARTYN BAZYL


to join the program after seeing many of his friends sign up. “I like to play basketball,” he says. “I’m not really that good, but playing with good competition makes me better.” That’s what it’s all about, says Jonathan Meredith, who has been coaching the Sparroway neighbourhood community team for 15 years. This was the first year he’s participated in the program with his team. “It’s a good opportunity. The kids love basketball and just getting out of their neighbourhood and meeting all these new people is good for them. Basketball is really big in all TCH communities, and it brings everybody together and helps the kids stay out of trouble. Instead of being on the side of the street corner, you can be here playing basketball and listening to some great speakers. They get free jerseys, so it’s a win, win for them.”  Naythan Savoy, 17, plays basketball on his high school team and hopes to become a basketball player one day. He says the program was useful and fun. “It gave me more time to play basketball, meet new people and experience new challenges. And the court is really nice,” he says.  The fall 2016 season of Midnight Madness Basketball ended in early December, and TCH’s Willians Herrada says plans for the future include consolidating the partnership with U of T not just in basketball, but in other sports like swimming.

Let’s talk Varsity Blues join student athletes across Canada to make #OneTeamForMentalHealthDay U of T’s 834 Varsity Blues athletes were among the 20,000 student athletes from 53 Canadian universities joining forces for Bell Let’s Talk Day. Wearing Bell Let’s Talk toques, the student athletes helped to lead conversations on campus about the impact of mental illness and how to fight the stigma attached to it.   “The Varsity Blues are committed to participating in projects that promote a safe and judgment-free environment in which to discuss mental health,” says Beth Ali, executive director of athletics and co-curricular physical activity at the Faculty.

“We want to continue to include the university as a place where youth can explore the potential of becoming students at U of T,” he says.

Leading up to January 25, the Blues hosted two men’s hockey games, track and field, and swimming events where fans had the opportunity to sign talk bubbles and banners in support of mental health. They were also encouraged to take pictures and share them on social media on Bell Let’s Talk Day. Bell donated five cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions.

That’s also Ali’s hope. “We hope that the young people from TCH feel welcome and comfortable on the St. George campus, and that they see themselves as U of T students in the future.” —JD

Varsity Blues swimmer Nathalin Moy and hockey player Mason Nowak were two of six Academic All-Canadian student athletes featured in the Bell Let’s Talk video. PHOTO/ STILL FROM BELL LET'S TALK VIDEO

“I’ve been an advocate for student athlete mental health initiatives since I burned out from swimming a few years ago, so this was a perfect opportunity to directly get involved in the cause,” says Moy, who is in her final year of engineering science at U of T. “As student athletes we are in a unique position to set an example in shaping the conversation about mental health. We are under a lot of pressure to perform both academically and athletically, and though it can be tough at times, the sports culture demands sucking it up and always pushing through the pain. If we can break that culture down and create a safe space where conversations around mental health can occur naturally, the rest of the world will follow.” Moy was excited that the Bell Let’s Talk campaign this year involved student athletes across the country, representing all university sport conferences. “By involving the entire Canadian student athlete community, the campaign’s mission to spread awareness and start the conversation on mental health will reach a whole new level,” says Moy. —JD PURSUIT | SPRING 2017




Blues soccer coaching conference garners support from Toronto FC and Bell Canada

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues partnered with Bell Canada, Toronto FC and the Canadian Soccer Association to present the sixth annual National Soccer Coaching Conference (NSCC) in January 2017. “We were very pleased to welcome Bell, Toronto FC and the Canadian Soccer Association as sponsors of the sixth annual National Soccer Coaching Conference,” said Beth Ali, executive director of co-curricular athletics and physical activity programs. “Their support enables the Varsity Blues program to provide the gold standard in professional development not only for our coaches but also future sport leaders from across the country.” The three-day conference is said to offer something for everyone involved with soccer coaching, from technical skill development to tactical strategy. As an added bonus, provincial coaches in attendance are attributed coaching 14


points towards their licences from the Ontario Soccer Association. “NSCC is the only national soccer coaching conference held in Canada,” said Anthony Capotosto, Varsity Blue’s head soccer coach. “It’s a great opportunity for coaches to network, share their ideas, listen to lectures and watch training sessions from some of the top soccer experts from around the world.” This year’s event featured eight guest speakers and included 15 on-field and classroom sessions, with the likes of Raymond Verheijen, founder of the World Football Academy; Carolina Morace, former head coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team; and Jean-Claude Giuntini, head coach of the France U-17 National Team. Topics of discussion ranged from the A–Z of defending and why games are lost to ball possession and the timing of offensive moments.

U of T’s state-of-the-art Varsity stadium was used for all on-field sessions. Players used for those sessions included members of the Varsity Blues men’s and women’s soccer teams, as well as members of the Toronto FC Academy. John Hyland, technical director of the North Toronto Soccer Club, was in attendance with his staff coaches. He said this sort of conference was drastically lacking in Canada and he was grateful for the learning opportunity. “It was a great conference. The atmosphere allowed for some good learning and networking. Watching the methodology of different coaches and how they deliver sessions – from younger players to varsity players of both genders – was quite educational. My staff coaches thoroughly enjoyed it and already want their tickets booked for next year.” —JD PHOTOS/BARAK FALKOVITZ


Think Pink Blues raise more than $13,000 for breast cancer

Number One Masse making world history with record breaking times

The Blues raised $13,073.05 for the 10th annual Think Pink campaign this year, more than doubling the total amount raised in 2015–16 and leading the entire OUA in fundraising this season. Donations were accepted at the Toronto Invitational swimming meet and Fred Foot track and field meet, and the Junior Blues gymnastics club put on their annual bake sale, raising over $1,000 in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), Ontario Chapter. Promotions team leader Giovanna Lisena cut her hair at the women’s volleyball Think Pink game and donated it to Angel Hair for Kids. She was was the top fundraiser, bringing in $3,450. Giovanna dedicated her efforts to her grandmother, a breast cancer survivor. “I was incredibly honoured to be a part of such an amazing event,” said Lisena. “Everyone, in some way or another, has been touched by cancer. In my case, my grandmother, after whom I am named, was diagnosed in 2008. Cutting my hair with other Blues members demonstrated that together we can make a difference and continue the fight together. I consider the Varsity Blues and U

of T community to be family, and family sticks together through thick and thin.” Second-year hockey goaltender Valencia Yordanov and her teammates raised $3,193 for the campaign and dedicated their game on January 27 to Think Pink. Breast cancer survivor and friend of the women’s hockey program Lydia Maldonado dropped the puck, and hockey student coordinator Madison Danford donated her hair to the CBCF. Rounding out the top three fundraisers for the Varsity Blues was the women’s basketball team and champions Maddy Baker and Mahal De La Durantaye, who raised $1,867.05 and cut their hair in support of the initiative. The campaign was especially important for third-year guard Baker, who honoured her grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, during their Think Pink game on January 28. Prior to tip off, Varsity Blues head coach Michèle Bélanger honoured a two-time breast cancer survivor and member of the U of T Sports Hall of Fame, basketball alumna Theresa Burns, currently head coach for the McMaster Marauders. —Jordon Hall


Some people are happy to make history once, but U of T Varsity Blues swimming sensation Kylie Masse seems to just be getting started. After her Olympic bronze win this summer in Rio, the kinesiology undergrad continued to amass her collection of trophies, each time beating her own record. Here’s a look at her most recent medal sweep. 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio – bronze (100 backstroke) 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships in her hometown of LaSalle – 2 silver (100 back, 4x100 medley relay). 2017 Switzerland Meet in Uster (February 3–5) – called IMU2017 – 3 gold (50, 100 and 200 back). Became the No. 1 world-ranked women’s 100 backstroke swimmer this year with a time of 59.60 seconds. 2017 OUA Championships – 4 individual gold (50, 100, 200 back and 200 individual medley) and 2 relay gold (200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay). Named OUA female swimmer of the year. 2017 U SPORTS Championships – 3 individual gold (50, 100, 200 back), 1 silver (200 individual medley) and 3 relay bronze (400 medley relay, 100 free relay, 200 free relay). Named U SPORTS female swimmer of the year. 2017 Team Canada Trials in Victoria – won 200m backstroke, posted third fastest time ever in the 100m backstroke and added a 2017 world best to win the 50m backstroke race. Read more on Masse and your favourite U of T athletes and teams at www.varsityblues.ca  PURSUIT | SPRING 2017



Other notable milestones:

Blues milestones Drakich earns 400th career win and gets inducted into the 2016 Sport Hall of Honour When the No. 2 nationally ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team defeated the Trent Excalibur in straight sets on a Sunday afternoon in late November – the win also marked head coach Kristine Drakich’s 400th career victory for the Varsity Blues. In her 28 seasons as Blues bench boss, Drakich has amassed a 400-125 coaching record over regular season and playoff matches. “This milestone provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the years and just how many people and communities have helped to create those 400 wins – from the student-athletes and the teams and schools who nurtured their love of sport and academic excellence before they came to U of T, to their families who supported them and our teams while at U of T, and to all of our coaching staff over the years, the Varsity Blues staff and the Faculty overall,” said Drakich. “But really the number of wins is ultimately a testament to the players; they are the ones who compete for every point on the court and actually earn the wins. I feel very privileged to have had an opportunity to work with, and continue to work with, so many incredibly hardworking and passionate student-athletes.” 16


Women’s hockey player Taylor Day became only the tenth player in program history to reach 50 career regular season goals in January and only the eighth player in program history to reach 100 career regular season points in February 2017.

