BY ISABELLA KRZYKALA and HAILEY MONTGOMERY
Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Applied Health and Science program hosted its annual Athletic Therapy Awards Banquet at the Mississauga Grand Banquet and Event Centre at the end of April.
It was a night to say farewell to graduating students and recognize outstanding students in each year of the well-respected program. Sheridan’s athletic therapists of tomorrow paused to look toward the future, while reflecting on the outstanding individuals that came before them.
The four-year Athletic Therapy degree program is respected across Canada and has formed lasting connections with elite teams, such as Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays provide a scholarship and season-long internship to a Sheridan student every year, who is then honoured on the field before a game in September. It is this calibre of excellence, along with the energy and unity of the students, Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky says he is most proud of.
“Every program creates its own culture, its own friendships its own relationships and that is what I love. The camaraderie and the collegiality that exists,” said Zabudsky. “I go to about a hundred end-of-year student events. This one is probably the most rambunctious of any of them.”
The budding athletic therapists cheered each other on, and even shed some tears, as the award ceremony went on. Students and staff took time to pay respects as the memorial awards were presented. The various memorial awards are special to Sheridan College as they are to honour past students and staff, who unfortunately were unable finish the program, as illness took their life.
The Loi Quach Memorial Award is given to a student who exemplifies the qualities of its namesake; strength of character, fun loving, committment. This year’s recipient, fourth-year student Cohen MacDonald, was touched by the nature of this award. “To be honoured by someone’s family who decided to start a scholarship in their honour is really meaningful,” said MacDonald.
Those in attendance also reflected on the careers of important members in the healthcare community. A memorial award named for the late Dr. Bob Jackson, who was instrumental in Canada’s involvement of the Paralympic movement, was awarded to Claire Toffelmire. She credits her success to the support of her peers. “There is no way I would have been able to do it without them,” she said.
The graduating students emphasized how they used the end of the year banquet to motivate their success. Multiple award winner Jacquelyn LeDrew said this banquet is important each year for students. “Even in first year, it gives us something to strive toward,” she said. “We sit here and we see upper year students get these awards and opportunities, and it gives us something to work toward.”
Although not every student could be recognized, professor Kirsty McKenzie noted that each student’s hard work did not go unrecognized. “There’s a lot of students that aren’t even necessarily award winners tonight that are also accomplishing amazing, amazing things,” McKenzie said. “It’s the one time a year that they are able to play hard because they work so hard the whole year. It is kind of a real celebration for them.”
2016 Athletic Therapy banquet award winners:
Dunbar Medical Scholarship: Spencer Dungey
First Responder Award: Katie Wilhelm
Kinemedics Award: Katelyn Watts
OATA 1 and 2: Victor Lanzillotta and Kevin Bryant
Canada Basketball: Adrian Huynh
Evert Van Beek Memorial Scholarship: Sarah Campanico
Toronto Blue Jays Scholarship: Kevin Bryant
Dr. Taylor Award: Justine Branco
Dr. Tom Fried Award: Jacquelyn LeDrew
National Ballet of Canada Scholarship: Claire Toffelmire
Michelle Kukta Memorial Award: Jacquelyn LeDrew
Robert Firth Memorial Scholarship: Craig Speers
Loi Quach Memorial: Cohen MacDonald
Trainers Choice Award: Jacquelyn LeDrew
Dr. Bob Jackson Award: Claire Toffelmire
The Anne Hartley Award of Excellence in Athletic Therapy: Marie Claire Costaguta and Hayley Parsons