Tag Archive | "Jennifer Brenning"

Hall of Fame Gala honours former Ravens

For the first time since 2003, Carleton has four new faces decorating its Ravens Athletics Hall of Fame.

Former men’s basketball player and Ravens legend Osvaldo Jeanty, Olympic fencer Marc Lavoie, Olympic water polo player Waneek Horn-Miller, and men’s hockey team builder Paul Correy have joined the ranks of illustrious Ravens alumni.

In addition to the four who were honoured with plaques on Oct. 16, the 32 Hall of Fame inductees from years past were invited to sit at the 15 dining tables set up in the third floor banquet hall of Residence Commons, along with friends and family.

The inductees were toasted with champagne at the beginning of the ceremony, during which guests were served a three-course dinner.

Lavoie, Jeanty, and Correy all arrived at the ceremony from their Ottawa homes, but Horn-Miller arrived the same day on her flight from Saskatchewan.

During her speech at the gala, Horn-Miller reflected on her time at Carleton, which began when she learned to swim at the school when she was three years old.

“I’m more excited to be inducted in the Ravens Hall of Fame than I would be in the Canadian Hall of Fame,” she said.

Horn-Miller encouraged the audience to “dream as big as possible and find people to believe in those dreams.”

“At Carleton, I found those people,” she said.

Horn-Miller is the only Mohawk woman ever to have competed in the Olympic Games, which she went to in Sydney, Australia in 2000. She was also was Carleton’s female athlete of the year three times during her time in university.

Lavoie, who was introduced by fellow Carleton fencer and alumni Paul ApSimon, described his best accomplishment as being the Canadian national fencing champion seven times after his Ravens career from 1972-76.

Lavoie’s induction marks the first time a fencer will appear in the Hall of Fame.

“You don’t have to be as athletic as you have to be in football or hockey or basketball,” he said.

Ravens basketball head coach Dave Smart came on to introduce Jeanty, whom he coached from 2003-07.

“We talk about him everyday because we want everyone to be like him,” Smart said. “I’ve coached for 30 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as competitive as Osvaldo, and I know I haven’t seen anyone as tough.”

Jeanty, who is the only Carleton athlete to win five national championships and the fourth in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history, said he is honoured to join the faces on the Hall of Fame wall.

“I’ve been looking at that wall since I was a kid. Now that it’s back and being part of it, being on that wall myself, it’s just such a great honour,” he said. “Dave says I’m too young to be inducted, but I’m losing my hair, so I don’t understand why he says that.”

The only non-athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame was Paul Correy, a team builder who helped bring the Ravens men’s hockey team to competitive club status in 1991, and then back to the CIS in 2006.

Former Ravens’ hockey player Terry McCarthy introduced Correy as “the most relentless, single-minded man” he has ever met.

Correy began as a Ravens’ hockey player and coach, but McCarthy said, “he couldn’t shoot, he couldn’t pass, and he couldn’t go left.”

Correy agreed, but said his way of helping the team out was coaching, managing, and fundraising in an effort to bring the men’s hockey team back to varsity status.

McCarthy read an email from Brad Good, Ravens men’s hockey team captain from 2006-07 who wrote, “had it not been for Paul Correy . . . myself and my teammates would have missed out on some of the best years of our life.”

Correy said he was excited to see his old teammates at the ceremony, some that went back to the 1960s.

“For me, it’s like a party,” he said. “The only way I can handle it is to share it with my friends and my teammates.”

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Football team gets a money boost

Two local construction companies, Tamarack Homes and Taggart Parkes Foundation, donated $500,000 to the Carleton Ravens football team just before the Panda Game last week.

Approximately half of the donation will be put towards student scholarships. The rest will be put into a trust used to operate the team, according to Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning.

The family-owned company has no direct ties to the Ravens football team, but three of the shareholder managers, brothers Jim, Ian, and Chris Taggart, all graduated from Carleton.

Jim Taggart attended the Panda Game against the University of Ottawa at TD Place Sept. 20 where the donation was announced.

“I made the terrible mistake of leaving with a minute and a half to go,” Taggart said, at the time unaware the game would be taken back for Carleton with a last second Hail Mary, caught by Ravens receiver Nate Behar.

Brenning said she was excited to see how Ravens football can engage the community, referring both to the Panda Game and the donation.

Taggart Parkes Foundation and Tamarack Homes met with Ottawa entrepreneur and Carleton alumni John Ruddy and Carleton University president Roseann O’Reilly Runte several months ago, when Carleton representatives asked if the organization would make a contribution to the team.

“We hadn’t done anything for Carleton in a while,” Taggart explained.

The Taggart brothers later brought the proposition to their management meeting to get the donation approved.

Edwards added he hopes there will be a direct correlation between the team’s success and the size and frequency of donations from the community.

“We hope that continued success on the field will bring more students to the game, prompt more alumni to come back and more alumni to support [Ravens football],” he said. “Clearly, winning programs seem to get a stronger cultural support from the school.”

In addition to the donation from Taggart and Tamarack, a $5,000 donation from NFL Canada was made at halftime during the game.