Second-year right side hitter Alina Dormann, OUA woman’s volleyball player of the year, had this to say about her coach: “Kristine is an incredible coach; she doesn’t only expect great things from us, but makes us expect great things from ourselves. She creates an environment in which hard work and effort are rewarded, and where the process and improving a little bit each day are valued more than the end result. She lives in the moment wholeheartedly and it inspires the athletes to do the same, helping us take both the game of volleyball and life, one point at a time.”

Men’s basketball player Devin Johnson became only the third player in program history to reach 1,200 career regular season points in February 2017.

The 2015-16 University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's volleyball team and Drakich were both inducted into the 2016 Toronto Sport Hall of Honour on April 5. Varsity Blues women's volleyball were named the team of the year, and coach Drakich was named the coach of the year. Twice golden Olympian and KPE graduate student Rosie MacLennan, KPE alum Chris Rudge, and long time friend and sessional instructor at the Faculty Archie Allison were also inducted into the Sport Hall of Honour. To read the full article, visit kpe.utoronto.ca —JD with files from Jill Clark

Women’s volleyball player Madelyn Mandryk reached 2,000 career regular season assists in February 2017. PHOTOS/MARTIN BAZYL




BLUES WIN AGAIN! 2016-17 U SPORTS CHAMPIONS: Women’s Track & Field (third straight title)

2016-17 OUA CHAMPIONS: Badminton (second straight title) Men’s Fencing (second straight title) Field Hockey (third straight title) Figure Skating (second straight title) Women’s Golf (fifth straight title) Men’s Swimming (14th straight title) Women’s Swimming (fourth straight title) Men’s Water Polo (10th title in 15 years)

2016 NCWP CHAMPIONS: Women’s Water Polo won the inaugural National Collegiate Water Polo title, their fourth provincial championship

“Regardless of our race, gender, sexual orientation or religion, we are able to reach our full potential here. With such an embracing community, why not be the best you can be?”— Ekua Cujo, Track & Field


114 31 6 99 103

VARSITY BLUES athletes were named OUA all-stars

were named all-Canadians

1 2 3

COACHES earned OUA coach of the year honours, and one was named

U SPORTS coach of the year


STUDENT-ATHLETES claimed U SPORTS academic all-Canadian honours STUDENT-ATHLETES were named OUA/UofT achievement award winners





HOW BIOMECHANICS RESEARCH CAN HELP PREVENT LOWER BACK INJURY For the past 20 years, Professor Tyson Beach has painstakingly analyzed the movements of factory and health-care workers, emergency responders and athletes to discover what limits performance and causes injuries. In his most recent research, Beach, Professor David Frost and their graduate students are applying what they’ve learned about biomechanics and ergonomics to help firefighters, paramedics and caregivers prevent lower back injuries. These workers are often required to lift heavy objects and are at high risk for developing painful and disabling lower back conditions. “Through biomechanical and epidemiological research, we understand many of the factors that make lifting hazardous for lower back health. Now, we’re studying how to best get workers to identify and eliminate the hazards through training,” says Beach. “The advice ‘bend with your knees, not your back’ has proven ineffective. We need a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary strategy.” —KB

The team shared their top tips for safe and effective lifting: Wherever possible, modify lifting tasks and environments: • • • •

R educe the weights, speeds and sizes of objects lifted. Progressively increase weights and speeds of lifts at the gym. Regulate the number of lifts performed each day. Eliminate physical obstacles that force the body into awkward positions – don’t store frequently accessed objects on low-lying shelves! • Avoid lifting for approximately 30 minutes after prolonged sitting, standing or lying down, because spinal tissues need time to recover.




YOUR Danielle Carnegie (BPHE 1T2), a second-year PhD student and registered physiotherapist, and Victor Chan (BKIN 1T6), a first-year master’s student, are working with Professor Tyson Beach to link research to practice – helping to prevent injury.

Keep the object as close to the body as possible.

A void bending and twisting the lower back regardless of the weight lifted.

I nstead of twisting, try shifting and rotating the hips.

Develop hip, knee and ankle strength and flexibility to maintain your natural back curve. Use a strong grip. Centre your body weight between flat feet to maintain balance.





150 years Over

of University athletics and physical education


As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150 birthday, Pursuit takes a look back at some of the key milestones in the life of the University’s athletic programs and physical education, which served as foundations for today’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. The mission of our Faculty today is to develop and advance knowledge about the interactions between physical activity and health through education, research, and the provision of opportunity. We are able to deliver this mission thanks to the trailblazers, visionaries, benefactors and friends who set the stage before us. We hope you enjoy this walk through the past as much as we did! By Paul Carson, Bruce Kidd and Jelena Damjanovic Photos: University of Toronto Archives, KPE Archives, Toronto Nensis



Looking Back at

Sport and Rec

Boxing class in Hart House, 1940

New phys ed uniforms, 1959 Soccer Championship team in the 19th century

Synchronized swimming circa 1930

University College women’s tennis team, 1908

Women’s Athletic Board, University College, 1902

Women’s skiing team, 1950 Intercollegiate Basketball Champions, 1926

University of Toronto Gymnasium Commitee, 1891

Women’s hockey team circa 1930

Dance program, 1959

Women’s archery, 1961-62 Canada’s 1924 Olympic hockey team featured many U of T grads.

From left: Unknown official, Evelyn McDonald, Minnie Barry, Annie Hunter, Olive Bonnar and Anne Sutherland circa 1910.

Varsity Stadium night game, 1956

Varsity Blues football team, 1924

Women’s intercollegiate hockey circa 1960

Women’s intercollegiate hockey team, 1926

Football billboard, 1939

The 1950 Grey Cup, dubbed “The Mud Bowl”

PHE intramural hockey team, 1935

Marion Hillard, 1926

Track and Field program, 1930

Varsity cheerleader circa 1950

Lami Oyewumi, Athlete of the Year, 1999

Toronto vs Queen’s, 1960

PHE intramural volleyball team circa 1960

Intramural Track Meet circa 1970

Grey Cup semi-final, 1909

Larry O’Connor, 1937

Varsity Blues vs. Queen’s Gaels, 1936

Women’s physical activity class circa 1950


Looking Back at our



The original Varsity Stadium circa 1950

Varsity Stadium, during the 1954 Grey Cup

Varsity Arena, 1927

Benson Building Sports Gymnasium circa 1990

Varsity Track, 1926

Dance Class, Lillian Massey Building circa 1920 Women’s Building sketches, 1921

Hart House pool, 1919

“The Gymnasium”, 1893-1912


1900 to 1920

Organized athletes were part of the University right from the moment of its establishment in 1827. Students played ‘football’ and cricket and took part in paper chases, an early form of cross-country running, on what is now known as the St. George campus. One of the first student leaders in athletics was James Loudon, who later became U of T President. Although not yet in existence, the seeds for our Faculty were planted.

The pre-war years were a time of expansion. Compulsory physical testing of every student became University policy and physicians were hired to ensure the provision of proper medical care to athletes. In 1900, U of T established Canada’s first university-based leadership program, a three-year diploma in gymnastics and physical drill. In 1905, U of T, McGill and Queen’s formed the first Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU).

One of the first student leaders, Loudon later became U of T President, serving from 1892 to 1906.

