March 31, 2014 – Orillia, ON
Lakehead University Orillia celebrated the achievements of its athletes and sports teams on Saturday evening at its Annual Athletic Awards Banquet, held at the Best Western Mariposa Inn in Orillia. The event paid tribute to the accomplishments of student athletes over the 2013-14 academic year.
Awards were presented to top student athletes in each of the University’s sports teams: men’s hockey, women’s hockey, men’s basketball, co-ed soccer, and equestrian. Most Valuable, Most Improved and Leadership awards were announced and presented by the team coaches, who were also recognized and thanked by the University.
“The banquet is an opportunity for us to say thank you to the athletes and coaches who have represented Lakehead University with distinction,” said Neil Quinn, Athletics and Recreation Facilitator at the Orillia campus.
“We’ve had a number of successes this year,” explained Quinn. “Our men’s hockey team qualified for the end-of-the-year ‘Challenge Cup’ in the first year of their eligibility; both our men’s basketball and co-ed soccer teams came home with fair play awards; and two of our equestrian athletes completed the season with top ten standing.”
The event was also an opportunity for the athletes to hear from keynote speaker, Johnny Waite, owner/operator of Alter Ego Life Adventure Company, and special guest, Michelle Cowell, former Olympic and Canadian championship athlete.
Waite inspired the audience by sharing stories about his motivation to compete in marathons, extreme racing and endurance events. Cowell also captured the students’ attention when she talked about the perseverance and hard work required to excel as an Olympic athlete and Canada’s most decorated triple jumper.
An enthusiastic supporter of athletics at Lakehead’s Orillia campus, Cowell initiated a monthly Athletic Achievement Award this year on behalf of award sponsor, Plastics Protect and HollisWealth – Benson Kearley IFG. At the banquet, Cowell presented awards to the Jenna Sittek, English equestrian (January), Eric Steward, co-ed soccer (February), and Brandon Burnett, men’s hockey (March). Previous winners, awarded earlier in the school year, were Megan Higgins, women’s hockey (November) and Casey Blanca, basketball (December).
Quinn thanked the athletes and coaches for their outstanding commitment and performance and also expressed appreciation to the evening’s speakers and supporters, including award donor Plastics Protect & HollisWealth – Benson Kearley IFG, and the Best Western.
“The growth of the athletics program this year has been wonderful, with almost 100 athletes participating and competing under the Thunderwolves banner,” said Quinn. “Our community partners and supporters have helped us accomplish this and we look forward to many more athletic banquets in the future as we celebrate our students and their continued success.”
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At Lakehead Orillia’s Annual Athletic Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 29, Johnny Waite of Orillia inspires Lakehead athletes with stories of his motivation to embark on new athletic challenges.
Jenna Sittek, a member of Lakehead University’s English equestrian team, receives an Athletic Achievement Award from Michelle Cowell (right) and Elvira Bushmakina, representing award sponsor, Plastics Protect and HollisWealth – Benson Kearley IFG.
Lakehead Orillia Athletic Award Winners 2013-2014
Men’s hockey: MVP, Carter Atkinson (St. Thomas); MIP, Nolan McMechan (Bradford); Leadership: Steven Ashbridge (Port Perry) Coach: Ted Wilson
Women’s hockey: MVP, Brianne Martin (Oakville); MIP, Rachael Monte (Caledonia; Leadership, Meagan Higgins (Brussels) Coach: Trevor Ritchie, Melissa Pearson
English equestrian: MVP, Jenna Sittek (Barrie); MIP, Holly Easterbrook (Barrie); Leadership, Jennifer Lucas (Barrie) Coach: Heidi Mueller, Rushmount Equine Sports
Western equestrian: MVP, Rebecca Dimoff (Kanata); MIP, Justine Gatrell (Barrie); Leadership, Ayra Colton (Belleville) Coach: Jamie Chamberland, Kelly Simpson Training Centre
Men’s basketball: MVP, Joshua Magpantay (Winnipeg); MIP, Trevor Boucher (Ottawa); Leadership, Jordan Watt (Beaverton) Coach: Curtis Fogel
Co-ed soccer: MVP, Brandon Richards (Barrie); MIP, Emily Brinks (Pefferlaw); Leadership, Eric Steward (Oakville) Coach: Eric Frohmann
Plastics Protect and HollisWealth – Benson Kearley IFG Athletic Achievement Award Winners
November: Megan Higgins (Brussels), women’s hockey
December: Casey Blanca (Winnipeg), basketball
January: Jenna Sittek (Barrie), English equestrian
February: Eric Steward (Oakville), co-ed soccer
March: Braiden Burnett (Orillia), men’s hockey
Media: For more information, please contact Kathy Hunt, Communications Officer, at 705-330-4008 ext. 2014, or email@example.com.
In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018), our University is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses, in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Home to Ontario’s first new Faculty of Law in 44 years (Fall 2013) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's West Campus, Lakehead is among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities (2014 Maclean’s University Rankings), as well as 1st in Ontario and 2nd in Canada for its innovative research (Re$earch Infosource). Our Orillia campus is the first in North America to be built entirely to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. Share your Lakehead story as it relates to our Strategic Plan at www.lakeheadu.ca/presidents-office/nurturing-passion, and learn more about Lakehead at www.lakeheadu.ca.