Since the Ravens ended their season last year with no wins, the program has received over $1 million in donations.

Four out of five of the Ravens’ top donors had no affiliation with Ravens football in the past, according to Edwards.

“A lot of the time we’re only able to actively pursue individuals who already played or coached with Ravens football,” he said. “But this shows that were going to be able to continue to build.”

Brenning said these recent donations were evidence of the team building momentum.

“We want this program to be a national contender,” she said.

The Carleton Ravens football team has operated entirely on corporate sponsorship and gifts since the program’s revival last year, according to Brenning.

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Carleton adds new competitive clubs

Carleton University is adding some new competitive clubs to its athletic program for the 2014-15 year.

As a function of the new combined administration between the Carleton Unviersity Students’ Association (CUSA) and Carleton Athletics, there is enough grant money to support four new competitive clubs on campus. The new clubs are tennis, Quidditch, cricket, and powerlifting.

The club roster has a wide variety of sports including cheerleading, figure skating, and badminton.

These clubs compete against other universities just as any varsity-level team would, such as football and basketball.

Carleton currently has eight varsity teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s football, and women’s rugby. Each of these compete at the national Canadian Interuniversity Sport level, unlike the competitive clubs which participate in provincial championships through the Ontario University Athletics.

Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning said student interest is the primary generator of these new activities.

“Our whole objective with the club program is to provide competitive participation opportunities that are not as highly intense as the varsity teams,” she said.

Brenning added while these competitive clubs have tryouts, they are open to all students.

“We want the clubs to be healthy, and have a healthy roster size,” she said. “We want students to meet new people, make new friends, and have a positive experience.”

Brenning explained this upcoming school year is the first year under the newly- joined administration between CUSA, Athletics, and the Graduate Student Association.

“We gave grants to clubs, and CUSA gave grants to clubs, and now that we’ve combined, there’s more funding for additional clubs,” she said.

The Ravens powerlifting club are holding  open tryouts Sept. 15-19 in the old varsity gym as a way of breaking in their new competitive status, and the Quidditch team will also be having a tryout Sept. 19 at Ravens Road Field.

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Carleton athletic therapist to join Universiade medical staff

A Carleton athletic therapist has been added to the medical staff for the Canadian women’s hockey team at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain from Feb. 4-14.

Nadine Smith, Carleton’s head athletic therapist, was announced as an athletic therapist by Canadian Interuniversity Sport administration.

The Winter Universiade is coordinated by the Féderation internationale du sport universitaire (FISU) and held every two years. It is the world’s largest multi-sports competition for student athletes, drawing participants from over 50 countries, according to the FISU website.

Smith said she is excited to be selected for the position.

“There are many qualified people that apply to these opportunities so to be chosen out of a large pool, is an honour,” she said in an email.

This will mark Smith’s second appearance at the Winter Universiade, as she also assisted the Canadian team en route to a gold-medal finish at the 2009 Winter Universiade in Harbin, China.

Smith said she is interested in seeing how hockey is received in Spain compared to how it was in China—where the gold medal game between Canada and the hosts from China played in front of a sold-out crowd.

“In China, they had a huge following,” Smith said. “I am hoping that the fans will as excited to watch as they were in China.”

Smith will be working exclusively with the women’s hockey team, and said she is responsible for evaluating and treating the athletes’ injuries in order for them to compete.

Smith has worked at Carleton University for 11 years, according to Bruce Marshall, manager of Health and Wellness Resources at Carleton.

Jennifer Brenning, director of Recreation and Athletics, said the Universiade will be a great experience for Smith.

“It’s a great learning experience for an athletic therapist to work at such a high level,” Brenning said.

Smith said her greatest hope for the trip is to enjoy herself while also learning in the process.

“This is an opportunity to gain more experience in my field and make myself a better athletic therapist,” she said.

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Carleton Sports Camp enters 40th year

Every summer, Carleton University has played host to sports camps offering a range of indoor and outdoor sports.

But this summer marks a milestone for the school, as Carleton Sports Camp is underway in its historic 40th year.

“It has been a staple in the Ottawa community and has a very positive reputation as a result,” Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s athletics director, said.

A feature to note with Carleton Sports Camp is the use of some Carleton student-athletes as camp counsellors.

One example is Carleton rower Devon Sutherland.

The fifth-year Ravens athlete said being a counsellor is not a requirement for student-athletes, but it is strongly encouraged.

“They like having athletes from the school at the camps because it shows a lot of community involvement with the sports teams here, and they really enjoy having varsity athletes working for them,” he said.

Brenning also explained how having Carleton students work for the camps is valuable to both the students and the counsellors.

“The students gain valuable experience in teaching, supervision, organization, time management, and team building,” she said.

As a counsellor, Sutherland said one of his favourite things about his camp job is bonding with the kids every week.

“They get really excited hearing you’re a varsity athlete,” he said.

Looking back on the growth of the camps over the past four decades, Brenning said she’s still in awe of reaching such a number.

“It is a significant milestone to have a program last 40 years, and continue to grow each and every year over those 40 years,” she said.