George Orton

U of T graduate Orton was the dominant middle and long distance runner of his time. He became the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on July 15, 1900 in Paris.

James Warren Barton



James Loudon

Appointed U of T’s first Physical Director in 1907, Barton laid the foundations of the University’s present athletic system. Under his leadership, new sports were introduced to the men’s intramural and intercollegiate programs, and student participation increased dramatically.

Women’s 1905 Directorate

Formed to promote sports and friendly competition both within the colleges of U of T and with other universities, the Women’s Toronto University Athletic League gave women their first strong and unified voice for sport.

The First Gymnasium

The first athletic facility erected in 1865-66 on what is now the Back Campus, was “a frame structure, little better than a shed.” It housed some gymnastics equipment and was demolished in 1879.


On December 4, 1909, the Varsity Blues won the inaugural Grey Cup with a solid 26-6 victory over Toronto Parkdale, champions of the Ontario Rugby Football Union. The game, played at Rosedale Field, was witnessed by 3,800 spectators.

J.G. Merrick

The T and Leaf

Introduced in 1893 by the Men’s Athletics Directorate, this enhanced design of 1903 is still the award presented annually to Varsity athletes.

Grey Cup Champions 1909

Women were involved in sport from the very earliest days of female enrollment in 1893. Tennis and fencing became the basis of the first women’s clubs. By 1898, 55 women would spend time in the University College’s East Hall trading parries and ripostes.

Moss Hall

Moss Hall, southeast of University College and originally the Medicine building, was converted into use as a gymnasium from 1879 to 1888. After its demolition, student efforts led to the construction of a new facility on the present site of Hart House.

President of the Athletic Directorate in 1895, Merrick was a passionate advocate of strict amateurism in sport. He became president of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada and was the first Canadian to serve on the International Olympic Committee (1921-46).

Men’s Athletic Association

Today’s Council of Athletics and Recreation (CAR) is a continuation of the former U of T (Men’s) Athletic Association (UTAA) formed in 1893. CAR is among the oldest systems of governance at U of T that involves students.

Hart House Upper Gym GYM “T” patch

Uniform patches were a point of pride for U of T athletes circa 1904-05.

Women’s Swimming & Hockey

As the number of women students attending the University grew, so did their interest in athletics. Women began competing in swimming, basketball and ice hockey.

Lester B. Pearson

The former Prime Minister and Nobel laureate also distinguished himself in athletics, starring in intercollegiate basketball and intramural basketball, football and hockey. Returning to U of T in 1924 as a history lecturer, Pearson coached Varsity football, hockey and lacrosse to repeated championships.

Rev. Dr. D. Bruce Macdonald 1898 Varsity team

The 1898 Varsity team was the first champion of the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union and winner of the Yates Cup that year.

Opened in November 1919, Hart House was designed to link athletics to cultural and social activities – a unique idea on the continent at the time.

Rev. Macdonald devoted more than 50 years of volunteer leadership to the University. In one year (1894) he helped to reorganize the Rugby Club, create the intramural football league and form the U of T Lawn Tennis Club. He was UTAA president (1895), chaired the first Rowing Club committee (1897) and after graduating was UTAA president (1905-08). His advocacy of the importance of physical training, sport and recreation in an academic environment continued during his 39 years on the U of T Board of Governors (1906-45).

The inter-war years were in many ways the Golden Age of intercollegiate sports. Both men’s and women’s programs expanded and flourished, and Varsity students were among the best athletes in the country. Capacity crowds were commonplace for football in Varsity Stadium but other sports also attracted strong followings and significant media coverage. Financial stability was assured in 1937 when the Students’ Administrative Council persuaded the University to introduce a compulsory student athletics fee, initially three dollars!

In 1940, the University created the School of Physical and Health Education with a three-year Bachelor of Physical Education (BPHE) degree program – the first of its kind in Canada – to strengthen the preparation of teachers for Ontario schools. Co-curricular athletics disrupted by the war rebounded, buoyed by the leadership and energy of returning veterans. Post-war audiences for intercollegiate football were so great that in 1950 Varsity Stadium was expanded to roughly 27,000 seats.

Warren Stevens

Stevens became Canada’s first full-time university Director of Athletics when he was named head of the U of T’s men’s program in 1932. He was the guiding force in Varsity’s successful men’s programs until his retirement in 1970, and was instrumental in the establishment of the School of Physical and Health Education in 1940.


1940s to 1950s


1920s to 1930s

Women’s Senior Basketball 1944

Although official intercollegiate competition was suspended during World War II, some Varsity teams, such as women’s basketball, continued to operate and played against local amateur teams. This lead to the creation of a special ‘V Holders’ athletic award for the participants. Intramural programs continued to operate during these years.

Benson Building 1959

After years of planning, fundraising, frustration, and false starts, the long-promised women’s athletics building became a reality in October, 1959. The facility is named in honour of Professor Clara Benson, one of U of T’s first female PhD recipients (1903) and President of the Women’s Athletics Association from 1921 to 1945.

Women’s Intercollegiate Basketball 1923-24

Varsity women’s intercollegiate competition began with a basketball tournament against McGill and Queen’s in February, 1921. Led by Phyllis Griffiths, an outstanding player and later coach, U of T won nine of the first 12 championships.

Roy McMurtry

McMurtry was a football co-captain in 1953 and twice a league all-star lineman. He went on to an outstanding career of public service in government, international diplomacy and the judiciary. He is an ardent advocate of the role that public recreation can play in helping youth-at-risk and strengthening community safety.

Helen Gurney

Women’s “T” Varsity Stadium

For more than a century, the Varsity Stadium site has been a landmark for sports, recreation and culture for U of T, Ontario and Canada. Among its many uses, it was a popular community skating rink.

Olympic Rowing team 1924

The T was inaugurated in 1909, and redesigned by the Women’s Athletic Association Marie Parkes Graduating from UC in (WAA) Directorate in 1947 1916 – where she played and 1955. basketball and hockey – Parkes played a key role in the organization of women’s sports programs. She served for 30 years as the U of T representative to the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union and 1939 Football managed Canada’s first program women’s Olympic team in 1928.

At the Paris Olympics in 1924, the men’s Varsity rowing team persevered against older, well-established European clubs to win silver. In the days before national teams, club and university teams were selected to represent Canada in international competitions. U of T was a frequent choice.

T.R. Loudon

Loudon, a professor of aeronautical engineering, designed and supervised the construction of the east stands of Varsity Stadium in 1924, and in 1925-26 designed Varsity Arena. He also organized the Varsity Rowing program and was Canada’s rowing coach at the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games.

1928 Olympic Hockey Team The Varsity grads won the gold medal at the 1928 St. Moritz Olympics with essentially the same line-up that had brought them the 1926 intercollegiate title and the 1927 Allan Cup for the Canadian senior championship.

Ivy Coventry

Director of Women’s Physical Education from 1913 to 1940, Coventry greatly enhanced women’s programs despite a lack of adequate facilities, low budgets and opposition from much of the University administration. In 1922, she introduced compulsory physical education for all female students.

Gurney graduated from Victoria College in 1940 with a BA and a diploma in physical education. She competed in intercollegiate and intramural basketball and swimming, and then was active for many years in teaching, coaching and officiating across Ontario. Gurney was Director of the Ontario Student Leadership Centre from 1960 to 1977 and extensively involved in volunteering for the Varsity athletics program. John Evans U of T President from Stanley Ryerson 1972 to 1979, Evans Dr. Ryerson enthusiastically supported the creation was an all-star football of the School of Physical Health and education and lineman, the first double winner (1951 and 1952) became its first Director (1941-1949). of the Biggs Trophy and a Rhodes Scholar. Zerada Slack The amalgamation of A constant innovator and inspiring leader, Slack the separate men’s organized the successful campaign for the and women’s athletics construction of the Benson Building. She joined the departments and the staff of U of T’s Department of Athletics and Physical construction of the Education (Women) in 1945 and became Director Athletics and Physical and Assistant Professor in 1949. Education Centre (now known as the Athletic John “Mac” McCutcheon Centre) occurred during A talented administrator and coach, McCutcheon his presidency. joined the men’s Athletic Association in 1925, and developed a model for intramural sport, with modified rules to enhance competitive balance and student safety, and included a major role for students as organizers, coaches and officials. It became a blueprint for intramural programs across Canada and around the world.


Students in the new BPHE program quickly took the lead in intramurals. They strengthened the already close ties with University College – BPHE students received a BA from UC as well as their own degree – by forming several joint intramural teams.


