BY LIAM ROWE
Slide show from Liam Rowe
Roman Kaszczij and Shannon Walsh Moreau were invited onto the field prior to a Jays game against the Kansas City Royals, to be presented with awards for their dedication to their studies and field placements over the last year.
Kaszczij, the recipient of the of the Sports Medicine Scholarship and the Toronto Blue Jays Scholarship last April was the main reason friends, family and faculty members gathered together in celebration.
Along with his scholarships, Kaszczij was given the opportunity to intern with the Blue Jays this past summer as part of the team’s athletic therapy training staff.
“I had a lot of responsibilities,” said Kaszczij. “I had to manage one of the athletic therapy rooms and make sure it was up to standards at all times but really, it was one of those things where you couldn’t be above any task.”
Going into the internship Kaszczij didn’t really know what to expect, however, now looking back on it he said it was one of the best experiences he’s ever had.
“It was an absolute grind, but it was absolutely worth it,” said Kaszczij. “I knew coming into Sheridan this was a possibility and the fact that I was able to see it through means a lot to me.”
For the past 28 years, the Blue Jays internship has been awarded to a Sheridan student, which Blue Jays head athletic trainer George Poulis says is all due to the school’s curriculum and the way the students rise to the top.
“Roman really struck us with his passion and heart for learning,” said Poulis. “Since Day 1 he’s really matured as an athletic therapist and this experience is only going to benefit him more moving forward with his career.”
As for someone who can attest to how this opportunity can kick start a career is former Blue Jays intern and Sheridan College Athletic Therapy coordinator Paul Brisebois.
“It definitely jump started my career,” said Brisebois. “The people you meet and the experiences you get are priceless.”
Every year there are 30 to 40 students who apply for this internship but only one can get it. Brisebois said it always goes to the hardest working student.
“Roman is awesome,” said Brisebois. “When I found out they selected him I had no reservations. He’s a great, smart, intelligent and respectful kid and they got a great one with him for sure.”
Alongside Kaszczij was Walsh Moreau, winner of the Dr. Ron Taylor award, given to those who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership within the Athletic Therapy program.
“It was amazing,” said Walsh Moreau. “This was my second season in the CFL and I learned a lot from it and grew really good relationships with not only the staff but the players as well.”
Admitting she thought this season would be a walk in the park, she quickly realized that was not the case.
“They really pushed me and treated me as if I was a certified therapist,” said Walsh Moreau. “I was responsible for the little things like setting up Gatorade but at the same time was also assessing and treating the players.”
Now with their summers behind them, both Kaszczij and Walsh Moreau are back at school and working toward graduating in April, which Brisebois said makes him proud.
“It’s awesome you know,” said Brisebois. “In less than year we’ll be colleagues and it’s kind of cool to go from being a mentor to becoming parallel, and that makes all us faculty at Sheridan really proud.”