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Carleton hosts national gymnastics championships

For the second straight year, several of Canada’s most talented and decorated gymnasts tumbled and jumped their way to success in the Canadian Gymnastics Championships, which ran from May 26-31 at Carleton University.

The competition saw competitors take part in events in the four Olympic disciplines of gymnastics: men’s and women’s artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline. The participants represented their provinces during the competition.

There were a few Canadian Olympians gracing the bars, beams, rings, trampoline, and floor during the competition, including Ontario’s Rosie MacLennan from King City, Ont., who backed up her gold medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics with an eight-point win in the women’s senior individual trampoline.

On the men’s side, Ontario’s Jason Burnett, who won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, took home the national title in men’s individual trampoline with an 11-point victory.

In the artistic events, Nova Scotia’s Ellie Black and British Columbia’s Robert Watson earned the top scores from the judges in the women’s and men’s senior all-around finals, respectively.

At the junior level, Ottawa native Sam Zakutney missed out on his chance to win a fourth straight national title at his age group, as his third-place finish kept him three points back of the winner, British Columbia’s Aaron Mah.

In the junior girls all-around event, Quebec’s Rose-Kaying Woo triumphed as the national champion.

Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s athletics director, said she was pleased with the outcome of the championships, and said large crowds of people gathered on campus to watch the events unfold.

She said the university earned the opportunity to host the prestigious event again due to its new athletic facilities.

“Gymnastics Canada works with local clubs to determine the site and contacted Carleton. It’s primarily because of all the facilities we have to host an event of that magnitude,” she said.

Brenning said the judges have not determined whether Carleton will host a third straight national championship in 2015.

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Carleton curlers preparing for Universiade

The Carleton Ravens women’s curling team will trade in their Ravens red for Canadian red and white, as the members of the national championship-winning team will represent Canada at the 2015 Winter Universiade from Feb. 4-14 in Granada, Spain.

The team, consisting of skip Jamie Sinclair, third Lauren Horton, second Lynn Kreviazuk, and lead Jessica Armstrong, were given the honour of competing in the Universiade after winning the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)/Canadian Curling Association (CCA) women’s curling championships in March 2014.

“Being competitive for the past 10 years, that’s all you ever dream of: to have that Maple Leaf on your back, to be able to represent, typically, the best country in the world for the sport of curling,” Sinclair said. “It’s an honour.”

The Winter Universiade is organized by the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) and brings together student athletes from over 50 countries every two years for the world’s largest multi-sport event for university students, according to the FISU website.

“So few competitive curlers get the opportunity to compete at that level and play against the best teams from other countries,” said Ravens coach Graham Sinclair, who’s also Jamie’s father. “It’s just such valuable experience that they can take with them as they go on and pursue their own careers. They will be able to draw on that for years to come and it will make them better athletes in the long run.”

However, Sinclair said even though the team was always going to play in the upcoming Winter Universiade, there was a question of whether they can even get a chance to defend their national title because of a scheduling conflict.

The 2015 Ontario University Athletics (OUA)/Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) women’s curling championships were set to take place from Feb. 12-16, according to a recent season proposal.

But Sinclair said he has received confirmation from OUA and Carleton administration that the provincial championships will be pushed back by a week to Feb. 19-23.

“I owe so much to the school and to the OUA for them helping us out with this,” he said.

Sinclair said his team was initially prepared to miss out on provincials once they found out the issue after winning nationals in March, but said they are thrilled to get a chance to qualify for a CIS/CCA national title defence again at the OUA/OCAA championships.



Horton said since representing their country has always been the top priority for the team, and said they have been training hard for the opportunity.

The younger Sinclair said she and her Ravens teammates are on a regimented fitness program and are taking sport psychology training sessions during the summer.

She said they are also scheduled to compete in seven tournaments before February to prepare them for the Universiade—with the team also playing in the competitive Super League run out of the Ottawa Curling Club during the season.

Sinclair said she’s most looking forward to the experience of playing against the elite teams from other countries.

“I know that in past Universiade Games, there have been Olympic teams competing there,” she said. “It will be a great experience to play against teams of that high calibre.”

The elder Sinclair said the cost for each player to compete in Spain is approximately $5,000 and the total cost for the upcoming season as a whole is expected to be about $60,000.

He said he is not sure how much funding they will receive from the university because they are drafting a budget that will be submitted to the school this summer.

Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s athletics director, said because curling is a competitive club at Carleton, it has different funding allocations than varsity teams.

As a result, Brenning said the school has not made a final decision on how much money to provide the team, but she said they may follow the standard “rule of thumb” for individual Ravens athletes competing in FISU Universiade events and non-CIS championships—which is $500 donated per student.

“It’s really exciting to see a Ravens team get this honour, so we’ll help them however we can for them to keep doing well for our school,” she said.

Horton said the team is in the midst of organizing a few pub nights around Ottawa in addition to other fundraising efforts to raise money for travel expenses.

She said they expect to provide much of their own costs in order to live out their dream of representing Canada.

“I think we can do it. I know it will be a lot of work to raise the money but it will all be worth it,” she said. “And I hope we come back with the gold.”

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The Dec. 3 CUSA meeting will feature a discussion of the unpresented 2013-2014 financial audits.