Awarded to intramural athletes in the School of Physical and Health Education.

The pressure on facilities resulting from rapid enrolment increases across the University led U of T to abandon the swim test and compulsory year of physical education for all undergraduates. The BPHE program was lengthened to four years, and broadened to incorporate a greater emphasis on the life sciences and social sciences. New sports for women, such as field hockey, gymnastics and track and field were also introduced.

Spurred by the integrationist strategies of second wave feminism and the student movement, the University merged the previously separate men’s and women’s athletic departments into the Department of Athletics and Recreation and the UTAA and the WAA into the Council of Athletics and Recreation. The BPHE program integrated physical activity classes for men and women.

Anne Hewett

Hewett’s professional life was dedicated to the development of women’s health and physical activity at U of T. She joined the staff in 1961, was named Director of the Department of Athletics and Physical Education (Women) in 1967 and was mentor and able administrator until her retirement in 1984.

Kirk Wipper

Dorothy Jackson

A pioneer in the development of outdoor education at U of T and in Canada, Wipper founded the Kanawa International Museum of Canoes, Kayaks and Rowing Craft and was a recipient of the Order of Canada.

Jackson joined the Department of Athletics and Physical Education (Women) in 1943 and served as Director from 1965 to 1967. She was an early leader in synchronized swimming.

1965-66 CIAU Hockey Champions

Varsity’s first national ice hockey champions in the modern CIAU era, the Blues were coached by Tom Watt. In 15 seasons at U of T, Watt led the Blues to 11 Ontario banners and nine CIAU titles. An Assistant Professor in BPHE, he was a popular teacher and mentor.

J. Harry Ebbs

A pioneer in studying the health of school-age children, Dr. Ebbs championed the need for research while Director of the BPHE program from 1953 to 1963. As a leading member of the National Advisory Council for Fitness and Amateur Sport, he pushed the federal government to allocate funds to research and graduate and undergraduate scholarships.


1975 to 1985


1960s to 1975

Historic AC Opening in 1979

Marnie Paikin, Chair of the Governing Council, officiated at the cornerstone ceremony for the Athletics and Physical Education Centre, opened in September, 1979. Comprised of the Benson Building and Stevens Building, the “AC” cost some $12.5 million. Built as a teaching health centre, it is still home to the academic and co-curricular programs of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education.

Abby Hoffman

An outstanding middle distance runner, Hoffman is among Varsity’s most successful international competitors, having participated in four Olympic Games, four Pan-American Games, three World University Games and two Commonwealth Games. She became Canada’s best-known advocate of women’s high performance athletics at university, national and international levels, and led the campaign to gain admission for women to the athletic wing of Hart House, which finally occurred in 1972.

Kay Worthington

Worthington was a leading member of the Varsity rowing program from 1979 to 1983. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, she became the first Varsity athlete to win two gold medals at one Olympic competition, as a member of Canada’s winning crews in the eights and in the coxless fours.

Roy Shephard

1965 Vanier Cup Champions Research

With growing public concern about the consequences of physical inactivity and the social impact of sport, the BPHE program added research to its mission. Faculty members and students studied many important issues, from the physiological and psychological determinants and consequences of activity to the effectiveness of government policies.

Varsity Blues football has a remarkable tradition of winning “inaugurals”: the Yates Cup (1898), the Grey Cup (1909) and finally the Vanier Cup (1965). U of T captured the national football title with a 14-7 victory over Alberta on a muddy Varsity Stadium field in the final game for coach Dalt White.

Juri Daniel

Daniel served as SPHE Director from 1972 to 1979 and also coached Varsity to three CIAU men’s swimming titles. He led the way in developing and promoting fitness and recreation programs for mid-career professionals and senior citizens.

Men’s Swimming Team 1968-69

Coached by Robin Campbell, the Blues were the fifth of six consecutive CIAU championship teams from 1966-71. U of T won 14 CIAU men’s swimming titles between 1966 and 1994, as well as an incredible 32 straight Ontario league crowns from 1961 to 1992.

Bill Crothers

Arguably the greatest middle distance runner Canada has yet produced, Crothers received Canadian Athlete of the Year awards in 1963 and 1964. Following a successful career in pharmacy, Crothers became Chair of the York Region School Board.

Elizabeth Hoffman

A world-renowned physiologist and scientific advisor, Shephard served as Director of the School from 1979 to 1991. He created the Graduate Program in Exercise Sciences and oversaw the development of the research labs in the Athletics and Physical Education Centre.

Appointed to the SPHE faculty immediately upon graduation in 1971, Hoffman’s coaching skills produced 16 Ontario titles in field hockey, eight CIAU national crowns Women’s Field Hockey and three CIAU Coach of the Year awards. The Varsity Blues won She served as President of both Canadian eight national champiInteruniversity Sport (CIS) and the evolving onships between 1975 Ontario interuniversity leagues (OWIAA, and 1993. Lisa Lyn, an OUAA and OUA). all-Canadian in 1985 and a national team member, Women’s Swimming – CIAU was one of numerous National Champs, 1983-84 outstanding student Coached by Merrily Stratten, and later athletes of that era. Byron MacDonald and Linda Kiefer,

Blues won 13 national university championships and 12 Ontario league titles between 1979 and 1993.

Andy Higgins

Higgins’ teams won 65 Ontario league championships in outdoor and indoor track and field and cross country, five CIAU national university championships in indoor track and five CIAU titles in cross country. He coached at every major international game from 1976 through to the 1992 Olympics.

2005 to 2017

Intercollegiate and intramural programs were expanded despite budget cuts, alongside enrolment expansion. Through policies of gender equity, universal accessibility, sexual diversity and ethno-cultural inclusion, a renewed effort was made to engage every U of T student. In 1998, the School of Physical and Health Education, the Graduate Program in Exercise Sciences and the Department of Athletics and Recreation were combined to create the Faculty of Physical Education and Health, a ‘teaching health centre’, where research, teaching, programming and advocacy could be linked and coordinated.

In 2010, a Bachelor of Kinesiology (BKin) was introduced, joining the BPHE and Concurrent Teacher Education Program (CTEP). The Faculty became the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2012, to better reflect its breadth of academic, research, and sport and recreation offerings. Meanwhile, the revitalized Back Campus Fields and the newly built Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport opened in 2014 – just in time to play host to the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games. Varsity Centre



1985 to 2005

The Varsity Centre was completed in 2007, including the eight-lane John L. Davenport Track. More than a home for Blues athletes, the Centre also provides sport and recreation space for intramural athletes, youth campers, the community and many sporting events. A dome covers the field in the winter months. In 2010 the Centre’s main entrance, the Pavilion, opened its doors.

Sports Medicine

In the 1980s, the David L. MacIntosh Sports Medicine Clinic found its home at the new Athletic Centre, subsequently moving to the Goldring Centre in 2014. Named for a pioneer in sports medicine and the first doctor to successfully perform an ACL reconstruction, the present clinic evolved from Dr. MacIntosh’s Hart House clinic and is thought to be the oldest dedicated Sport Medicine facility in the world, operating since the late 1930s. Dr. MacIntosh graduated from U of T in 1945.

Women’s Basketball 1985-86 CIAU Champions

Led by head coach Michele Belanger (2nd row, far left), the team had an undefeated record (30-0) against Canadian opponents. In the 27 seasons since she was named head coach in 1979, Belanger had 576 total wins.

Festival of Excellence

In June, 2009 Usain Bolt, dubbed “the fastest man on earth”, came to Varsity Centre for the Festival of Excellence. Later in the year, the Centre hosted the Canadian Track and Field Championships.

Move U

In 2012, KPE partnered with Hart House, Student Life and ParticipACTION to launch MoveU, a campaign to educate students about the benefits of being active. MoveU is still going strong across all three campuses.

R. Tait McKenzie Society

The R. Tait McKenzie Society is the Faculty’s academic honour society, founded in 1956 by Director Dr. J. Harry Ebbs for the purpose of bringing outstanding students together with faculty for social evenings of scholarly and professional interest. It is named for pioneering Canadian physical educator Dr. R. Tait McKenzie (1867 – 1938). An advocate of physical education and sports in schools and universities, and a creative innovator in the use of physical activity for rehabilitation, he also created remarkable sculptures celebrating the joy of effort.

