Tag Archive | "Jennifer Brenning"

When Ravens pitch in

Student athletes have a lot of work between balancing school and sports, but they also have to handle being a role model.

In 2014, the Ravens football team held a pie-in-the face event in the atrium which raised more than $400 for Relay for Life. This was just one of the events the football team has been involved with.

Ravens athletic director Jennifer Brenning said the football team visited an elderly home before Christmas, and they also visited Shepherds of Good Hope, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping the homeless in Ottawa, according to the organization’s website.

The women’s hockey team has had its share of involvement this past year, the most recent being Hockey Fest on Jan. 11. This featured them and the University of Ottawa women’s hockey team teaching young girls different hockey skills.

Olympic women’s hockey gold medalist Cassie Campbell was also there alongside the Ravens and Gee-Gees.

“It was a good turnout with the 230 kids that were involved,” Ravens forward Chelsea Lefebvre said. “A lot of the kids were excited because we had Cassie Campbell there.”

Hockey Fest featured children of all ages being trained by high-level hockey players to improve their skills.

The football team has also been involved in training initiatives with children.

“We go to a lot of schools. Last year, especially, groups of five or six would go for 20 to 30 minutes and get the kids to do different football drills like speed and ladder drills, easy things of course but still fun little things to do,” Ravens receiver Nate Behar said.

These community outreach programs are important because they give these children someone to look up to, as well as tear down misconceptions about athletes, Behar said.

“It’s a good thing, especially coming from a sport like football,” he said. “When some people think of football they think of rough, tough jocks. I think when people see football players in a community involvement showing that they care, I think that is always beneficial. It sends a strong message.”

Lefebvre said it also gives children goals to strive to achieve, such as becoming a varsity athlete.

“It definitely gets our name out there, and we just hope that someone can use us as a role model too, and to give kids the training to play at our level someday,” she said.

The different community outreach programs can be credited to a variety of people, whether it be the athletic council, the coaches, or the players, Brenning said.

Ravens receivers coach Josh Sacobie is also the community outreach organizer, and part of his job is finding ways for the Ravens football team give back.

For the women’s hockey team, it is often players or coaches who choose to participate in events such as Hockey Fest.

“All of our teams are very involved, and I don’t know actually everything that they do, it’s hard to say which team is doing more than the other but I know that they are all very involved,” Brenning said.

“The teams actually have a bit of a contest of community involvement, and the women’s rugby team won it last year.”

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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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