Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy program held their annual awards banquet on March 31st at the Mississauga Grand Banquet Hall.
Attendees were buzzing with excitement as they filed into the venue to celebrate the achievements of the Athletic Therapy students. The excitement was amplified by the ability to host the ceremony in person after three years of in-person celebrations were lost to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The past couple years the awards were just a post on the virtual community on Slate. While it doesn’t make the achievement any less special, to hear everyone cheer and really celebrate your achievement is a totally different experience and my classmates really deserve that celebration,” says student Rosalina Lombardi, recipient of the Michelle Kukta Memorial Award.
The evening consisted of many heartfelt words from students and faculty alike as awards were handed out. In between awards, there were many laughter-filled moments. The graduating students organized comedic challenges for their professors that included a blindfolded ankle-taping, diet Pepsi taste-tests, and pop quizzes.
Image left: Professor Ashley Halket (L) being guided through a blindfolded Pepsi taste-test by Rosalina Lombardi (R) at the Mississauga Grand banquet hall on March 31st 2023.
Image right: Students egg-on Professor Jennifer Martins as she tries to tape an ankle while blindfolded at the Mississauga Grand banquet hall on March 31st 2023.
“It’s a lot of history,” says Paul Brisebois, Athletic Therapy Program Coordinator. That was made evident as the night continued to unfold.
Fourth-year student Jamie “J.J” Van Goozen was one of the winners of an award with a rich history. She walked away with the Anne Hartley Award of Excellence in Athletic Therapy. The award was presented by its namesake, Anne Hartley.
“To receive this award from Anne Hartley herself, a founding member of athletic therapy in Canada, was such an incredible honour. It means a lot to be recognized for the work I have put into my education over the last four years,” says Van Goozen.
Anne Hartley, who walked onstage to “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem, is a pillar to the athletic therapy community. She has worked in the industry for over 50 years and remembers a time where Sheridan’s Athletic Therapy Program only admitted four women per-year.
“It’s gradually changing,” says Hartley, in reference to the amount of women actively working in Athletic Therapy.
This change was made clear by the amount of female award winners. Out of 14 scholarships and awards, only two recipients identified as male. Even the coveted Blue Jays’ Internship was awarded to a female student, Callista Tsangarakis. This is the third time in the banquets 35-year history this honour has gone to a female student.
Anne Hartley had one piece of advice for the graduating class:
“Good luck, and remember: don’t focus on your finger, look at the moon.”
Here’s a complete list of the 2023 Athletic Therapy award winners:
KINEMEDICS AWARD: Samantha Raymond
CANADIAN NATIONAL BASKETBALL: Kevin Domaoang
TORONTO BLUE JAYS’ SCHOLARSHIP: Callista Tsangarakis
DR.RON TAYLOR AWARD: Ariel Barook
DR. MICHAEL REIERSON AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Grace Richardson
EVERT VAN BEEK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: Bridget Chiasson
CATA STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD: Jamie Van Goozen
DR. TOM FRIED AWARD: Jamie Van Goozen
MICHELLE KUKTA MEMORIAL AWARD: Rosalina Lombardi
LOI QUACH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: Taylor Beausoleil
ROBERT FIRTH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: Rosalina Lombardi
DR. ROBERT JACKSON RESEARCH AWARD: Meggie Lesage
DR. WADE WHITTEN CLINICAL AWARD: Christopher Singh
ANNE HARTLEY AWARD OF EXCELLENCE IN ATHLETIC THERAPY: Jamie Van Goozen & Jessica Sluys