Bruce Kidd

The nation’s premier distance runner from 1960 to 1964, Kidd became Director of the School of Physical and Health Education in 1991 and in 1998 was named first Dean of the newly-created Faculty of Physical Education and Health. He is well known as a teacher, Women’s Ice Hockey 2001-02 award-winning historian and advocate CIS Champions for social justice in sport. Prof. Kidd is Long the dominant team in Ontario, currently Vice-President of U of T and Blues won their first CIA national the Principal of University of Toronto championship in 2001-02 with a Scarborough. perfect 35-0 record. Head coach

Karen Hughes, who had been an Ken Wood Wood devoted more than 40 years to U all-star in both hockey and soccer as of T students as a skilled, patient and an undergraduate, guided the Blues to several league titles during this successful instructor in fencing and period. U of T’s program produced tennis. His teams won more than 20 league titles and many student-athletes many players for Canada’s national teams: five alumnae were initial have been introduced to these sports through his popular instruction classes. Olympic silver medalists in 1988 and three returned to win gold in 2002.

Camp U of T

Since 1982, Camp U of T has been challenging and encouraging children to live healthy and be active. With a mix of skill development, leadership and academic camps, Camp U of T has shown children that learning can be fun and movement is joyful. Many camp counsellors are the Faculty’s students who put their training in coaching and leadership to the benefit of the U of T community.


In 2009, a week-long program called SOAR was started by the Faculty to help Indigenous students explore the possibilities of post-secondary education.

Ira Jacobs

The Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport

Opened in 2014, Goldring immediately started getting accolades for its significant contribution to the city’s urban life. The multi-storey sport and exercise facility houses a 2,000-seat, internationally-rated Kimel Family field house for basketball and volleyball, a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning centre, fitness studio, sport medicine clinic and research and teaching laboratories.

The 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games

U of T sporting facilities played a big part in the city’s successful hosting of the Games, in particular Varsity Stadium, Back Campus Field, Goldring Centre and a new athletic complex at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

In 2010 Professor Ira Jacobs was chosen as the new Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health. He was appointed to a second term as Dean of KPE in 2015.

Master of Professional Kinesiology

In 2015 the Faculty launched the Master of Professional Kinesiology (MPK) program, the first of its kind in the province.

Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre

In 2016, the Faculty launched the Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre (MPARC), one of the first research facilities in the world to integrate the study of physical activity and mental health.

Rosie MacLennan

A BKIN graduate and current master’s student at KPE, trampolinist Rosie MacLennan qualified for the Olympics in 2008. She returned to the London Games in 2012 and won Canada’s only gold medal. In 2016, MacLennan was chosen to be Canada’s flag bearer at the Rio Games and won another gold medal in trampoline..

Kylie Masse

Masse won bronze for Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, becoming the first Varsity Blues swimmer to claim an Olympic medal while enrolled as a student at U of T. Masse was ranked the #1 swimmer in the world in 2017.


En Garde for Thee

WJ apartments proudly supports The Varsity Blues Fencing Team

Affordability is our fortĂŠ



EX/Cancer The benefits of exercise after a cancer diagnosis BY JELENA DAMJANOVIC AND KATIE BABCOCK

At eighty years old, Patricia Saul describes her lifestyle as active. A former teacher, she remains involved in two different youth programs, and her four grandchildren keep her busy. Living in a duplex ensures she gets in plenty of steps during the day. But it wasn’t until her breast cancer diagnosis in 2014 and subsequent mastectomy that she began to exercise in earnest.










aul was a patient in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre when she was told about the Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Program (CRS) for survivors at all stages of their cancer journey. The program is built on principles of self-management and adoption of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise, rehabilitation and psychosocial support to help survivors living with late and long-term effects of cancer treatment. “It made an enormous difference to me,” says Saul. “But it wasn’t until after the surgery that I was introduced to Darren and that we started regular meetings over a year-long period.”

Saul was prescribed home-based exercises, but met with Au at the ELLICSR: Health Wellness and Cancer Survivorship Centre five times throughout the year for follow-up. She would get a fitness assessment to track how well she was doing, review her exercises and make changes as needed.

Darren Au is a first-year PhD student in the Exercise Science program in U of T’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He is one of the kinesiologists One of the challenges for Saul was that working with the Faculty᾽s Assistant she had never done anything like this Professor Daniel Santa Mina at Princess before. Margaret Cancer Centre to help develop exercise programs for cancer survivors. “I’ve never belonged to a gym,” she says. The interprofessional team also includes “After a cancer diagnosis, one feels very doctors, physiotherapists, occupational vulnerable, and so the fact that this therapists, psychologists, dieticians and program even existed made me feel social workers. confident. It gave me the opportunity to actually think about reclaiming my “We go through the participants᾽ health body.” history and we chat about their shortand long-term goals, and then we tailor But she did find it challenging, telling Au exercises to help them reach those that she just couldn’t do an exercise or goals. Ultimately, we want them to get that there were too many of them. So Au in the condition they were in before would cut them back and modify them being diagnosed with cancer, before the to make them work for her. treatment,” says Au. “By the time I was finishing the program, Au says no one cancer journey is the we were concentrating on five different same, so the exercise programs need to exercises out of ten. I’m not sure I ever be individualized. did them particularly well, but I did them. So, for me the program not only “Some people may go through offered an opportunity to set some chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or all physical goals, but also was very hopeful three. We tailor the exercises around the and I felt that I had some control.” side effects of these treatments, to help rehabilitate the impairments that may come from them.”




“After a cancer diagnosis, one feels very vulnerable, and so the fact that this program even existed made me feel confident. It gave me the opportunity to actually think about reclaiming my body.” — Patricia Saul



FACULTY NOTES Professor Santa Mina is the appointed Scientist and Assistant

Exercise Lead for the CRS Program guiding exercise-specific programing and research. He says there is a lot of evidence that point to the protective and/or ameliorative effects of exercise across the cancer continuum.

“Evidence is stronger in some cancers than it is in others. In breast, colon and endometrial cancer, the evidence is strong that routine physical activity can reduce the risk of developing cancer by up to 30 per cent. For other cancers, the data is still emerging, but there are a number of suggestions that exercise as part of an overall healthy life style can reduce the risk associated with developing many cancers.” Unfortunately, even those who are most active may still end up with a cancer diagnosis. For them, the benefits of exercise start immediately following the diagnosis, says Santa Mina. “We are starting to unravel a whole area of research called pre-habilitation, and that’s the role of exercise prior to treatment. We know that exercise benefits those who are about to undergo surgery for cancer, but we’re starting to explore how exercising prior to a particular type of treatment, like chemotherapy, might impact tolerance of that treatment and the associated outcomes.” The benefits of exercise are not limited to just the pre-treatment phase, but also manifest during, immediately following, and a number of years after treatment. “There are a number of late effects of cancer that may not present at the time of diagnosis and treatment, but because some of these treatments are so harsh, years down the road they can come up and become quite problematic. Exercise is a great strategy to try to mitigate those if they do arise.” But Santa Mina cautions the benefits of exercise only last as long as the exercise persists. As exercise drops off, the benefits tend to drop off as well. So it’s important to monitor progress, continually adapt and stay engaged in the behaviour so that the benefits that accompany exercise can be sustained. In 2015 Cancer Care Ontario provided exercise guidelines for people with cancer, and that has been a landmark achievement, says Santa Mina. However, evidence suggests that only about 25 to 33 per cent of those who are diagnosed with cancer are meeting the physical activity guidelines. The barriers vary broadly, from very pragmatic issues, such as commuting to the place of exercise to feeling self-conscious about having low energy and a changed appearance after treatment. Time is another constraint, and in addition to work and family, cancer patients also have to factor in treatments and doctor appointments. “The patients’ experience of the treatment fluctuates all the time, and we need to accommodate the variety of limitations they may experience,” says Santa Mina. 26




FACULTY NOTES Professor Catherine Sabiston is also an expert in the field of physical activity and cancer at KPE. Based on long-term research following natural changes in exercise patterns among breast cancer survivors, she has been able to identify when exercise is at its lowest following treatment, and why. One main reason for low exercise relates to limited social support.

In 2014, Sabiston launched ActiveMatch (www.activematch.ca), an online community designed to help women diagnosed with cancer connect with an exercise partner. “Many women told us that they don’t exercise because they don’t have an exercise partner. Now women can find their near-perfect exercise match online.” Currently, 140 participants are enrolled in the program and Sabiston plans to extend it across Canada. “We’re setting people up for success because they’re building self-efficacy and they can set their own goals. In turn, this exercise and social support helps to improve mental health and well-being.” And there are other things that can be done to make this population more active.

“We’re setting people up for success because they’re building self-efficacy and they can set their own goals. In turn, this exercise and social support helps to improve mental health and well-being.” — Catherine Sabiston

“What comes to mind first is awareness,” says Santa Mina. “Do clinicians and patients know that exercise has been demonstrated as safe and effective for individuals with cancer? Changing the culture to one where we exercise someone rather than bed rest someone takes a bit of time, but it’s happened in cardiology and it can happen in cancer care, too.”





Santa Mina believes building awareness and sharing research will lead to more programs – ideally with staff who are trained to work with people who have been diagnosed with cancer. “It's only in the last five to 10 years that credentials have been developed to provide people proficient in exercise physiology with an oncology background,” he says. Since completing her exercise program with CRS, Saul has joined the gym at the Athletic Centre at U of T, much to Au’s delight. “Being a part of the program was great because it made me hopeful about the future,” says Saul. “One of the hardest things is to keep on keepin’ on after the formal program ends. I joined

the Athletic Centre to do just that, but for many that would not be an option. ActiveMatch could provide people with an additional tool to keep on going.” Au was on his way to his office when he bumped into Patricia going to the gym. “It was such a pleasant surprise and it made me feel so great, because when I see participants taking on the initiative to exercise on their own, it gives me a boost in what I do,” says Au. On April 6, the Faculty hosted its annual research symposium featuring Professors Santa Mina and Sabiston. The symposium focused on the benefits of exercise after a cancer diagnosis and offered evidence-based strategies to start and stick with manageable exercise programs.

Tips for exercising after a cancer diagnosis Take small steps: do a little bit more today than you did yesterday, and set personal goals that you can attain. You can also start by focusing on reducing sedentary behavior (e.g., sit a little less today than you did yesterday). 1.Find simple ways to get active. Walk down the hall in your condo, use the stairs and stand more during the day.



2.Find social support. Having someone to keep you accountable is a known strategy for successfully sticking to an exercise routine.

3.Keep track of what you do throughout the day. Acknowledge small successes and achievements. This will promote feelings of confidence.

4.Choose physical activities that you enjoy. You can gain tremendous benefits in mental and social health from lighter intensity exercise.



“When I see participants taking on the initiative to exercise on their own, it gives me a boost in what I do.” — Darren Au

first-year PhD student




Alumna Maggie MacDonnell wins Global Teacher Prize 2017 By Jelena Damjanovic





PE alumna Maggie MacDonnell was chosen from 20,000 nominations from 179 countries to win Varkey Foundation's $1 million Global Teacher Prize for her work with Inuit students in the fly-in-only village of Salluit in Quebec.

MacDonnell says the youth who have joined her running club have quit smoking cigarettes and marijuana, some have returned to school, and some even tell her that when they’re going through tough times and having suicidal thoughts, they are able to use exercise and running as a coping tool.

“The definition of a teacher here is a lot more broad than it might be if you were a teacher in Toronto, Halifax or Montreal,” MacDonnell says in a video posted by the Foundation, which awards the prize annually to an exceptional teacher. “In an Inuit community, you have the privilege of being able to build very authentic relationships with your students and with your community.”

“When I’m working with my runners I often say that when you run by yourself, you go fast, but when you run with others, you can go so far,” she says in the video.

Salluit is one of the northern communities that has been hit hard with a suicide crisis among the youth. To counteract the trend, MacDonnell has built programs that cultivate resilience, hope and self-belief in her students, involving them in arts, encouraging them to eat healthy snacks at school, arranging cooperative work placements at local businesses and engaging them in sport.

Professor Peter Donnelly, acting vice-dean, academics, and director of the Centre for Sports Policy Studies at KPE, says it was enormously gratifying to see a former student win the Global Teacher Prize. MacDonnell worked as a research assistant on two projects with Donnelly. “Maggie was part of the first cohort of graduate students who came to the Faculty to study and take a critical and constructive perspective on the burgeoning field of sport for development,” says Donnelly. “She always wanted to be in the field, engaged in programming; and Ikusik High School

“When I’m working with my runners I often say that when you run by yourself, you go fast, but when you run with others, you can go so far.” — Maggie MacDonnell “I’ve always been passionate about sport and physical activity as a tool to build resilience in young people. But I’ve literally seen it and tasted it on a day-to-day basis in Salluit,” MacDonnell says in the video. “It’s not just about the athletics or a performance-based outcome. Along the way there is so much youth development going on.” MacDonnell did her graduate studies at the Faculty, focusing her research on sport for development. Her supervisor was U of T Vice-President and U of T Scarborough Principal Bruce Kidd, founding dean of KPE. “Maggie was an exceptional student from the day she arrived. She did her thesis on basketball as a medium of female empowerment in Tanzania and always held the ambition to create a similar program in an impoverished area of Canada, so it᾽s not surprising to see her path and her tremendous contribution. I᾽m just delighted that she is being honoured in this way,” says Kidd.

in Salluit could not have a better person to be engaged in the education and development of students who face enormous challenges.” “Maggie really walks the social justice walk,” says Associate Professor Margaret MacNeill, who was on MacDonnell᾽s graduate thesis committee at KPE. “It᾽s so gratifying to see that her studies about human rights and sports at U of T have translated into making a significant difference for her students up North.” In an interview with CBC radio Quebec, MacDonnell said she plans to use the prize money to start an NGO with her students that would focus on bringing back the culture of kayaking to the community, through a means of environmental stewardship and youth engagement. Prime Minister and former teacher Justin Trudeau was among the many Canadians to congratulate MacDonnell on her win.

To see the video, go to: https://vimeo.com/205033864 PURSUIT | SPRING 2017





FROM PAIN TO HEALING How one grad found her calling in the Amazon By Jelena Damjanovic

When Cheryl D’Costa started her BPHE program in 1997, her goal was to go into physiotherapy upon graduation. A car accident at the age of 16 had left her with a spinal cord injury and she was eager to learn ways to manage her pain. However, she soon realized the manual nature of physiotherapy might not be the best match for her. The turning point came on a flight home to Toronto – D’Costa was working as a flight attendant at the time to help put herself though her undergraduate studies. She was in so much pain it made her drop to her knees. “I had seen chiropractors, physiotherapists, pain specialists and medical doctors, but I felt like I was only getting temporary relief,” says D’Costa. “Nothing I was doing was healing me, and I knew that if I didn’t find another way, this was going to impact the rest of my life.” In search of a remedy, she decided to go to the Amazon, where she met with traditional medicine men. “They understand that after a trauma there’s a loss or a fragmentation of the soul and this was really where my pain was. It manifested in very physical, tangible ways but the roots of it went a lot deeper. And I understood that true healing had to be on a multidimensional plane, because the mind, body and spirit are all connected.” So, it was through her own healing journey that D᾽Costa discovered naturopathic medicine as a career path. “Naturopathic medicine resonated with me because it addresses the fundamental causes of disease and heals the whole person. It incorporates homeopathy and acupuncture, nutrition and lifestyle, and evaluates the person from both Eastern and Western perspectives.” D’Costa founded the Evolve Naturopathic Vitality Centre in 2003, but she continues to work with the elders in the Amazon, filming a documentary that she hopes will help to preserve and support their work. Her message for future graduates? “If you can’t find your path, forge one yourself.”



Varsity Blues Achievement Awards build faith and character The Awards celebrate academic merit Many people dream of becoming an and athletic talent, and Stafford thanked Olympian, but few actually expect it to her coaches Terry Radchenko, Ross happen. Such was the outlook of Varsity Risstuccia and Carl Georgeski, as well Blues track and field athlete Gabriela as each of her teammates, for their Stafford when she joined the High School guidance and support. U of T Track Club in grade 10. Not only was she an average runner, in her own She also thanked the scholarship donors, words, but she also suffered from racing who supported her journey to becoming anxiety so intense that she would often an Olympian. lose her lunch on the starting line while waiting for the gun to fire. Fast forward six years – Stafford is an Olympian. How “You have given me the privilege to focus solely on my studies and sport. You are did this transformation happen? the reason that I could focus intensely on my running, a focus that allowed me Speaking at the Varsity Blues to drop my 1500m time by 30 seconds in Achievement Awards on January 18, only four years to run Olympic standard.” the fourth-year psychology student explained the transformation was Som Seif was a member of the Varsity physical, but more importantly mental Blues water polo team while studying and emotional, as her belief in what she engineering at U of T. Now a successful was capable of doing grew. chartered financial analyst and founder of Purpose Investments Inc., Seif “Throughout each lesson, and each continues to be an active member of challenge that I have faced in my time the U of T community, recognized here, I have never been alone. I had my with an Arbor Award for his volunteer teammates and my coaches supporting contributions. me each step of the way.”



“So much of who I am comes from being a student athlete and I am grateful to the alumni, who also understand that perspective. As an alumnus, I feel compelled to do my part now to benefit the next generation of Varsity Blues,” said Seif, who spoke on behalf of the donors. Professor Ira Jacobs, dean of the Faculty, thanked the donors for their ongoing and growing support and Executive Director of Athletics and Co-Curricular Physical Activity Beth Ali thanked the donors for their faith. “By giving to our programs, you are making it clear that you believe in our athletes, teams and coaches – and that makes a difference in every game, every practice and every single win,” said Ali. This belief helped transform Stafford from an anxious runner to a national champion and Olympian. —JD



The Career Café is a great way for alumni to give back to current students and for students to learn that there are a lot of options open to them with their degree. A special thank you to the following alumni who participated as mentors this year: Sara Alvi Director Head Start Montessori School

Cheryl D’Costa Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Registered Acupuncturist, Evolve Naturopathic Vitality Centre

Career Café gets undergrads thinking about road less travelled Stephanie Rudnick had it all figured out. The BPHE graduate and Varsity Blues basketball player was going to complete her degree in five years, become an OUA all-star and then play basketball in Europe over the next few years. Rudnick did become an OUA all-star, but her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis, coupled with her back injury, put a halt on her plans for a basketball career in Europe. Allowing herself time to grieve the loss of two of the most important things in her life, Rudnick reassessed her options and decided to start an elite basketball camp, which over time became the successful chain of Elite Camps. Rudnick shared the story of her career trajectory at the annual Career Café, organized by the KPE Undergraduate Association and the Alumni and Advancement Office, with support from the U of T Career Centre. The event brings together KPE undergrads with alumni who used their kinesiology degrees as a foundation for successful careers in fields as diverse as health care, law, science and marketing. The common theme? None of them knew exactly what they wanted to do with their degrees and those who did were sometimes forced to change their plans. And that was okay. PHOTO/ ARNOLD LAN

Fourth-year KPE student Breanna Bitondo took that to be her favourite tip of the evening. “I’m graduating in less than two months and I’ve been very nervous trying to figure out what my life would be, but it’s reassuring just to hear alumni say, ‘It’s okay – take it step by step and you’ll be on your way.’” Professor Ira Jacobs, dean of the Faculty, said the comprehensive nature of a KPE degree positions students well to take advantage of a range of opportunities. After each of the alumni had a chance to speak briefly about their career paths, some of which involved learning about Indigenous medicine in the Amazon and teaching Bedouin women with diabetes how to exercise, they spent the rest of the evening chatting with students interested in pursuing similar work. Brenaven Kugamoorthy was eager to speak to Rudnick. “I came into the program not knowing much. I’m passionate about basketball and sports, so I was thinking of opening up my own business,” said the first-year KPE student. “Stephanie was in the same program as me and she played basketball. Now she runs one of the biggest sport camps in the country and I want to know how she did it.” —JD

Tony D’Urzo Academic Family Physician University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine

Len Goodman Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada – Toronto Research Centre

Brek Harris Classical Osteopath Keystone Health

Matthew Laing Owner/Registered Physiotherapist Foundation Physiotherapy

Peter Mastorakos Occupational Therapist Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Marcus Mazzucco Legal Counsel Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Legal Services Branch

Sheryn Posen Former Chief Operating Officer Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Clare Richard Certified Athletic Therapist/Head Therapist for York Simcoe Express, Podium Performance Centre Team Canada Karate

Stephanie Rudnick Camp Owner, Author, Motivational Speaker Elite Camps

Lora Salvadori Manager, Partnership Marketing National Hockey League

Natalie Sutherland Fitness Coach Medcan Clinic

Marlon Teekah Health Coach, MPK Graduate Student Marlon Teekah Health

Chloë Tudor Registered Massage Therapist Foundation Physiotherapy If you are interested in this event, please contact Rachel Keeling at rachel.keeling@utoronto.ca




(Left to right) Nancy Thomson, Liz Hoffman, Amanda Woodcroft, Rachel Fackoury, Sara Ali, Kyesia O’Neale, Kaelan Watson, Jess Aun, Justine Branco, Malinda Hapuarachchi and Sanomee Duffin

CIS Field Hockey Championship Reception Alumni and friends gathered at the Back Campus fields on November 6 to cheer on the Varsity Blues during the national championship competition and enjoy a special post-game reception at University College overlooking the competition grounds.

Interactive Olympic Track & Field Cocktail Party Olympian Alicia Brown



R. Tait Mackenzie Society Reception

Swimming Quadrennial Reunion

Alumni members of the R. Tait Mackenzie academic honours society attended a reception on April 6 at Victoria College. The group enjoyed meeting some of the Faculty’s professors and catching up with each other before attending the Faculty’s public symposium on exercise and cancer.

Nearly 200 guests and Varsity swim team alumni came together once again for their every-four-years reunion on November 12 at Hart House. This year's event included a speech from current team member and Canada’s bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games, Kylie Masse, and a special tribute to Nick Thierry by alumna Judy Garay. This marked the launch of the team’s fundraising campaign for a scholarship in Thierry’s honour. If you would like to contribute please visit uoft.me/swimlegacy16

On February 21, the Field House at U of T’s Athletic Centre was transformed into an interactive venue where 40 Canadian Olympians came together with more than 400 guests and 60 track and field athlete volunteers. Ten “sports stations” were created, allowing guests the opportunity to play alongside the Olympians, watch sports demonstrations, hear athletes share their journey in the CANTalk area and enjoy food stations, drinks, a silent auction and much more. A big thank-you goes out to Head Coach Carl Georgevski, who believed in the event concept from the beginning; founder of CAN Fund Jane Roos, who brought forward the ideas to create the event; our guests; the Olympians and our athlete volunteers. Everyone came together to raise funds to be shared equally by two great causes in support of athletes – the U of T Track and Field Program and CAN Fund. PHOTOS/ PROVIDED BY TEAM (TOP LEFT)/ TORONTO NENSIS (MIDDLE LEFT)/ JONATHAN YUE (BOTTOM LEFT)/ JILL CLARK (TOP RIGHT)

Blues alumnae rally support for women’s volleyball During the five years (2008–13) that Katrina and Shannon Rossall played Varsity Blues women’s volleyball, their mother, Anita, played an integral role in developing the team’s Fund Development Committee, helping to raise money for team expenses.

Katrina listed some of the benefits of their playing career: “learning to overcome adversity, building confidence, developing time management, teamwork and communications skills, and experience in dealing with conflict.”

Today, the torch has been passed to the twin alumnae, who are hoping to interest their millennial teammates, and other veterans, in the cause. The Rossalls, 26, helped create the Forever a Blue campaign to encourage other former players, young and old, to give back to the program. The Forever a Blue campaign will run annually in the fall.

She came up with the idea of the Forever a Blue campaign, an idea Shannon and the women’s volleyball Fund Development Committee enthusiastically seconded.

Since the twins, both chemical engineers, are now working as field engineers in the oilfield – Katrina in Colorado, Shannon in Grande Prairie– they see the annual campaign as a way to give back to the program from a distance. “Both of us got a lot out of our years of playing,” Shannon said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without Blues volleyball.”

“We thought of targeting young alumni and getting them involved. It doesn’t matter how much anyone gives, but we’ll ask them each year,” Shannon said. “When they grow with their careers, we’re hoping that will increase their capacity to contribute financially.” Katrina added, “We’re still very close to the girls that we played with, so we’ll suggest that they donate their coffee money for the week to the campaign, and as the years go on, hopefully the amounts grow.”

The women’s volleyball Fund Development Committee is currently creating a value proposition statement that will show where the funds will go and why they are important to the team. This approach should meet with success: philanthropic research shows that millennials want to give to causes that engage them, and they want transparency from the organizations they support. Millennials also respond to personal stories, not corporate appeals, so the social media strategy the Rossall twins are working on should be right on target. “We can use social media to get people to come out to games and to let them know what the team is doing,” Shannon said. “Athletes, themselves, can talk about their training and show what it takes to be a student athlete. If we can keep people updated and informed, alumni and fans will feel more connected to the program. Hopefully this helps to increase donations and increase support for the program.” —ES

If you are interested in supporting the Varsity Blues Volleyball program or would like to get involved with the Fund Development Committee, please contact jessica.kovacs@utoronto.ca PHOTO/ JING-LING KAO-BESERVE



ALUMNI UPDATES CLASS NOTES Paul Carson St. Michael’s College 6T7, former KPE staff

Close friend and former staff member of the Faculty, Paul Carson, has been awarded the Mary Jo Haverbeck Trailblazer Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for his contributions to his field and for pioneering more prominent roles for Canadians within the organization. We commend Paul for his dedication to sports information.

Amanda Henry

Andrea Maechler


St. Michael’s College 9T1, Swimming

In February, this alumna gave a presentation to the Durham District School Board (DDSB) on the Afrocentric Perspectives in the Classroom project launched by the Board’s equity team. DDSB is preparing a resource document on this topic for use in classrooms from kindergarten to grade 8. The Faculty is proud to have an alumna involved in the development of this project.

The Faculty was delighted to learn that this swim alumna has become a member of the governing board for the Swiss National Bank – the first woman to assume a role on this body since the bank was founded in 1907. Congratulations on this accomplishment, Andrea.

Bruce Pynn MSc 8T8, DDS 9T0, Rowing

Jen Button BPHE 0T3, Swimming

Welcome and congratulations go to this athletic alumna who, as of January 16, was voted in as the new president of the T-Holders’ Association. The T-Holders’ are the alumni association for former U of T students who were also members of our intercollegiate sport program. Thank you, Jen, for taking on this volunteer role.

Congratulations to this alumnus on becoming the chief of dentistry at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and president of the Ontario Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Bruce completed his master’s degree in Exercise Science at the Faculty prior to his training in dentistry.

UPCOMING EVENTS U of T Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Spring Reunions

Thursday, June 8, 2017

PHE 7T7 40th Reunion

PHE 7T2 45th Reunion

June 2–4 Toronto & Lakehurst, ON

June 3

Contacts: Cathy Hitchcock hitchcock@rogers.com Maureen Greaves moe_graves@rogers.com Debbie Dykes debbiedykes@shaw.ca Lynda Harley lharley@ca.ibm.com

Contact: Angela Papworth ajpapworth@gmail.com Paula Vine paula.vine@hotmail.com

Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport Tickets & Info: uoft.me/halloffame2017 Contact: rachel.keeling@utoronto.ca




IN MEMORY Mary and her daughter, Kristine

Mary Drakich

BPHE 7T5, OISE 7T6, Volleyball Cherished alumna, volleyball athlete and lifetime fan of the team, Mary passed away in December and will be remembered as “Forever a Blue” by the program to which she gave so much. A scholarship has been established in her honour that will support a Varsity Blues women’s volleyball athlete reach her athletic and academic goals each year, just as Mary did throughout her lifetime. Please visit uoft.me/marydrakich if you would like to make a donation. Your gift will be acknowledged to the Drakich family.

Adam Zimmerman Trinity College 5T0, Football

A dedicated alumnus and member of our tight-knit Varsity football community, Adam passed away in October. He demonstrated an affinity for athletics early on as a player and manager of several teams at Ridley College. Upon graduation from Trinity College, Adam embarked on an extremely successful corporate career, eventually leading one of Canada’s largest corporate takeovers. Adam brought his determined spirit back to U of T in the early 1990s when the football program was in danger. He played a crucial role in saving the program and was one of its chief supporters ever since. The Faculty is grateful for his commitment to our programs and is honoured to have a room named in Adam Zimmerman’s honour at the Varsity Centre, overlooking the field.

Eric McMillan BPHE 4T8, Football, Rugby

W Kirkwood “Kirk” Thompson Engineering 6T1, Water Polo

Eric died at age 92 after a long and physically active life in Stratford, Ontario. He served in the Canadian Navy during World War II as a Morse code operator and settled afterwards into a teaching career. He taught physical education, coached and later became a guidance counsellor. Sport was always central to his life.

A cherished member of the Varsity Water Polo program during his studies in mechanical engineering, Kirk passed away in December. He had a long career in management consulting that took him to over 100 countries, feeding his love of travel.

James Musselman BPHE 6T2 In his 81st year, Jim passed away peacefully at his home by the lake in January. He was a lover of sports who enjoyed a 33-year career as principal for the Durham District School Board.


Herbert Tilson BPHE 5T4, Woodsworth 6T2, Boxing, Track & Field Herb passed away in January he was a devoted athlete, coach, teacher and mentor to many. An accomplished runner, he placed second in the 1948 Junior Olympics one-mile run and was a fourtime Canadian University champion in the three-mile and cross country events. Herb had a successful teaching career

during which he coached 83 high school teams and was awarded the Pete Beach Award by the Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association.

Peter Maione BPHE 9T8 After a two-year battle with cancer, Peter passed away on March 22. As a student, he earned membership in the R. Tait McKenzie Society for academic achievement. Since then he often spoke fondly of his PHE professors and experiences in the Outdoor Projects. He continued to be involved with the field of exercise science, working with Professor Peter Klavora on the publishing of kinesiology textbooks, which he continued to do into the final week of his life. Our condolences to family and friends. PURSUIT | SPRING 2017



Tom Longboat of Onondaga, Ontario, is considered to be one of the greatest Indigenous athletes in Canadian history and among the best distance runners of his era. He won the Boston Marathon in 1907, beating the record by over five minutes, and he was favoured to win the London Olympics in 1908. But his athletic victories were often overshadowed by prejudice that threatened to tarnish his image. In the early 1980's, inspired by Longboat's legacy, a group of Toronto runners decided to name their club the Longboat Road Runners Club. Among them were many Varsity Blues track and field alumni, including Mike Durocher and his wife, Diane Marrow, who pushed for the creation of the Tom Longboat Award at the Faculty. Instituted in 2011, the award provides affirmation and financial support for Indigenous track and field athletes at U of T, and ensures Longboat’s legacy is passed on from one generation of athletes to the next. “Tom Longboat was an exceptional athlete, breaking every record there was and winning races from the front and from behind, bringing crowds to their feet and making headlines wherever he ran,” says U of T VicePresident and U of T Scarborough Principal Bruce Kidd, former Olympian and founding dean of KPE. In 2013, Kidd wrote an article, called “In Defence of Tom Longboat”, to correct some of the more malicious aspects of Longboat’s legend. “At a time of vicious anti-Indigenous racism, he held his head high and won the respect of everyone he met. He brought great fame to Canada and he is someone we can admire.” 40



F a c u l t y o f K i n e s i o l o g y a n d P h y s i c a l E d u c a t i o n a n d t h e T- H o l d e r s ’ A s s o c i a t i o n p r e s e n t





Michelle Colaco

Norm Calder

New College 9T2, OISE 9T4, Field Hockey


Viiu Kanep

Nicole (Colaco) DeSouza

Innis College 9T4, Field Hockey

BPHE 6T1, University College 6T2, OISE 7T2, Volunteer

Jim Elder

Nabil Tadros

Alison Evanoff


Victoria College 5T7, Olympian (Equestrian)

BPHE 8T0, OISE 8T1, Coach

BPHE 9T2, OISE 9T3, Cross Country

1965–66 Men’s Swimming CIAU Champions

Arthur Ham

Medicine 2T6, Tennis

1991 Women’s Cross Country CIAU Champions, OWIAA Silver

Louis Hudson

Medicine 2T6, Hockey

1993–94 Women’s Field Hockey CIAU Champions, OWIAA Silver

Claire Thurgur

Victoria College 9T4, Medicine 0T2, Field Hockey

Theo Van Rijn

Trinity College 6T8, Medicine 7T1, Swimming

Find all past inductees at halloffame.utoronto.ca

1993–94 Women’s Field Hockey

Thursday, June 8, 2017 6 p.m. Reception • 7 p.m. Ceremony Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, Kimel Family Field House, 100 Devonshire Place Tickets available online at uoft.me/halloffame2017 or contact Rachel Keeling at 416-946-5126 or rachel.keeling@utoronto.ca Adults: $40 • 2017 Inductees: Free plus one guest Children 12 and under: Free Business attire. Host bar and light refreshments at the reception. Donations to support this great tradition are encouraged.

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